I got up today, wondered into the kitchen and looked out of the kitchen window. For some reason, I felt a bit sad. Not at all depressed – just a bit sad.
I realised, when I went on my trip to Mallorca a couple of weeks ago, how ‘sadness’ can creep into your soul and debilitate you. As I stood in my room, having left behind the tribulations of looking after an invalid for a week, and looking out at the really pleasant view, I felt a sadness in me. Readers will probably understand that you take your ‘baggage’ away with you, and that it takes time, even if it only a couple of hours, for that ‘baggage’ to dissipate.
I had that feeling of ‘sadness’.
I was glad that I recognised it. I suspect that it has been around in my life for a long time. I pondered, as I stood there, in my room, in silence, looking at the lovely view, and had a think. The thought was almost instantaneous.
At that moment, in my hotel room, I was totally free. I was alone and had no influences pressing upon me. And yet I had this sadness. Because I was in a holiday resort, and there were plenty happy people around me, and because I have plenty ‘friends’ there in the bars, and because the hotel staff recognised me, and shook hands, the sadness quickly dissipated. I had a really good time, wining and dining and hitting the hotspots, in my own way (playing chess on my electronic chess set while sitting outside a night club at 2 am).
This morning, I recognised the sadness again. That sadness is a dangerous thing. It is insidious. It eats into your soul. It is easy to see how people could wish to transfer their sadness to someone else.
As I looked out of the kitchen window this morning, and recognised the sadness in my soul, I had a think, as one does. For a brief couple of seconds, I understood. There was nothing wrong with my life at all. I am an old man, though reasonably fit. I have an invalid wife who needs care, and, in a weird sort of way, I am privileged to be in this position. I have a purpose in my old age.
But that will not do, since it applies only to me. I wonder how many people have this destructive sadness.
Here is an interesting idea.
There is no philosophical idea which counters the ‘sadness’. The idea that we suffer hardships of one sort or another, in order to make ‘the next generation’ (our children and grandchildren) better off, is faulty. That is because there would come a time where conditions for human health and welfare would become absolute. Everyone would be as healthy as is possible. Thus, no one would be able to do what they think is their primary objective (to make life better for succeeding generations).
So what should we adults have as our objective?
In a religious sense, and therefore a theological sense, a human being can be either content, happy or sad. The wonderful message of Christ was that we must accept that God enabled us to ‘turn the other cheek’ and to thus turn adversity into contentment. God created the Earth and gave us the ability to have a plenitude of enjoyable things, but we must also accept that we will suffer pain.
There is nothing wrong with pleasure, provided that each of us accepts that there will also be pain.
There is nothing wrong with pleasure. That is the important idea that I want to stress. If pleasure for you is cocaine,then you have a perfect right to indulge. You have no need to apologise.
In that sense, philosophy and theology come to the same conclusion. You can enjoy your life, regardless of the pains and difficulties. The pains do not override the joys.
But you have to know that that is so. It is tremendously important.
The likes of ASH ET AL see only one thing. They see only the devil in tobacco. The temperance gang see only the evils in alcohol. Neither of them see the God-given pleasure.
So why do I emphasise God?
It is because ASH ET AL portray themselves as Saints.
But there is a weird thing. I suppose that it comes from the excesses of the aristocrats who pleasured themselves, even it it came to raping their female servants/slaves. The weird thing is that the catholic church condemned sex. Even in marriage, the act was disgusting, filthy, stinking. No Christian should indulge in sexual acts other than in the line of duty to continue the species. Further, persons should not enjoy food. Enjoying food is gluttony.
So, thinking about the ‘sadness’, we can overcome it. We do not have to conform to the ideology of the Health Zealots. There is another ideology, which says, “Be grateful that you have the ability to have pleasure, but accept that you will also have pain, and put up with the pain”.
That is REAL Christianity, and REAL Humanity.