W. H. Auden wrote For the Time Being shortly after the Christmas holidays. His reflections however are very profound and invested with multi layered meanings as dannye brings to our attention. Read here as Auden describes his post holiday mood :
"Well, so that is that- -we've gotten through Christmas once again, perhaps in spite of ourselves..." (but it's over now)
"Once again as in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed to do more than entertain it as an agreeable possibility. So, it's back to the old world we left behind for just a bit on Christmas Eve, and perhaps that makes us weary. And yet the Vision will not entirely go away. We almost wish it would."
Auden ends with:
Here he wonders if as Christians, are we more the offsprings of Herod rather than descendants of the Wise Men. How can we hold on to that sense of joyous and awesome wonder on the holiest of nights and can we for very long hold onto the naive dream that fades so quickly as we return to old routines
Is it then that our world is Herod's world with wonder sapped away and replaced by a system of all or nothing thinking. Religion he portends will become patterned and segregated from the ilks of mystery, wonder and imagination because in the end of it all we are practical creatures wanting efficiency, a sense of order we have "technologicalized" and "mechanicalized "and "scientificized" what is most desired in the world --that something more that eludes our inner child like wonder. We are no longer surprised at discoveries someone, we think to ourselves rather smugly, and very soon we assure those around us...... will have it all oragnised, explained and neatly tucked away. Our lives are what our thoughts make of it.
From ancient times Socrates told us, Wisdom begins with wonder.
Plain and simple....as contemporary Herods we may be very smart, but are we wise.