Have we been taught this? In most a cases the answer is “no, we have not”. So what does this actually mean? It means we have been taught something else. We have been taught you are the body; you are a male, you are a female; you are young or old or whatever the body is. Whatever these temporary designations are, we have been made to believe this is who we are. Under our illusion we think like that, we think from other people’s influence and we actually think from our internal illusion, “I am this body.”
So we are living a lie, it is not true. Something that is not true is called a lie. We’ve been taught a lie and we propagate that same lie. The whole planet basically has been lied to and is continuing to lie to every other person that takes birth. As soon as a person takes birth, they start receiving this and they continue throughout their life and teach others the same. This is unfortunate. The reason we can’t let love into our life, the reason we’re so closed is because actually we live in a world of lies, and to protect ourselves, we close ourselves.
I was just reading in the… actually it was on the news, CNN news, there was a minister in England, this was in the UK, I will read you what he said at the sermon, it was just before Christmas, and so the message was, “The real meaning of Christmas isn’t Santa, barbies and x-boxes, it is about the birth of baby Jesus and the light he brought to the world.” Truth right; very profound truth. But the reaction to that from the people that were listening to this sermon was very, very negative. One person said, “I am very hesitant to allow my child to go to church because I don’t know what else they are going to hear.” You see, they might hear the truth! “If they go to church and hear the truth, I don’t want them to go there.”
Another minister, I forgot where it was, maybe it was in England as well, it doesn’t matter where, basically delivered the same message; different wording but the same message. One of the authorities in the church was very apologetic to everyone, was sorry and he told all the kids, “I am going to write a personal letter to Santa and tell him that we are sorry for this and he will write you a letter and say he is sorry that you were misled like this.” The kids said, “Thank you very much, good. Tell Santa we love him!”
So this is what is going on in the world today. Everybody is lying to everybody; we are all living a lie. It starts with thinking, “I am this material body.” The next lie is, “This world is my home.” “I am this material body, I am the enjoyer of this body, this body is me”, da-da-da. The next lie is, “This world is my home, this is my home.” And therefore the next part of this whole thing is, “I can be happy here, I can be happy in this world. I can be happy in my home.”
This is the next thing we are taught. “You can be happy here, and here is your formula.” They give us this formula for material success. “Go get this education,” all material education is based totally on this false identity, illusion, etc., etc. “This is important. If you get this education, then your life can be successful, if you don’t, it won’t be successful.” (Laughs) It means, in my understanding, you will be happy; that is what a successful life is. Happy life, satisfied, internally satisfied, truly happy, truly satisfied. But we are receiving another set of rules. “You must be a material success. Get this education, get this degree, get this job, and make this money. With all of this success, you can buy all the things necessary to make you happy.”
That is what Christmas is about, right? It is turning to a whole material crazy attempt to be happy. A part of that article was, “Santa equals the con of materialism.” We are all conned into this whole thing. The idea is, “Get the presents, get the goodies, get the toys and be happy.” But it doesn’t work. Everybody is doing it, everybody has been doing that a long time, everybody is doing it more than they have ever done it before.
When I was a kid, Jesus was pretty much in the center of Christmas. Not completely, but definitely that was the message. There was a nativity scene but now I walk down the street and don’t see nativity scenes in the yards of people’s houses, I see candy canes, Santa Claus and reindeer.
I read an article that said that in England everyone puts out sherry for Santa Claus and mince pie for the reindeer, the parents and of course the kids are all part of this, “OK, we are going to give this to Santa. He went out on a hard journey so we are going to put this out for him so he will have a little something to keep him going, little sherry, and then the reindeer will be hungry so here is the mince pie.” The parents eat it and drink it over the night and the next morning kids wake up, “Oh look! Santa was here! He ate all this stuff!” This propagates illusion; this is against their wellbeing. This is not in favor of our wellbeing; it is against our wellbeing.
The Vedas say, “No, you should learn the truth.” The Holy Bible, what does it say? “You shall learn the truth and truth shall set you free.” But the opposite of that would be, “You shall be in illusion and illusion will keep you in bondage.” So here we are.