“To whom much is given, much is required,” or so the oft-cited quote in the Gospel of Luke attests, and it is in this giving time of the year that such wisdom challenges each of us to do a personal assessment of where we stand in the greater scheme of things. It can then be paired with the Gospel of Matthew’s Parable of the Talents to produce a similar but somewhat more nuanced meaning.
Life, in particular human life as we know it, does not expect a pay back in the measure given. Everything about life attests to an expectation of still greater abundance and fulfillment beyond what’s begun with. A beautiful sunset is not a thing in itself, but as it explodes into our consciousness, generates even more beauty, beauty that can manifest itself in myriad altogether fresh and new ways. What does a sunset have to do with the perception of it by us, you ask? Well, what if the two are elements of the same reality, which of course is the way it is. Reality encompasses, in its entirety as a unified field, the sunset and the perception of it, and the perception of it as beautiful, as well.
Some may object that this is tantamount to a mandate, that the beauty of a sunset burdens us with a requirement to appreciate it. Yes, we do live in an era where selfish self-interest is preached as gospel. This is the secret to Trump’s success, although he hardly invented it. It has taken a full court press by enemies of democracy everywhere, and that means enemies of the human spirit that so naturally manifests and expands beauty, to get us here. But why do they hate so much? Hate is an action of negation, of destruction. It is not just a protest, it is an active force that has at its core the severance of the bond between beauty and love.
Hate’s fever, obsessed selfish self-interest, dwells in darkness and stays in darkness. In darkness there is no beauty, because beauty, as in a sunset, requires light. There is no love in selfish self-interest, just as there is no light, or enlightenment. There is only a fleeting second of perceived, or hoped for, sensual gratification, a deceiving illusion because there is really no second of time that stands alone, but only as a slight breath of a longer phrase that quickly subsumes it into a far greater song. To one who realizes it has been denied the gratification it sought by the mere nature of reality, there is only the recourse to a grasping hate. Or, there is of course, the option on the other hand, of an about face.
As reality loves itself, by the very nature of things, it loves whatever arises from it no matter in what kind of shape its found. This requires but one thing, an appreciation of love.