Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wen Tzu - Verse 41, Part I

from Verse Forty-One
Sages close up together with darkness and open up together with light. Able to reach the point where there is no enjoyment, they find there is nothing they do not enjoy. Since there is nothing they do not enjoy, they reach the pinnacle of enjoyment.
~ Wen-tzu: Understanding the Mysteries ~
The Christmas season is almost upon us. One of the great ironies of this time of year in the western world is that it can be both a time of boundless joy and wrenching depression. Many individuals experience both in a short period of time.

One of the reasons for these polar (pun!) opposites is the unrealistic build-up to Christmas Day. The hype can be so overdrawn that the event itself is anticlimactic! People can get so imbued with hope and excitement that, when the reality doesn't match up, their mood drops like a stone from a high cliff.

I can certainly relate to this. Sometimes, when I was a wee lad, Christmas Day paled in comparison to my anticipation of the opening of presents that morning. I had spent the better part of the month dreaming about all the goodies Santa would leave for me and, in the course of an hour or so, the event was over and done with. I often felt nothing but numb and empty afterwords.

I now realize that my over-hyped anticipation is what did me in. If I had treated Christmas Day as a surprise happening (rather than spending every waking hour thinking about it), then I bet I would have reveled in enjoyment. In other words, by not seeking the ultimate enjoyment I would have found it.

When we can meet each moment as a freshly opened gift, the unexpected joys we discover are boundless.

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.

1 comment:

  1. i also think that with such an emphasis on family and friends, people who perceive themselves as having no family or friends (or they really don't!) get very depressed and even suicidal. we live in a country filled with broken or non-understanding families and fickle friends. people who have lost loved ones often can't bear the thought of spending christmas without them.


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