We are all familiar with the idea of holiday stress. That feeling that time is going by faster and faster from Autumn until New Years. Sometimes it is a feeling of losing control, insomnia or the surreal feeling of losing your mind. Usually this is attributed to the pressures of buying gifts, seeing family, travel, obligatory festivities, etc.
Winter Holidays were intended to be joyous celebrations bringing together people in the dark winter months to celebrate and give thanks and miracles, Pagan Winter Solstice,Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, and finally New Year have been winter holidays for hundreds or even thousands of years. Two thousand years ago the Roman’s celebrated Sol Inviticus a day celebrating the re-birth of the undying sun on this same day. Later the early Christians appropriated this holiday to become the birth of a baby savior, free from sin.
Many people however don’t feel the joyful uplift but rather feel anxious. Sleeplessness is common as is feelings of lonely and isolated. Thoughts of suicide are not uncommon. It’s a Wonderful Life and Dicken’s Christmas Tale are but two examples amongst dozens of movies that demonstrate the otherworldly magic and also psychological terror that prevails at this time of year.
The popular wisdom is that the shortened days and fleeting rays of light are the cause and holidays ward off these feelings. Feasting, celebrating, eating, drinking. In with the new out with the old. These are all ritualized reactions to the stresses of the holiday season. Could holidays responding to the body responding to the stress of the season be the cause of the stress? Or is it the other way around?
Would you be surprised if I were to tell you that the holidays are not arbitrary but are in fact a ritual way of understanding our common mass perception of time and its effects. That in fact holidays are truly ‘holy days’ because these are the times when we collectively synch-up our perceptions attempting to make sense of the personal internal feelings, perceptions and emotions that seem so heightened. The importance of the winter celebrations were calculated by Sumarian mystics thousands of years ago to set their calendar based on their understanding of the 365 day solar year.
What if this is not an arbitrary subjective feeling but a stronger indication of a real psycho-physical phenomena that has a cause and effect. What if this is the very root of our holiday schedule. What if the drive to understand the human place in time as the motivation for our modern calendar has at its core an identifiable process that we feel but have never before defined as such.
There is just such a phenomena. It is simple to understand. It is rational, scientific, spiritual, and mystical all at the same time. It is alchemical in a sense but simply rational in another. But because you have never thought of it in the right way before you have never understood the real significance of the holidays. The meaning of perihelion.
It is not New Age, or pseudo-science. But it may shift your subjective perceptions of time, space and your personal connection to life on planet earth. True or not it is an interesting thought experiment and exercise in paradigm shifting.
If you have a basic education It is so simple that once you see it for yourself you will never see the world in the same way again. It takes a little bit of logic and a little suspension of disbelief. At the very least you will see how it could be true. And you will certainly learn something new. That is the nature of a true hypothesis.
It all starts with a simple question: