Often, we would chance upon verses from essays and articles and speeches that are non-conventional. I’ve read a lot of such articles, filled with great quotes; the soul often hears an admonition in such verses. Many a time, people would memorize and hold on to these verses to serve as reminders of their lack of self-trust or something to propel them forward due to their infirmity of the will.
We would look upon these quotes of wisdom or virtue or poetry and sometimes we would remember them for they hold, for us, in it’s truest sense, the eloquence of expression of what we think and feel all the time. At times, we would think about them, of how we’ve managed to simplify the complexity of emotional expression and think of how our lives have been ameliorated.
But the flaw is to think that we’ve made progress at all, because understanding does not determine growth; it simply creates room for growth. And what can be more fatal than to be on the right track but stay idle?
For a while now, the statement ‘envy is ignorance, imitation is suicide’ has provided me with clear distinctions of situations where there is envy, judgement and comparison. And I would feel empowered by the mental gratification of overcoming such moments with a bit of wit and wisdom that I believed I gained from reading. Oh, all the books I’ve read and the wisdom I’ve gained. But I guess such ignorance is expected. We satisfy our desire for parental advice through many ways, and I satisfied mine from reading.
The danger is thinking that this is enough – that quotes and experiences and stories and words of wisdom, of virtue, that poetry and religion is enough – because it is not. And it is also more lethal to think that you know it is insufficient and think that you’re doing something about it. Because the moment you think you’ve figured something, you begin to decay.
Silence, or the lack of opinion is not a sign of mental stagnation. It is not the lack of will to think or to do, or is it the lack of intellect to be able to participate. It is one thing to not voice your opinion and it is another to have no opinion. To have no opinion, is to understand that expressions are ignorant – that there is no fact, and no truth. To think what you say is true to you is true for all men is the beginning of ignorance.
I thought that I was getting somewhere by being able to understand how ignorant I was when I envy people, that I could decide to do the same but then I realize that there are many other moments where ignorance got the better of my judgement and actions. And I realize, moments ago, that no cursed quote can you make you wiser or more intelligent.
Because for as long as we live after quotes and verses of great men and choose not to attempt to express our opinions in the best possible way for ourselves, we continue to live in the shadow of other men even though we may share the same virtue. And I think one of the root reasons we are not able to do so is because we fail to see that we are still as attached to intellectual comparison, and that truth for us is truth for all. We seek to benefit society that we look at ourselves as society. But we are not.
We tend to seek the fruit of men, to think of what they did or said, and there are some that try to study the mind of the masters. And those that seek to study the mind often get captivated and begin to worship it. We seek mastery and precision and profession that we forget what it’s like to think without studying that our ways about the world now is to study first, and think later. Successful men are but mere men and every men is an inlet to the same and all the same.