Re: Merry Newtonmas!
Wed, 23 Dec 1998 13:50:35 EST

Thanks, Sasha, for keeping the spirit of the Ex-Mass (so called because the Sun coverts mass to energy) Season alive and extroping! Here's the text, minus illustrative footnotes, of "The Ex-Mass Holiday Season and The Story of Solar Cause," <>:

The Ex-Mass Holiday Season and The Story of Solar Cause

The Ex-Mass holiday season amuses us with feasts and fetes, socializes us in shared ceremonies, and educates us via allegory. It runs from the solstice nearest perihelion (winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, summer in the southern) until Sir Issac Newton's birthday on December 25th. Especially for children, the character of Solar Cause plays a large role in Ex-Mass celebrations. Adults tend to focus more on such convivial rituals such as exchanging gifts, praising our stellar good-fortune, and meditating on the illuminating powers of human science and industry.

The Story of Solar Cause

For most of the year Solar Cause lives in the warm, yellow sun. He watches over the far-away Earth, making sure that it spins all through the day and all through the night. Once a year, the Earth's clockwork starts to run down. Day and night get so out of balance that one almost falls into the other! On that crazy day, Solar Cause reaches across the vastness of space and draws the Earth a little closer to the sun. He climbs down to fix our shivering little planet--and brings with him a bag full of presents for good boys and girls.

Solar Cause comes to Earth on that special date to set things right. With a gentle nudge to the North pole, he puts day and night back onto course and sets the Earth whirling into another year. But each of our hearts spins on its own, private pole. Like the Earth they will, if left alone and untouched, tumble into weariness and confusion. When he comes to fix the Earth's orbit, then, Solar Cause nudges each our hearts to set *them* right, too.

Grown-ups sense the touch of Solar Cause in a typically grown-up way: absentmindedly, as if their feelings wore five layers of sweaters. But children! Their light hearts dance on Solar Cause's touch like motes in a sun-beam!

Solar Cause has a special understanding with children. All through the year he traces the days and nights of their little hearts. He sees all their acts, both good and bad. Because Solar Cause loves extropy, he loves each child who plays nicely and studies well. Solar Cause dislikes the cold and dark of entropy, however. It thus grieves him to see children hurt their playmates or neglect their lessons.

While Solar Cause watches over Earth's children, his vast fusion-powered factories teem with tiny workers making gifts. All year long they build toys and cook sweets. Solar Cause brings these gifts with him on that one special night when he comes to set the Earth back on course. Then, in the darkest hour of our longest night, he flies across the whole of the world. Solar Cause flies over our roofs and shines down through our windows and chimneys!

Solar Cause visits each dreaming child. Because watching boys and girls extrope during the rest of the year brings Solar Cause such great joy, he thanks each of them with a special present on this special night. But to children who did terribly entropic things during the year past, he gives only shadows.

Of course, no one--not even adults--can act perfectly well all of the time! Solar Cause thus gives everybody at least a *little* bit of a shadow. These, our conscientious guardians, follow each of us throughout the year, reminding us to try and overcome our weaknesses and to improve ourselves as much as we possibly can.

Dreaming through his visits, children do not see Solar Cause in all his glory. What does he look like, then? A mane of shining, golden hair rings his beaming face. His vibrant yellow costume reveals a fit, trim build. Solar Cause shines so brightly that, sometimes, even sleeping children feel his warm gaze. And, if their good acts have made Solar Cause especially happy, they may hear a light-hearted laugh echo through their dreams. "He! He! He!" Why gives Solar Cause so much joy? Elementary: Seeing Extropian children grow forward, upward, and outward!

T.0. Morrow