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Spiritual ABC's -- Letter E



Celebrate life with this intoxicating passion. It adds zest to everything and helps build community. Hold nothing back.
Spiritual Literacy -- Reading the Spiritual in Everyday Life, by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat.

I've been sort of stalled with this series for a couple of days, wondering "what is enthusiasm, exactly?"  It is one of those words that I thought I knew a reasonable definition for -- but as I considered talking about it, I didn't feel that comfortable.  I have needed some time to consider what I might have to offer with regard to "enthusiasm."  As I often do when I find myself stuck in that fashion, I checked the definition and the etymology of the word.  Interestingly, the dictionary tells us that "enthusiasm" is an absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit, AND also any of various forms of extreme religious devotion, usually associated with intense emotionalism and a break with orthodoxy.

So, to live with enthusiasm is to allow for life to completely seize us and swirl us up into the currents of all of everything there is.  If we live with enthusiasm, then we allow our minds and our hearts and our spirits to be absorbed and controlled -- possessed by the sheer wonderment of a steadily beating heart, and the exchange of gasses in and out of our lungs, and the perfect replication of each and all of our myriad cells, over and over and over.  To live life with enthusiasm is to be caught, enchanted, and bedazzled by the texture of a lover's skin, the timbre of a child's laugh, the intricacies of a leafy forest painted on an autumn storm sky.

When I start enumerating all the amazing things there are to be amazed by...  How can anyone avoid the involuntary, "WOW!" of awestruck wonder?  I can imagine, clearly, the day when all of us finally see, and then wander aimlessly, grabbing one another by the hand and asking, "Do you see...?!?!?!?"  That simple shared question might knit us together as nothing else ever has.  We'd be compelled to a community of breathlessness -- and that would be so kewl!


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