I’ve just been watching the antics of the award winning French cat, “Henri the Cat”. There are now 3 episodes on YouTube. Henri even has his own store!
Here is the second episode – Henri 2, Paw de Deux:
After you’ve stopped laughing (or just sitting blank-faced because you see a little of yourself in Henri), you may want to consider how you can stay in touch with your enthusiasm for life.
Like Henri, we can become numb in the lap of luxury, and I don’t mean just the luxury enjoyed by the rich and famous. I mean the “ordinary” luxury of clean running water, indoor plumbing and mountains of food within about 15 minutes from our home in every direction. And of course the luxury of a car or bike to get there. If you are in a developed country you have so much to be thankful for.
I am in America, at the top of the heap of developed countries if you don’t count health care, quality of schools, or social safety nets. And yet I can easily wake up and start focusing on concerns of the day, or drag myself around in a hangover from the dream state, missing out on the freshness of a new day. I find it essential to have a morning intention-setting exercise — to greet the moment and appreciate another day in the middle of this mysterious universe.
Henri the Cat may very well find the vastness and wonder of the universe itself to be an ample cause for ennui. We are so insignificant! Yes, in physical size we are beyond microscopically small compared to the immensity of the universe. But why identify with the body when our mind can contemplate the immensity of the universe?!
With some perseverance, such contemplation can make the ennui melt away! If you can contemplate regularly, daily, for about 20 minutes, the immensity and the mystery; the vastness and it’s startling form and order, and, yet, the precision right down to the most microscopic particle.
Everything has been thought of, it seems! Why dust motes floating in the warm rays of the sun streaming in the window? Why the innumerable forms of life and sexuality bursting forth everywhere? Why did life figure out how to survive around the tubes of sulfur water pouring forth from the depths of the ocean? Why bother?!
And then there is every little ant and spider (like the one Henri kills), and even they have parasites crawling around on them. Yuck. Now my contemplation has taken a creepy turn and I imagine you getting depressed again at the thought of all the ways life eats itself, which of course includes eating us.
And we know stars collide and explode and annihilate planets – we are designated to experience that in about 5 billion years. Destruction on universal and microscopic scale – and for sentient beings – pain, suffering, and death, as well as bliss, beauty, discovery, creation, and love!
If we don’t just act cute to get cheeseburgers, we may appreciate that we are expressions of life itself, indestructible in the midst of destruction. Henri, you are not a cat, not Henri – you are life itself living in every form including Henri the Cat.
Let go of your thoughts, Henri. Open and open again outward. Contemplate that there is no outside – everything is inside of your consciousness. Everything is you! Smile! Purrr!
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