Brian’s Reflection: Friday, November 18, 2011
Once upon a time
the world was sweeter than we knew.
Everything was ours;
how happy we were then,
but then once upon a time
never comes again.
Johnny Mercer, American songwriter; he
was born on this date, 1909, at Savannah
“.. for there is nothing either good or bad , but thinking makes it so.” “Hamlet”, Act ii, scene ii. Well, wrong; there are good things and bad things, I think. However, the spin we put on things ….. that makes a huge difference in how we live in this World. And it’s interesting how one “good” thought can alter the effects of “bad”. Silver linings, “God”, Attitude, grasp of reality, all that sort of stuff.
Today, this is what I think. There is always a “sweet World” ….. some-“where”. Finding it, or creating it, or imagining it, there’s the work of each of us. Frankly, I think it’s critically important for us to be able to envision a “sweet World”. “Heaven” is one of those imaginings which supports living.
There never was and never will be a time when “everything was ours”. And, there is a time when everything is ours. Life is chock full of such dualities. There are ways to experience “everything is ours” ….. that is our spiritual work.
I’ve been happy. I know how blessed I am to be able to say that! Discovering what makes us happy ….. that too is the work of a Lifetime. Lucretius said (De Rerum Natura) that the pursuit of Pleasure was humanity’s first work. He is right ….. as long as we understand what Pleasure is (and it isn’t, he says, just hedonism).
“Once upon a time” - that is, when all was perfect - never was and “never comes again”. Johnny’s right. But. While I long ago gave up “perfection”, I’ll never give up the Pursuit of Pleasure, as Lucretius and I think all the great thinkers of the ages understood it.
Pleasure - for oneself and all beings - is the life-giving fire of the Soul.