I love that
passage—it’s Cana of Galilee, the first miracle … Ah, that miracle,
what a lovely miracle! It wasn’t sorrow, it was human happiness that
Christ extolled, and the first miracle He worked was to bring men
happiness … 'He who loves men loves their happiness,' Father Zosima used
to repeat so often—that was one of his guiding ideas … What is true and
beautiful is always full of forgiveness…”
Part of the intuition of Carl Jung and his idea of Archetypes is that qualities cluster, keep company in a force field. Thus
Eric Sink (via Craig Newmark) isolates what he believes is the key to negotiating prowess -- the willingness to walk away. As a few commentors point out, there are many other things to build on that foundation, but never ever perceiving oneself as helpless or even needy is the bottom line. As a genial former husband of warm memory was accustomed to chant like a mantra in the face of every dilemma:
I am not without resources.
When the Good&Happy blog began, a backlog of ideas here at Chez Dilys demanded an airing. In addition, the rowdy days of RatherGate, and risibly diminishing Episcopalian plausibility, made some of us want to smoke out and dance with our natural allies.
All that has changed.
An encouraging number of natural allies, compatible friends, and sharp-tongued interlocutors have by now made their appearance here, or off-blog. The choreography remains to be notated.
One person's personal Episcopal dilemma is solved, and its playing-out on the larger stage is generating predictable comments in loops larded with "be nice, now." Whether the starved and embattled stalwarts will ever get off the dime / sixpence, remains to be seen. One convert to an Ancient Church wrote recently:
If the (American Episcopal) General convention is now of academic interest only, I think you'll find as the years pass that you'll feel about it as you feel about a Little League game in Boise, Idaho, or the meeting of the town council of Pensacola, Florida.
In a similar vein, the direction of the little portion of the blogosphere I frequent is wavering. The usually-clear are stating their cases with less precision than usual, and the supercilious ad hominem savagery with which commentors are dismissed has become, I cite a personal threshhold, distasteful and counterproductive. Light is best, heat is manageable. Cold self-regarding modern prejudice sported by the blinkered ill-educated, begging to have their brilliance acknowledged, not worth electrifying a screen for.
So it's time personally to move back and onward into one's small impact on the molecules-and-atoms space, from negligible impact on The Discussion of What EVER.
As Robert Frost intuited, the game of musical chairs can be called at any moment; at the end of the day, literally, it pays to have one's personal supply of oil for the lamp purchased and stored, to be positioned for self-reliance. The oil is not only 401(K)'s and a network of the intelligent and productive -- it had better also be generic optimism about one's flexibility and vision, and fearless faith in the goodness of life. Whatever it takes, the freedom to walk away is golden.
Good&Happy will remain open to notate the occasional interesting source or meditate on an idea, a conversation with ourselves to be had only intermittently, with or without eavesdroppers.
Dilys herself is just now lumbering over the sunset hill.
It should be mentioned that posting this recent Baldo drawing here today is self-directed at the chief leisure-lover here at Chez Dilys. It would be a regrettable irony to select something from a charming Hispanic-oriented comic strip, as somehow pointed toward that community, inasmuch as our near Hispanic neighbors exhibit a genius for willingness to work that seems to have no end.
The point is that happiness includes in its components its own pursuit. As usual, Graciela is the character who has the last word.