Witness pure joy. And feel it yourself—I did when I watched this panda reveling in last weekend’s record snow in Washington DC. No doubt— the bells are ringing for Tian Tian! And for me as I watched his joy. I’ve seen animals play, but I’ve never seen pure instinctual joy like this.
And it makes me wonder. Is joy instinctual? So much of human consciousness has only recently emerged from our vast primordial unconscious past—and that past still walks with us below our awareness. We get intimations of it in dreams, art, myths, religious symbols, and behavior we don’t understand.
Hunger, fear, the urge to create and procreate, protect—all are instinctual. I love the idea that what we consider “higher” human emotions are instinctual as well.
I wish I could feel such pure joy. Part of it has to do with the animal ability to transcend time. No past. No future. Just snow sliding under me, flying around me in the vast white wonder of now.
7:30 BELLS Posts run every Tuesday.
7:30 BELLS Guest Posts run on the second Tuesday of every month. Join me on February 9 for a guest post with children's book author Clare Hodgeson Meeker.