the z-theory and Santa Claus

the z-theory and Santa Claus July 16, 2013

(*** spoiler alert…) I think I can safely assume that as children we all believed in a Santa Claus who lived at the North Pole and delivered gifts to good people on Christmas Day faithfully every year. And then we got the news that Santa Claus isn’t a real person. That fairy tale no longer served. We had to learn that it represented the “spirit of Christmas”, and that anyone who gave was, in a sense, Santa Claus.

At one point we believed that God is an all-powerful being who sits in Heaven on a huge throne ruling the earth and our affairs. We believed that Jesus is a person who shows up in our hearts or in our rooms to bring comfort or instruction or discipline. We believed that the Holy Spirit was a power that could inspire us or make a worship service work.

For many of us, that rendition no longer serves us well.

The imagery of the waterfalls that I had in a dream provided me with a way of understanding the structure of reality. It was like I was standing at the bottom of Niagara Falls, as I have actually done several times, looking up at the infinite deluge of water coming over the rim. This is not a picture of reality. It is reality!

God: Theologians say that God is the all-powerful creator, sovereign, independent and eternal. What is over the rim, beyond my sight, is the Infinite Source, forever gushing forth a never-ending stream. Standing at the bottom of Niagara Falls, I am always struck by the thought, “It never ends! Where does all this water come from?” While continually emptying itself, it never sacrifices its own identity. It never surrenders its essence. It remains. So while what we call creation is a separation from the Source, it is at the same time an emanation of the Source which never decreases or reduces or changes. Scientifically, we now know where it all comes from. There is a water cycle, and it all returns to the Infinite Source to start all over again. As theologians put it, all things come from the Father and return to the Father.

Jesus: Theologians say that Jesus is God and the perfect picture of who God is. Put simply, they say “If you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus.” What we see pouring over the rim is the obvious manifestation of the Infinite Source. We have a clue of what the source is by the revelation of itself in the waterfalls. It is wild, uncontrollable, and immeasurable. But it is a faithful representation… no, it is more than a representation!… it is a faithful declaration of the Infinite Source. The Mystery is now made plain for all to see. It’s purpose is beginning to be made known.

Spirit: Theologians say that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Jesus present in the collective of believers. Jesus promised that when he left his disciples he would send the Holy Spirit in his stead to abide with them, comfort them and instruct them forever. Standing at the bottom of Niagara Falls, I am always impressed with all that spreads throughout the land, providing water for the earth and all that is in it. It is actually overwhelming. No one is exempt. It floods over everyone and everything, encompassing all in its magnificent deluge.

Eventually, when this water reaches the very end of its journey, to the last drop that stretches over the soil and dries on a heated stone, we know that every bit of it has been absorbed into all things and even eventually finds its way in the cycle back to the Infinite Source above the rim to resume its impressively vast emanation, revelation and application all over again.

This is how I see Niagara Falls. This is reality. Again, it isn’t just a picture of reality. It is actually reality. This is indeed what is happening. This provides for me a way of understanding That Which We Call God, Jesus and the Spirit. I no longer see them as “people”, but I do definitely feel this as “personal”. I do feel, when I am my sanest self, a connection and even a compassionate grace at the center of it all. The words “God”, “Jesus” and “Spirit”, have become, for me, burdened with baggage and limiting. I know what they mean. I know what they attempt to describe. But the language is archaic, loaded with cultic significance, exclusionary, colonized and ghettoized. Religious. I use them at times, but only as pointers to what they are pointing to. They are signs. Symbols. The word is not the thing.

I will admit that it isn’t easy letting go of overused categories and their words. There is great emotional investment, sentimentality and nostalgia clinging to these. But I just remind myself that forsaking the word is not forsaking the thing. While this model, which I have called the z-theory, has given me a way to understand my reality from a Christian perspective, it has also opened up all the doors of access to all other religions, philosophies and world-views. It has offered my mind a great measure of peace. I am now connected to all things, and I know it.

