Happiness and lethargy are merely flip sides of the same coin. People who go “whoopee” when things are going well and “woe is me” when things are going badly are slaves in a jungle of illusion. There is only the cosmic hum and continuity of it all.
That is why people who spray champagne on their friends and scream “we’re number one!” when their football or soccer or baseball or basketball teams wins are cosmic midgets. And why this front-page story that appeared in the Times this afternoon will only excite or encourage children.
It reads, “After days of flirting with its all-time peak, the Dow Jones industrial average finally set a new record this afternoon. The Dow gained 56.99 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 11,727.34. The index√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s previous closing high of 11,722.98 was set on Jan. 14, 2000.
“The latest record came as oil prices fell about 3 percent and dropped below $60 a barrel for the first time since March. Energy prices have been falling in the last month because fears of hurricanes, troubles in the Middle East and tight supplies have eased markedly since the end of summer.
“Earlier today, the Dow topped another record reached on Jan. 14, 2000, as it traded at an all-time intraday high of 11,758.87. The stock market rally that led to the 2000 peak had been fueled by growth in technology and a belief that the internet would transform businesses. The rally over the last few months, however, has had more modest roots: signs that the economy is moderating and inflation is tame.”