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A New Year: Man's Creation

A New Year. What an odd creation. We wake up in the morning, the clock says 5:30 am just like it said 5:30 yesterday. Nothing new there. The sky is dark and slowly moving toward dawn. Nothing new there. The heater gradually removes the chill from the air. Nothing new there.

So what makes it a New Year? And what makes it a year, when life is a series of moments, some long, some short, some memorable, some not?

New Year- our participation in it. Our willingness to draw a line through eternity, to put a before and after mark. To carve a chunk out of the amorphous infinite and say: this chunk is a New Year.

A New Year. By definition, it creates a future, rather than looks at this moment. It sets a pattern in motion, fills it with expectations, focus, plans, and eternity, which could be anything, becomes limited.

This is the blessing and curse of man’s capacity for reason. A blessing because we can carve a lofty scenario to place on our New Year and thereby benefit ourselves and others. And yet a curse if we hold our plan so tightly we usurp the creative spirit which is the Universe, and try to mold the universe rather than yield to it. This is the eternal dance of the masculine and feminine forces of the psyche at work. The masculine—“let’s make something great”-- the feminine, “let’s respond to what beckons.”

The New Year. Could we ever learn to live without it?

Here’s an exercise: Try spending one day without any reference to a clock. Eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired. Don’t make any prescheduled appointments, and just go where you are led at any moment… to a park, to the movies. Keep note of how it feels. Are you uncomfortable not having a schedule? Or do you enjoy free-floating? Don’t judge your response, just note that this is who you are and what makes you comfortable.

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