Please come and join me tonight my dear fellow human beings, to welcome in the new year with open arms and cheeky smiles. Come! my neighbours, my friends, at the table of ‘Residencia Benevente’s‘ kitchen (the one with plastic wine bottle openers and no frying pans), where wholesome home-cooked food and Chilean red’s will be served!
We have turkey, carne (beef) and tinned pineapple chunks among other things. We have crisps and some tinned sardines and crackers. I have a fine 2009 Malbec reserva to ease in the wee hours – I will share it with you (if you ask nicely).
Let’s stand together – we can hold hands if you want – at the shore of 2011, as the tide of 2012 approaches and washes away 2011 – forever.
And now, a secular prayer – my sermon on the mount – for the New Year. Please rise my flock of sheep (unless you are not sheep, but cats – in which case you won’t listen to me anyway, so stay seated):
Dear brethren, brothers, sisters, friends, family, lovers, ex-lovers, and that dodgy looking bloke I met the other day at the bus station who tried to rip me off with an expensive ticket, and that other guy who tried to cheat me with those bananas…
It is that time of year again when we all look a little back, but look a little more forward. What has passed has passed. I say unto you: never waste the present thinking about the past and worrying about the future. Every bit of time we get in the sun is a gift of life and something to saviour. Before life there was darkness and rest and after life there will be darkness and rest. Yes, rest from this wretched and hard and struggling life will come – but not a rest we will be alive to appreciate. Not a rest like you rest on the sofa. More like an absence of suffering and difficulty then a presence of these things. Schopenhauer said these things and more – and the ancient Upanishads agree.
I am not blowing fake winds your ways my flock! These words are full of things to ponder and think about. Jus’ takes a little time. So take your time.
May 2012 usher in fresh insights, new understandings, may the veil of ‘maya’ be lifted a little bit more. May health continue blowing a kiss through our bodies, may good wine flow through our veins (not our livers), may love enrich our lives (and our loins – unless it is platonic in which case hearts and minds too!), may we get lucky and find gold in our people friendships (may our friends be rich and lend us money! – at no interest), may we not be perturbed by the things that don’t matter (such as everything on TV, the newspapers and Justin Beever rat). May wisdom and the art of good and compassionate living – real living – show through our eyes – and through our eyes, infect and inspire those we meet.
May we continue to seek answers – to those most vexing of questions (when will religious people stop trying to force their iron-age doctrines upon us). Those thorny one’s (is the universe flat, open or curved), that have pickled the minds of histories sages. Pickled em’ good.
Seeking answers is more fun then finding them! Just ask any scientist. And the meaning of life? Oh, yes I have it right here….damn, where is it! I’m sure I wrote it down on a scrap of paper.
Oh yes, here it is: self control, giving, compassion.
All good actions, all goodness, all truly moral behaviour comes from one source only: the fount of loving-kindness and compassion.
Let me explain: if I see myself in you, and you in me, and if I see myself in all nature, in the crying child with no food in its belly or the contestant kicked out of American Idol. If I am you and everyone else – and you and everyone else is me – then what separates me from you no longer separates us – we are one – the same – united. Your pains my pains. Your pleasures my pleasures. Your happiness my happiness! That is the source, nay the solution – nay the medicine to ameliorate the sickness of the world.
Hail to 2012! xxx