October 4th, 2011

Curb Your Enthusiasm

In "The Spiritual Alphabet" in the Brussat's book Spiritual Literacy, E stands for enthusiasm.  As an autistic person, my own enthusiasms are random and inexplicable even to myself  and the enthusiasms of others are so much distracting noise.  I am immune to any positive effects it might have, but it can be quite annoying.  I always read enthusiasm in a manner totally contrary to what it is probably intended to convey.  i take it as evidence that the enthusiast really does not trust the merits of his goal or argument or product and is trying to sell by exaggerated gestures what cannot sell itself.

I noticed that i did not admire the quotations or people brought forward by the authors to illustrate the importance of enthusiasm in spiritual literacy.  Yes, enthusiasm is rooted in a word meaning "god within" implying that one is possessed by the divine; certainly a good thing.  But such possession can be quiet and calm;  and if one needs quiet and calm, noisy evidence of "possession" can get in the way of meditation and even of devotion.  Ecstatic demonstrations are not for me.

I know that some of my favorite poetry, particularly that of Rumi, is highly enthusiastic.  I grant poetic license the right, and perhaps the necessity to engage in a little hyperbole.  But prose should be prosaic, and the mystery is mysterious enough without being hyped.

Perhaps part of the appeal of Taoism for me is the matter of fact approach of the sage to the Way.  Of course the Tao is great, but greatness is not an excuse for fireworks and fantasy.  As it was for Elijah, the voice of God is more likely to be a "delicate silence," than fire, whirlwind, or earthquake.  And my hallelujahs will mostly be sub vocal.


Nosebleed log:  After averaging one bleed per day over the past two weeks (only two were "serious" * i have had no bleeding in the past twenty four hours

* A serious nosebleed takes more than forty-five minutes to stop.