Wednesday, 23 November, 2016
Thanksgiving ~ Is a holiday, where we celebrate what we have to be thankful for. Is my mind so dark that I should think there is nothing to be thankful for? All the great thinkers have taught us, that our well-being in life is on our own shoulders to bear. We may practice a freedom from desire and carving, as the Buddha suggests. We may celebrate our struggles, living out the Greek tragedies. We may recognize our place and be content as a part of nature, as the followers of the Tao. Or perhaps we can embrace love, and find happiness and satisfaction in wishing, praying, and giving to others as the Mesopotamian prophets.
Some of us are born into wealth, and live out our lives in the shadow of spiritual poverty. Some are born in shackles, and are enlightened through an ascetic life. The slave-become-philosopher. The prince-become-tyrant. The truth is, we are all born into a bondage, and we all suffer the pangs of our conscience. No one can fathom the individual struggles of their fellow beings, and when we try to share it seems that burden is only harshly coughed out of our lungs, dissipating in a cloud of black smoke which, at best, receives a kind of annoyed attention by our listener. Rare it is to find the one who will inhale our smoke, but even then we are only sharing the waste, the remnants of our pain, in imperfect expressions. And even then, we feel ashamed to have spent that waste on our listener.
So, happiness is found within, and that other thing found within, the pain, cannot be fully passed on. What difference does it make if I have a hot steamy turkey stuffed with the green and orange guts of vegetation, or cold socks in wet shoes, with the ice cold wind on my cheeks? Either way, there is a sentimental element, a kind of happiness, and a kind of pain. Besides, from my own experience, the freezing cold of hypothermia, like dehydration, is one of the more pleasant kinds of sleepiness, not unlike the kind which comes from eating more than one’s share of turkey meat.
So, what have we to be thankful for, really? We are where we are, by way of our actions and our fate. We are responsible for our happiness, and creativity comes from struggle. We should be thankful, then, for our pain, our ill health, or poor positions, our dying life. Let our successes and happinesses thank themselves.