The world is turning at odd rates, the skies are warring. There is so much trouble in sight that it is hard to engage with the fast-approaching holiday season and the coming new year. How can we celebrate when others are in such deep distress? The message of the holiday season is, predominantly, one of hope. It is the hope that things will get better that we all embrace. Without hope, there is only darkness.

The darkness of past and present leads everyone to question the meaning of life. There are decisions that one made that affected the course of their lives. There are directions that one opted for without really considering the future in their mind’s eye before making their decisions. And of course there are paths that one took blindly, trusting in the happiness of the moment. But things change and people rarely stay the same over long periods of time.

The vision of the madman. William Blake foresaw futures and universes, wrote about heaven and hell, innocence and experience. There are esoteric things that only madness can teach someone, and the purpose of life becomes clear to those who have had visions and the taste of other-worldliness. The inner journey of the soul is not undertaken by many. Sublime truths are laughed at in favour of small-minded religious precepts. True religious faith is not in books, or the boring book of the mind, but in the heart. And when the heart is misguided, love is undertaken for all the wrong reasons. Marriages fail because the superficial workings of the mind and the surface meanings of life are greater than the madness of true love.

To consider everything a meaningless joke, to be cynical, to look nowhere but at oneself, to find meaning nowhere except in money and success, to be horrified by tragedy for a few minutes, to move on in perpetual exchange with mindless matter— this is the world today. It doesn’t matter how it’s sugar-coated, or rationalized. The truth is that happiness eludes us. But if we can find that small space of inner faith, we can start to hope. True love has all but been erased from humanity in favour of ‘love.’ The true poem is available only to its intended reader. There are things that don’t work, there is right and wrong— notions so distorted, so black and white, that it is frightening.

Finding truth and true love are the modern heroic quests. Hope will follow. But you will not find truth in the open market. William Blake understood this. /ez

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