Bah humbug!

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Tex
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Bah humbug!

Postby Tex » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:24 pm

Why is it that nothing brings out the asshole in people like the season of joy and goodwill toward men? Seems quite ironic, but it happens every year. It's like there's an air of negativity over the whole city. People are rude and in a constant rush and amazingly selfish -- if there's a toy their kid has to have, and if they have to cut people off on the road, park in a handicapped spot, and elbow another parent out of the way to get the last one, they're okay with that, as long as they get what they have to have.

I've almost been in two serious car accidents because someone got impatient and pulled out onto a main road while I'm going 45 mph, forcing me to slam the brakes to avoid a collision. Both times my horn was met with a litany of cursing and a middle finger from the other driver. That kind of stuff happens sometimes, but it seems to skyrocket with the holiday crowds. I saw two men on the verge of a fistfight over a parking spot at the mall.

People who've lost their jobs are spending more than they can afford, because they feel like they have to.

Many people find themselves depressed during the holidays, for a variety of reasons.

Why do we do this?

The next time the Grinch tries to steal Christmas, I think I'll take a break from the second precept and give him a hand.
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi

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Cittasanto
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:05 pm

I don't think that would be breaking the precept as it would be to prevent people doing harm :juggling:
I thoroughly despise this holiday.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Kim OHara
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:38 pm

There is a middle way (I won't claim capital letters for it :tongue: ) - peaceful non-participation. Don't get caught up in it. Don't blame those who do. Just observe it.
Realistically, most of us have family obligations to negotiate, but much the same applies there - balance others' needs with your own. You might end up singing carols with people you only see once or twice a year but the positives of bringing people together outweighs the negatives of giving lip-service to a tradition you no longer support.
:juggling:

Kim

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poto
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby poto » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:48 pm

Tex wrote:Why do we do this?


Because it's a Christian tradition. Which is actually and absorption of the older pagan winter solstice celebrations, that mark the death and rebirth of the sun.

Personally, I would say that most of the problems come from the over-commercialization of this holiday. Promoting greed and excess consumption under the banner of joy and goodwill is bound to give rise to a great deal of negativity.

I try to not let it bother me, as this too shall pass.

Anyway, happy solstice!
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis

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BubbaBuddhist
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:51 pm

Well, let them suffer. :tongue:

I wallow in the joys of the Saturnalia while Dionysian rapture festoons through my foppish spirit; watching the Nutcracker Ballet, reveling in Bach's Christmas Oratorio and St. Matthew's Passion and other truly TRADITIONAL Christmas compositions.

Furthermore, all my Christmas shopping is done by the end of September. Forewarned is forearmed. Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead. :toast:

Jolly St J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:05 am

In the meantime here are some other kindred spirits:
Image
Pagans whose Holiday was stolen by Christians

Image
Ebeneezer Scrooge

Image
The melted, bitter remains of Frosty the Snowman.

and of course:
Image

Merry Christmas!

J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

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Perry
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby Perry » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:32 am

Bubbabuddhist wrote:In the meantime here are some other kindred spirits:
Image
Pagans whose Holiday was stolen by Christians


By the looks of their clothing, Christmas wasn't the only thing stolen and tainted by crazy fantasists!

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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby pink_trike » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:08 am

The virgin's birth is found in countless mythologies from all around the world that far, far predate Christianity with most of the same familiar associated symbols. Most of Christianity predates Christianity by thousands of years...much of it word for word. Most Christian symbols also predate Christianity by thousands of years - such as the Crucifixion story and imagery found in most ancient mythologies with nearly identical imagery, which is a symbol/story reflecting a specific recurring astronomical occurrence related to the movement of the Sun and its relationship to the galaxy.

Most religions have simply forgotten the original meaning of most of their stories, imagery, beliefs - reducing them to hollow simulacrum...in fact, a strong case could be made that the religious perspective is itself a symptom of this amnesia - what's left after original meaning that was connected to the entirety of phenomenal existence is lost. And they are _not_ interested in remembering. :tongue:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Michael_S
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby Michael_S » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:51 am

Several years ago I decided that Christmas should be renamed "Consumerfest", at least here in the USA.
It has little relationship to its original significance, so I disregard it for the most part.
Certainly there are a few that still commemorate the birth of their religion's founder and his teaching.

