20. May, 2015

DELIGHT OF DELIGHTS

"I, God ,am your playmate! I will lead you in wonderful ways for I have chosen you." (Mechtild of Magdeburg -1210-1280 A.D.). As we get weighed down by the grim world news, these words of Mechtild allow us to soar into the clouds, even if for only a few brief moments. They emphasise the philosophical and theological framework that provides stability and meaning and purpose for our daily existence. The psychological relevance here is therefore paramount because these words and the inherent values in them, provide a clear sense of identity for us to build on. Of course, the next moment we may experience a dark moment, but the message that we are not just accidental, but we were born with a purpose, to produce good in the world and to combat evil in its various guises and degrees, is in itself a re-birthing. As mothers know, giving birth is not only a painful but a wonderous experience. So we have an option, moment by moment, to feel deeply with love for all our momentary happenings. But what is love? As Mechtild and Thomas Aquinas maintained, it grows in the soul so enabling us to decide more compassionately, what decisions should we make; what actions should we do, and all part of an upward spiral towards a happier existence. "Delight completes activity as an end, as does beauty add to youth as its adorning grace." Aquinas here is almost painting a picture of us dancing with joy, when we are at ease with ourselves and with others. However,(there is always an However!) love and delight both require assistance from Reason and the Cardinal Virtues (Prudence; Temperance; Fortitude; Justice).  Otherwise our delight and joy could dry up into inaction or excessive reaction. For we fear what we may lose and therefore love can easily turn to hate. "Daily life is broken into a series of interrupted acts: the closer we can get to a single continuous activity, the closer we can contemplate the truth". This will then support us to gain a higher quality of joy and delight as we begin our metaphysical journey.

Thank you. Tom Baxter