Saturday, June 17, 2017
Hopeful Thinking - Saturday, June 17, 2017 - Hedonism Has Its Advantages
To what end, pleasure? Is there vibration to joy? If we could see ecstasy how would we employ it? Pretend you had a button that, when pressed, made all the colors around you more vibrant. Dispense with the question of whether it is the environment changing or merely your perception of it. It doesn’t matter.
How do you feel as the colors become deeper at your command? How do those two facts combine? Both the improvement in the landscape entangled with the power to command it. It would be a rush, yes? Would you hold down the button all day? What of your poor button finger?
When does happiness become indulgence? Who defines moderation?
‘An it harme none, so mote it be,’ the old Wiccan Rede says. So long as no harm comes, do as you will. It sounds like permission to do anything you want just don’t hurt anybody or break anything.
But that’s when it gets complicated. Should you be gay if it “hurts” your grandmother? Should you eat an entire box of Ding Dongs? Should you abuse the purpose of drugs because it doesn’t hurt anyone else? Should you pursue your dreams even when they are not shared? How do we recognize when someone else’s happiness is dependent upon our misery?
Pleasure, satisfaction and joy are worthwhile, sacred pursuits. They are the very reason we exist. Our free will gives us the platform to explore every pathway to happiness available. Including the ones that trick us. Yet those are the ones from whom we learn the most. Judas has two stories.
We place a disproportionate amount of judgement upon the pleasure others experience. We question their motivation and their dedication. We question their faith. We deem them selfish and ungodly. Hedonists.
The word hedonism literally means pleasure-ism. The ideology of self-gratification as a life practice. A word created in the early 19th century so that philosophers could debate the ethics of pleasure.
The word has also taken an additional, more pleasant definition. Hedonism is also an ethical system of belief where pleasure is in the interest of the highest good. That’s where the good stuff is. It is the intersection of pleasure and ethics. The old Wiccan Rede again.
Perhaps it is good to indulge. Perhaps we draw the line too far and pinch ourselves off from the flow of life. How much joy do we push away? We have interpreted our scriptures to mean that only God should give us joy.
But there is so much joy in the world. Might there be as many pathways to God as there are licks in an extra large ice cream cone or gasps from an extra long session of lovemaking? We have placed too many restrictions on what is acceptable and beat ourselves to death with guilt.
Indulge, but evaluate. ‘An it harme none...’ also refers to yourself. Do not harm yourself. Love life, but be wise. I tell my kids in the Tribe that if you’re going to do something stupid, be smart about it. We even put it on a t-shirt.
Raise the vibration of this earth with your Joy. Do it on purpose. Think of it like a bell which the entire Universe can hear. Notice other people’s happiness! Masha’Allah! And happiness will be drawn to you. For you will be irresistible to It.
Posted by Wil Darcangelo at 12:00 AM