Holding Onto Hope

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope. Martin Luther King

There will always be demons lurking in the shadows. Those people who wish to cajole and nurse grievances against those they see as opponents, or enemies. We are not those people. We stand on the side of light and hope. Love, joy, and conscience feed our souls. Although we look forward with hope in our hearts, we have to be vigilant and mindful of the darkness. Each of us is a divine treasure. And as such we must shine as we step into the valley of shadows. There will always be shadowy lands to cross and demons to overcome.

There is within all of us the power of hope. In the myth known as Pandora’s Box, the gods punished Prometheus for stealing fire (knowledge). They fashioned a woman, Pandora, from clay and gave her a vessel containing all the evils of the world and told her not to open it. When she did, numerous evils poured forth into the world. Hope was all that remained in the vessel. I use the word vessel because the ancient Greek word was mistranslated as “box”. The original word referred to a jar called a pithos which was used to store items. In religious rituals of the times, the jars held human bodies for burial from which the soul departed. The story takes on new meaning when you imagine we are the vessels that contain hope. Hope is the final refuge against the evils of the world.

I love the phrase a glimmer of hope. Each of us has experienced hardships in our lives. Those trying times when it appears all is lost. But eventually a glimmer of hope appears in the darkness. And when that little light glimmering on the edge of the dark horizon begins to grow we rediscover hope. Hope springs eternally from our spiritual link to the universe beyond ourselves. But what inspires hope for you? Where do you turn in times of sorrow and pain? Some of us find hope and comfort in holy books and sacred texts. Some turn to great wise thinkers of the past. I find hope returns to me by communing with nature.

Nature is Creation itself. And we can harness the energy within the natural world to rekindle hope when it seems all is lost. My mom always took great pleasure from plants and nature. She had a little cactus which she kept alive for decades. I remember it sat in a small vase on the kitchen windowsill. I asked her once why she kept a cactus, what made it special for her. She told me the cactus symbolized the power of holding out hope. Even in the most inhospitable places life can endure, if it just held on. And that, she told me, is what we have to do in hard times. We have to hold on.

Aristotle said that hope is a waking dream. Meaning we summon hope from our imagination. It is the divine gift of the human imagination that finds the path through the darkness. Our hopeful human spirit are the essence of divine imagination. We rise above the dark times on the wings of hope. Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth. Vladimir Nabokov

Published by cewheeler

Writer/Artist:12 years in China – univ. lecturer: writing,poetry,culture; editor – magazine/newspaper & actor. 40 years students of the Tao. Traveler. Father. Read my books at: amazon.com/author/wheelerce

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