The Productivity and Pleasure Principle by Christian Wiese

In a field one summer’s day, a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

“Why not come and chat with me,” said the Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”

“I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”

“Why bother about winter?” said the Grasshopper; “We have got plenty of food at present.” But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.

When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger – while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Grasshopper knew: It is best to prepare for days of need. (Aesop)

The Story of the Ant and the Grasshopper could have been written by a German, had it not been told in Ancient Greece first. Work, work, work, is its motto! Investment and savings beat entertainment and consumption, in the short as well as the long run! Yet, if we don’t entertain from time to time, why exactly do we live?

Even we spiritual seekers are not immune from this problem statement. Why do we search for the Beyond? It’s because something is missing in the here and now, isn’t it? If we already found the diamond necklace around our neck, as Rumi once described it, we wouldn’t frantically search our house looking for it. No, we would sit our living room, with tea in hand, admiring its beauty.

The German poet Goethe once said, “Only the inadequate is productive.” Why do I write so much? Because there is still an inner tension that needs expression, and still a puzzle to solve. We want this quest to be over with so we channel that conflicted energy into our search for God. Hope my readers appreciate it as well but I no longer mind my inner imbalance. Something beautiful comes of it!

Everyone is on a healing mission, a search for union and wholeness. Once found, there is little left to do than enjoying life as is. Hope you see the beauty of this observation, spiritual living is the best of all worlds. The ‘inadequate’ is made perfect by our creation, and the ensuing healing and wholeness lets us enjoy life as is.

The Fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant has a very simple solution. In God’s Kingdom, grasshopper and ant live happily side by side. Similarly with our quest. We were happy that we once started on a journey of healing and reaching wholeness, but there comes a time when we can most enjoy the beauty of God’s Kingdom in our creation as well as our celebration. We are already Home always. Productivity and pleasure, let’s enjoy them both and don’t stop until your work here is done!

Christian Wiese

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