I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people then to be happy and to do good while they live.
That each of them may eat and drink and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is the gift of God.
Mathew Fox writes in The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, “I have come to think of alcohol as ‘liquid and cosmology’ because I find that cultures that were once thriving and in tune with the cosmos, when conquered by an acosmic culture, succumb readily to alcohol. One thinks of the native peoples of America as well as those of Ireland as examples of this suffering.”
He gives the example of a story told of European Christian missionaries who first arrived in East Africa:
In the year 1846 to German missionaries, Krapf and Rebmann, opened their first church about 20 kilometers from the Mombasa among the Warabai people. They had learned the local language and offered in the first Christian liturgy. (they were Lutherans). The people were not impressed and said they would not return next Sunday. There should have been rice and plenty to eat and drink. There should have been drumming, dancing, and singing. Krapf and Rebmann told the people that they were speaking like that because they were sinners. The people asked what it meant to be a sinner. When Kratz explained the notion, the Warabai asked him who had been slandering them. When Rebmann explained that God had sent his only son to show them his love, they said that they did not need that son to know that God love them. They knew that love because God had given them their lives; God had given them their children, and the sun and the moon, the rain and the harvest, their children and their beer.
Notice that the native peoples knew the first article of faith – that of a creator God. They possess a via positiva: they knew that God loved them because of the blessings they experienced in life, which they attributed to God.
Hildegard teaches that Adam‘s sin was a failure in errors – he did not enjoy deeply enough the delights of earth. Her exegesis of the fall in the garden of Eden is related to the fact that both Hebrew (hokmah) and Latin (sapere, sapientia) the word for wisdom means “to taste.” “Taste and see that the Lord is good,” says the Psalmist (34:8) Humans need to drink in and taste the pleasures of existence less they be driven to limitless greed and insatiable consumption. (From The Coming of the Cosmic Christ by Mathew Fox)
Michael Bernard Beckwith writes in Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential that evolved people know that genuine happiness cannot be bought or sold. It cannot be forced upon us, nor can we force it upon others. Happiness is our true nature. We begin to exude happiness when we reach within its source through the practice of meditation. In meditation, we drink copiously from the well of joy and cultivate a “yes“ point of you. Then, when challenges arise, we meet them with confidence in our ability to respond skillfully, maintaining an inner happiness that cannot be hijacked by drama.