Everything begins and ends. We’re good with beginnings, not so good with endings.
The writer Helen Keller was blind and deaf but her sense of smell was highly developed. Here she describes the scent of men: “Masculine exhalations are, as a rule, stronger, more vivid, more widely differentiated than those of women. In the odour of young men there is something elemental, as of fire, storm and salt sea. It pulsates with buoyancy and desire. It suggests all the things strong and beautiful and joyous and gives me a sense of physical happiness.”
Men speak often of pleasure, seldom of joy. Pleasure is somewhere and something; joy is nowhere and nothing. Pleasure is planned, imagined, curated; joy is spontaneous, uncontrolled and now. Something else: Pleasure has an end. That’s where pain is.
Let’s say I’m going about my business when I’m suddenly flooded with peace. How does the world look now? Still problem-plagued and enemy-ridden?
The world is as I am.
Peace, joy, love, abundance—these are realizations, not achievements. On the inner journey, effort is impedimental.