Thursday, April 13, 2006

Exuberance

“We are all worms. But I do believe I am a glow-worm.”

--Churchill on Churchill

Ha! Found this quote in an attachment to a blog entry by Tom Peters on Exuberance. Apparently there’s a new book out: Exuberance: The Passion for Life by Kay Redfield Jamison.

Here’s some thoughts on the book from John Harrison on Amazon:

If you have read Dr. Jamison before you expect penetrating insights, but even though I have read all of her general works I was unprepared for the beauty of expression, both hers and of many quotations both shrewd and charming that adorn the text and advance her thought.

One of each: "Joy lacks the gravitas that suffering so effortlessly commands." Jamison at [page] 5; "The Greeks understood the mysterious power of the hidden side of things. They bequeathed to us one of the most beautiful words in our language - the word ‘enthusiasm’—en theos—a god within. The grandeur of human actions is measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who hears a god within, and who obeys it." Louis Pasteur, same page. It is rare indeed to be reading a serious work and find yourself saying, "Wow."

Wow indeed. I’m inspired just by reading the review.

Enthusiasm and exuberance are apparently contagious. People who embody these qualities *act.* They don’t just sit quietly, they *move.* Consequently, others can catch the spirit.

I’ve never really thought of exuberance as a spiritual quality before. But there’s plenty of it in the Bible. Here’s a quick search on the word “leap”:

II Sam 6:16

And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord;

Ps 18:28 thou,29

thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

Song 2:8

The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

Isa 35:6

Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

Luke 1:41

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

Luke 6:20-23

And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven:

Acts 3:1-8

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

We love these stories, where the inspired can’t contain their joy so they jump up and dance.

Look at this passage from Mary Baker Eddy in the light of exuberance:

Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, — this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony. The purification of sense and self is a proof of progress. "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."

--323:32

I usually think of spiritual gladness and joy as kind of calm, a blissful state like a balmy Sunday afternoon. Today though I’m imagining it as a child’s enthusiasm for seeing a friend they love or doing a special activity. They do it with their whole being, with no reservation. They drink every drop of fun and learning from the experience with relish. Gladness and joy to me today mean dancing in the sunlight, twirling and laughing.

What are you happy about today? Show the worldget up and dance!


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6 Comments:

At 4/13/2006 04:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laura, got any helpful thoughts about that recent study that purports to "prove" that prayer doesn't help heal?

 
At 4/13/2006 05:21:00 PM, Blogger Laura said...

sure, I've got some thoughts....hope they'll be helpful! will post on this topic sometime next week.

thanks for asking!

Laura
@}-->--

 
At 4/13/2006 06:50:00 PM, Anonymous rev. Veronika said...

What am I happy about today? That God IS the o n l y power. About Oneness and that I only need to relinquish the thought of duality to experience the Truth of Oneness.
Peace, Veronika

 
At 4/14/2006 07:57:00 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

I'm glad you're going to talk about the prayer study. While I think its authors took great care to follow scientific method, it was inherently and irreparably flawed, as it utterly failed to tell us anything about the efficacy of actual prayer. If I understand it correctly, its authors assigned a group of people to recite a specific, prewritten prayer, rather than requiring them to practice true prayer. The study purported to test the efficacy of prayer in healing, but in fact, all it tested was the efficacy of "vain repetitions," which all Christians already know are worthless substitutes for prayer.

A very large red flag should go up any time anyone claims to make a study of spiritual healing without bothering to include Christian Science practitioners -- the world's leading experts in the subject -- in that study.

 
At 4/14/2006 11:36:00 AM, Blogger Kim said...

Yowza -- I just LOVE this entry!
Undertaking the serious study and dissection of love, joy, bliss and enthusiasm is an incredible journey into seeing ourselves as God sees us -- He delights in us. This blog helps me to see why He does!
PS - I'll have an entry in my blog about that study as well. Let's link up again!

 
At 4/19/2006 02:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are great! Thanks so much for the gathering of great quotes! I am totally happy about the sky full of sunshine today!!

Much good!

 

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