Monday, October 11, 2010

Becoming Contented by Harmonising the Passions

Some people want things because they want everything. Others want a thing because it’s important to them. Both are revealing a weakness-for-position, for no excessive amount of passion is winning every ‘meaningful’ battle.

With these two there are no happy victors. With the former they’re bound to be continually striving for things, many of which will be beyond them. For the latter it’s about acknowledging that for all of us there are things of monstrous significance, whether from our moral values or ambition, but just the same we’re required to synthesise the passion if we’re going to be content.

Somehow if we’re going to be of any use to people (and ourselves) we have to convert the amount of passion we have for the good thing we’d love to have into a more reasoned mental and emotional approach.

How Important Is This Thing, Really?

Living the gospel way of losing our lives to save them is the most important thing we can do for contentedness, really.

Living the reality, then, is about setting nothing on this earth higher than the joy that is otherwise held within—which is contingent alone on God, who provides abundantly. In this frame, nothing can be taken from us and nothing can be added to us, for having things taken away or added can only confuse our sense of oneness with God.

Nothing is that important.

Better and more specifically said, nothing that we could covet in this life is going to give us what we otherwise do not presently have. We’re discontent because we want things. The way to contentedness, then, is to shelve our desire for all things and then just simply appreciate the reality of the blessings when they do come our way.

The ‘Third’ Person

Going back to the top two people, firstly the childish person who greedily wants things indiscriminately—for instance, those given to vagrant retail therapy—and secondly, the person who has the moral values stowed but cannot control their want of the good thing, we can easily see another, third person enter.

This person can’t be bought.

Their values are enshrined to an existence that puts God genuinely first. These people have found a way of synthesising their passions and they no longer have an ambitious bone in their bodies. It’s not that they don’t desire to achieve; they just reconcile the desire before it burdens them to act. And even if they did act they’d find a creative way to back out of it before it cost them their soul.

This is the way to contentedness beyond anything the world can hold over us. It will go a long way toward us remaining unruffled in all circumstances.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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