The Second Layer of Hope

It is the nature of hope to become lost; what begins with high hopes often ends in deep despair. Hope hid under the lid after Pandora’s box opened, as if all the troubles of the world must be released before genuine hope can be found. Any hope for this hopeless world might have to be found inside the currents of despair that increasingly accompany the news reports of cultural unraveling and environmental disasters.

Initial hopes tend to be false hopes and high hopes that never reach the ground of reality. After naive hopes have been dashed against the hard edges of the world a second level of hope sometimes appears, a “hope against hope.”

For, what can be found at the edge of hopelessness and in the depths of despair are the images hidden in the soul, the core imagination that waits to be found when all seems hopeless and the end is in sight. The second layer of hope includes a darker knowledge of the world and a sharper insight into one’s own soul. Perhaps it would be better to name the hidden hope “imagination,” for it is imagination that keeps the world a becoming thing.

The core and crucial power of humanity is not simple hope, rather it is the capacity for renewal that attends the inborn powers of imagination. Hope is reborn each time someone awakens to the genuine imagination of their own heart. Hope springs eternal as long as people can find a sense of mythic imagination that can create ways to hold the ends and beginnings together, even when things appear hopeless to most.

excerpted from The World Behind the World by Michael Meade

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Posted by | Paul Reynolds
Paul has been a yoga teacher on the Island of Kauai for many years and is the facilitator of the weekly Living the Question Blog - a repository of wisdom and inspiration. Paul also produces and hosts Le Guru is You Radio Show, showcasing everyday gurus.

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