Friday, December 26, 2014

Does hope have its place after all?

Breach Inlet; Sullivan's Island SC

     “Hope, as deceitful as it is, serves at least to lead us to the end of our lives by an agreeable route.”  -  Francis Rouchefoucault 

“Hope is the only universal liar who never loses his reputation for veracity.”  -  Robert Ingersoll

     I have long held the notion that hope is a false idol.  By definition, hope means that we are unwilling or incapable of fully accepting and embracing our current circumstances.  Hope means that we are saying we are incapable of contentment right here and right now.  Hope means we are unwilling to live fully immersed in the present moment, to surrender the will of our ego and tap into the intuitive will of God.  Hope, I have often said, is a drug unto itself – that once we taste it and use it to mollify our disquiet, we will always “hope” for something more, something brighter, bigger, shinier – and thus live our life chasing an illusion rather than being present for realities that exist in each passing moment.  

     But, I just spent a couple of days with fifty or so men that are just coming out of the ravages of addictions.  Their nerves are raw, and they are desperate to cling to some notion that things will get better if they pursue a spiritual path of self-improvement.  I saw some men who look to others who have managed to escape addiction for some years and build productive lives rock stars – heroes they cling to and can believe in. And although these men don't see any chance for themselves to have a fulfilling life, they keep putting one foot in front of the other and trying to change just on the off chance that perhaps life could change for them too.

     Perhaps hope has its place – not as something to cling to or become overly intimate with, but to share with those so deep in the depths of despair that no other form of impetus will rock them into positive action.  Perhaps in the right circumstances it is something we can give through our quiet example of positive action, but only give in doses heavily laced with the reality of the need for positive action.  Perhaps, sometimes, there is no replacement for a bit of hope doled out properly and wisely at the right moment.  Perhaps every once in a while a positive illusion is not only needed but can serve as the impetus to change someone's reality.

Today, may I be prudent.

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you.  Your love sustains me.


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