The wild frenzy of competitive driving and shopping is a lesson to me about the
meaning of compassion, or the apparent lack of it. It says something also about
greed and the encouragement of attachment to material things.
However, I do toss some money into the kettle for the Salvation Army bell ringers.
That will help the homeless and needy I hope.
-m

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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby Monkey Mind » Wed Dec 23, 2009 3:50 am

I'm not usually a fan of holiday music, but I stopped at the grocery store and they had a string quartet playing the most lovely classical Christmas fare. Was very nice.

I agree with Kim. Opt out of the rat race. I tell friends I don't do the gift giving thing, and for the few gifts I do get I either buy from the internet, shop unusual/ out of the way local stores, or hit some of the great arts and crafts fares that pop up at this time of the year.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

alan
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby alan » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:23 am

I hate everything about Christmas but it's the idiotic, repetitive and mindless jingles that really drive me nuts. A violation of my mental space! Count me in with Scrooge.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:54 am

Hi Alan,
shall we get some pitchforks and torches :tongue:

spending time with condescending prats is what I despise, but I have a plan, one reason to leave and I'm off!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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cooran
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby cooran » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:12 am

I love Xmas. All the family travel to spend time together, it's mid-summer school holiday time, most businesses allow staff to have the time off between Xmas and New Year, the weather is hot, the surf is great.

But it is the coming together of family and friends who may not see each other very often, if at all, during the year - the setting aside of any conflicts, the sharing of a meal, the hugs and gifts.

Xmas is a fairly non-religious cultural festival here - not a specifically Christian one. Even my muslim friends and I exchange greetings and gifts.

Xmas ~ I love it!

metta
Chris
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby alan » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:42 am

Chris, you are way too nice. Time to stop all that metta stuff and work up a good steaming head of cynical scorn!

But seriously...Ok to friends and family stuff. But is there any way to ban Frosty and Rudolph to the hell the so richly deserve?
Just a thought.

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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:43 pm

You know, I too love Christmas, but I live in my own little "bubble." I tend to ignore the rest of the world. I have a friend who calls me raving "Did you hear what that SOB Obama did now?" I don't know why he asks, because I, in my bubble, always answer, "Well, no." Then I make polite sounds while he gets it off his chest. It's my kind act for the day.

I like it here in my bubble. People always sing to each other, are pleasant, and the little elves bring me tea and flowers.

:rolleye:

J
Author of Redneck Buddhism: or Will You Reincarnate as Your Own Cousin?

Mawkish1983
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:18 pm

Bubbabuddhist wrote:I like it here in my bubble.

Ah, I've heard about that place.

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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby davcuts » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:02 pm

I like Christmas for the most part. I do all my shopping online and don't bother with Walmart and malls. Instead I get the gifts delivered to my door. I can even get them wrapped before they are shipped. The problem I'm having this year is I'm snowed in. We got a huge winter storm, and I don't know if I'll be able to deliver those gifts on Friday. That will suck to say the least. Bah humbug to this crappy weather!!!

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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:20 pm

Surely those who can't stand Christmas can be thankful for some useful cittanupassana practise... :thinking:

Personally, like Chris, I take a lot of positive things to do with generosity from the whole thing, though here in New Zealand it's a lot more laid back than in the US...

Metta
Mike

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Ben
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby Ben » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:36 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:
Bubbabuddhist wrote:I like it here in my bubble.

Ah, I've heard about that place.


And he who looks upon the world
As one who looks upon a bubble,
As one who looks upon a mirage,
Is out of sight of Death the King'

-- Dhp 170 in Vism XXI: 27

metta

Ben
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Dan74
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Re: Bah humbug!

Postby Dan74 » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:05 pm

Several years ago I decided that Christmas should be renamed "Consumerfest"

I hate everything about Christmas but it's the idiotic, repetitive and mindless jingles that really drive me nuts


"Jingle bells, Christmas sells
A merry merry time!
Getting pissed is on the list
And spending every dime - hey!"

A contribution from a friend (an adaptation of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen):
(warning: song title does not represent the actual content)

http://barnadine.net/music/Barnadine_Comfort+Joy.mp3

and something to lift the spirits (in a twisted sort of way):


:lol: from ES

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