a universe of requirement

1 the future and eternity

‘[A]lthough I’d never thought of myself as particularly spiritual, I’d come to see that spiritual states – such as elevation, awe, gratitude, mindfulness, and contemplation of death – are essential to happiness.’*

She was young and out of control, aggressive, abusive, and breaking things.  I couldn’t help but wonder what the future looked like from her perspective, whether she had a sense of how she gets to shape the future was and her personal happiness.

In the overwhelming immediate, we all struggle, though, to have a sense of these things.

I’m not sure where the line between the future and eternity (endless future) blurs, but I know it is not only out there but also within us.

There’s also the question about whether both too little happiness and too much numbs us to future possibilities.  Both can lead us to a place of banality and tedium – like the piece of work Igor Stravinsky created from two traditional folk tunes being played at the same time.  Aiming to make a point about bitonality, his intention was to lead audiences to atonal music:

‘The result is unresolved ambiguity, the ironic dissonance of too much consonance.’**

We appear to be at out best as a species when we’re searching, asking questions, knocking on unopening doors.  When we do, it’s as though the universe provides us with a space of requirement, not unlike the one that made itself available to Hogwarts’ scholars when they were in dire need.

We find ourselves most alive when the future and eternity open up to us.

(*From Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.)
(**From Jonah Lehrer’s Proust Was a Neuroscientist.)


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