Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Remembering Epiphanies

It's amazing how impotent philosophical epiphanies can be. Like, they are not enough. They are the moments when we decide to plant the tree. They are the energy behind digging the hole and dropping in the seed and covering it up. Plants, however, need to be watered, or they die.

I'm talking about issues as straight-forward as weight-loss: "Today I am going to begin exercising and eating properly because I don't want to die..." But I am also talking about deeper ideas. Those ideas that we know are a key to our personal happiness; a realization that we need to have in order to make sense out of existence. For instance, in 2011, I wrote a song called "Kaleidoscope." This is the chorus:

Could it be the soul is a kaleidoscope,
Changing shape and shifting colors --
Lit by different kinds of light
From one day to another?

In subsequent verses, "day" turns into "year" and then into " decade to another..." You get the picture.

It's based on the realization that we humans tend to look for that thing that fulfills us in life, as if is (or will be) one constant thing. As if even if it were a few things, that those few things would please us equally at all stages of life. It seemed to me, when this occurred to me, that the soul (human spirit; mid -- however you want to say it) must be too complex to respond to the same thing forever and (especially) at all times. Sure, there must be truths to what pleases us, but, even if we are deeply pleased by, say, swimming, swimming might not always please us -- not forever and not every day.

Seems like a solid idea. But the key is to remember it and to call it to memory at the right times; or before it is too late. (One must water the tree.) If one finds himself doing the same thing that used to give him joy, will he do it for months or a year or for a decade in dissatisfaction before it occurs to him that the kaleidoscope that is his soul might have shifted? That he needs to seek a different light? Will he make adjustments before he concludes that life, itself, is unfulfilling?

The epiphany is one thing, but one must remind himself to act when it proves true. That's harder.

(Here is "Kaleidoscope," if you care for a listen.)

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