Holiday season and I’m reading Carl Jung’s The Red Book.  In 1912, he had difficulty interpreting two of his dreams.  In the first dream, experienced shortly after Christmas, he dreamt of a richly furnished castle apartment.  In through the window flew a white dove and transformed into a girl who played with his children.  From this dream, he decided to pursue a relationship with a woman and realized, “The unconscious did not consist of inert material only, but that there was something living down there.”  Basically, Jung has a dream, realizes he loves a woman he met three years earlier, and creates an entire methodology of the collective unconscious to justify his suppressed emotions.  And we wonder why is it so hard for academics to fall in love!

In the second dream, he is greeted by an apparition of a Crusader knight in golden armor, and Jung spoke to himself in the dream.  “It is all empty and disgusting,” but Jung knows that he must bear it.  That’s exactly how I feel about holidays . . .

     because years ago, a friend of mine committed suicide on Christmas.  Really puts a damper on the holiday spirit.  Generally, suicide rates drop during December because of family reunions and the optimistic view that, “maybe thing will get better”.  Then again, maybe family is the reason why the suicidal person finally gets around to making an honest Attempt.  Holidays summon schizophrenic and conflicting feelings of life and death, holidays such as:

┼Christmas, with its Saturnalian festival rites masked by the birth of Baby Jesus; but also,

    Christ-Mas.  Mass, as in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, means a death sacrifice, and so  

    “Merry Christmas” gives the impression that people are celebrating his death, not his birth.   

☼Easter, the resurrection; but also,

     preceded by Good Friday and on Sad Saturday, the only day I can wear the Nietzschean

     “God is Dead” t-shirt and have Christians agree with me.

♥Valentine’s day, as the celebration of Eros, romantic love; but also,

     the priest Valentinus was beheaded for marrying couples in secret, an act of Agape, selfless love.  

☺Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, 4th of July celebrating the birth of the American Experiment; but also,

     the death and systematic genocide of 2 to 18 million Native Americans in North America.

♀Mother’s Day and ♂Father’s Day as a celebration of our own life; but also,

     the anticipation our parents' inevitable death.

⸙Arbor Day with trees as the symbol for life; but also,

     merely one day to combat the continual urbanization/deforestation that equals the death of nature.

♣St. Patrick’s Day, the day Christianity arrived in Ireland and also the day to celebrate the lives and accomplishments of Irish Americans; but also,

     to realize that famine and death are the reasons why there are more people of Irish descent in the Boston area than in all of Ireland.

╬Pearl Harbor Day as the birth of the modern-militarized American Empire; but also,

     the day of infamy and the death of infancy, as in the day America grew up to be a teenage bully.

֎And lastly, New Year’s Eve as the birth of hope with the coming year; but also,

     the death of all those tasks you left undone and regret for all the weight you didn’t lose.  

 

This existential confrontation between life & death over every holiday is exactly why people smoke weed and drink booze into utter oblivion.  It's time to put the Daze in Happy Holidays!