Merry Total Apathy: The Santa Claus Syndrome

By Ethan Indigo Smith

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

What is the daily spectrum of your thinking? If you want to trip someone up, ask them that.   If you want to trip yourself up, really explore the question.

Personally I think too much, a trait likely shared by all artists, or dare I say human beings. We think too much, and it’s what makes us exceptional and – let’s face it – exceptionally malleable. In exploring our malleability one can come across upsetting revelations, like realizing one was immersed in unproductive shallow or angry thoughts for a long time. Exploring introspection, whether of self or of society, can be upsetting because we face our shadows and our ego. We come upon the realization that so many things we thought were correct were entirely wrong.

Our own personal problems are our own of course, no matter how they reflect the lives and situations of our peers. Society’s shadows are something we all share and exploration of these collective shadows can be just as, if not more upsetting and insulting, and revelatory, as any personal exploration.

What is the Spectrum of Our Thinking?

This question is a great place to begin exploration of our collective character. In exploring this question from the within United States, I see the biggest problem in the U.S. is our near total apathy. Apathy to war, apathy to the nuclear experimentation, petrolithic destruction including coal, oil and natural gas, genetic modification of our plants and animals, and all out toxic practices that are indifferent or murderous to all but economic equations. We are apathetic to our collectively shitting the bed. We are apathetic to total environmental destruction. Individuals now yield authority to institutions. Those who once came together, united,  now just differ to literal economic equations or policies based on such.

As a collective we are apathetic, institutionalized and steered by media and government.  We are apathetic to even the greatness we hold, our ability to unite. We allow economic institutions to steer us in their direction – toward unsustainable economic growth, at the expense of regional poisoning and destruction.

How could we be so apathetic to war on humanity and destruction of Earth Mother? How could our spectrum of thinking have been so reduced as to only contemplate materialism while ignoring the destruction of life? And why the hell, with all the other disorders on the ‘psychiatrick’ radar, with all the new disorders being continually added to their manual, would they not explore our complete apathy to reality and to the environmental destruction of our planet?

Perhaps those in the psychiatrick industry are under the guidance of our collective shadows, our collective ego, just as much as anyone else.

Apathy Starts Early

If there were a scheme to train and steer us toward apathy, so much that we are even apathetic to  considering our apathy, that conditioning would have to start early. It would have to be part of our emotional and psychological makeup so completely as to be ubiquitous and almost unnoticeable. It would have to be part of something that we all celebrate, so as to reinforce that no one questions it. It would have to start at a time when we are most impressionable.

The greatest societal manipulation in the United States that could result in our total apathy, which suggests if not proves psychiatry is liquid science at best, is the Santa Claus story attached to Christmas.

Santa Claus as we know him in the U.S. is used to inspire economical equations; collective consumerism. However, a possibly unintended result of the emotional attachment we foster to the Santa Claus story, and the subsequent let down and heartbreak we experience when we learn we have been fooled, is that we avoid addressing lies in the future, even evil adult lies.  We are taught at a young at that the entire world lies to you, and that it is okay. It is part of  life. When we are most impressionable, we are immersed in the Santa Claus story, a story that requires the suspension of reality and curiosity. It  is as elaborate as children are curious.

As the first test of adulthood, its revelation as fiction challenges our  innocence in a way so detrimental as to require its own psychological label; the Santa Claus Syndrome. The Santa Claus Syndrome teaches us that once we are in on the lie, we are adult – and that our role in society is to continue perpetrating a lie.

Merry Total Apathy

Merry Total Apathy! - The Santa Clause Syndrome

The Santa Claus Syndrome instils more than just materialism and the acceptance of lies. And chances are, if you can recall the names of more than one of Santa’s reindeer, you are likely affected by it in some way.

In his book A Holiday Hazing: the Santa Claus Syndrome, Ethan Indigo Smith examines the many psychological influences of one of the most widely celebrated traditions the world has ever known, and exposes common beliefs of  ‘self’ and ‘society’ in a way that might make you chuckle, and a little bit angry.

A Holiday Hazing: the Santa Claus Syndrome is available on Amazon as  an e-book  — just in time for (saving you from) Christmas.

About the author:

Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humor.

You can connect with Ethan on Facebook, check out his author page on Amazon, or visit his websites, Geometry Of Energy and Meditation 108, where Ethan offers lessons on individuation, meditation, the conceptualization of energy, and the metaphysical significance of 108.

Ethan’s books include:

Recommended articles by Ethan Indigo Smith:

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