It is not an accident that I am looking out over the Kennebecasis River right now as I write this to you. It is 95 kilometers long, about 2 kilometers wide where I live, and very, very deep. It is constantly flowing. The sun is shining on it now. Boats are racing along the surface. And birds. It flows with fish, including our modern-day dinosaurs of the deep, the sturgeon. Lisa and I are thinking of going down to the beach to read and relax in a bit. We might sneak some wine in a thermos so we look like innocent coffee drinkers.

I hope you all have a good day!

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  • Chester McMackin

    DAVID : Most of the posts you record are viewed by me in significant measure ofagreement.They are stated without fanciful words for the most part, and seen as HONEST TO GOD sincerity.

    I would break it all down , something like this:

    40 % of writings partially agreed

    45 % of writings mostly agreed

    12% of writings totally agreed

    The figures include only up to 97% of submissions, and that is merely to let you know that even in my analysis,, it does not mean you are perfect.

    So There !

    I realize that you can zap me off your sheets anytime you wish. Especially for my boldness in “judging” you as not perfect.

  • pretty good rates. i accept 🙂

  • I’m probably an anomaly because I was always taught that Santa didn’t exist. So I never had a chance to believe in Santa.

  • you went straight for the gold

  • Gary

    David have you read the book Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eban Alexander? I have never paid all that much attention to these near death experience stories, partly because they often mirror very closely typical theological views and as such I have never really trusted them. But this one is totally different and rejected by the mainstream church. I really think you would enjoy it. It definitely portrays the possibility of an afterlife in a whole new light.

  • I haven’t read it Gary, but I’ve read a LOT about it. I will try to read it now upon your recommendation. The thing for me is that now I’m aware of how powerful the mind is… not just consciously, but unconsciously… and how the mind can dip deep into the archetypal layers of humanity and history. So I am suspicious of reports. But I will try to read it. Thanks.

  • Gary

    Yeah I agree. My suspicion is what I meant about their accounts being so close to typical theological views, it seems to me as if the experience is likely an outcropping of their subconscious. Plus I highly doubt that anything we may experience in an afterlife, if one exists, will even remotely resemble what we expect it to. That is why this book was so intriguing to me. His experience was contrary to his beliefs, and as a specialist in the brain he knew that his illness so totally shut down his brain activity that he could not be experiencing any kind of subconscious activity in any way. I don’t know if he was right or not of course…but he is one of the best in this field and he certainly believes it so that was interesting. Plus what he believes he learned about eternal reality is very appealing to me. If nothing else it was very thought provoking.

  • Al Cruise

    Gary, I agree the possibility is there, just the simple fact that we exist now, proves existence is possible, and we are conscious of it. There is no reason to say that same consciousness and awareness can’t exist after the physical body dies. You can’t prove it though.

  • My wife Lisa has talked about it so we might read it together.

  • klhayes

    The idea of the after life is interesting…but there is another side to that. I was watching a women who was Buddhist explain what she believed to be the after life. We talked about near death experiences and I mentioned what I saw. Well, everyone just decided that it was not real if a non-Christian experienced it.

  • Gary

    Yes…the notion that ONLY Christians can experience anything real is one that I am glad to moved past.

  • Gary

    AAaaaaaargh…Hate my typos. LOL

  • klhayes

    I made one too, LOL! I meant woman*

  • *giggles*

  • Gary

    No of course we can’t prove it to be true or false. But I did not take his intent to be one of verifiable proof, especially since it was based on his own personal experience. But rather that as a man of science his experience met the criteria of the kind of proof he needed for himself.

  • Trevor Haug

    Thanks for explaining the z theory. I am awake now. This is great writing, almost unheckleable.

  • Visit and become better informed. My legal name is Santa Claus, and I serve as an advocate for millions of vulnerable children in dire straits. My name, Santa Claus, is derived from the Dutch expression for St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, who lived in Asia Minor during the fourth century.

  • thanks trev