By Dr Dimitri Karalis
‘How delightful it will be to converse intimately with someone of the same mind, sharing together the pleasure of uninhibited conversation on the amusing and boring things of this world; but such a friend is hard to find. If we must take care that, our opinions do not differ in the least from those we are conversing with, we might just as well be alone”. It will be more pleasant sit alone in a reclining chair and with a book in our hands to read the thoughts of a distant friend silently without arguments and quarrels. Great thinkers love to be alone; they are willing to give their hands into society but they prefer to keep their thoughts private’.
To listen often into senseless arguments and unripe views of the intolerant crowd, are not only unpleasant and unbeneficial, but intellectually harmful too. Men differ from other men insofar as they keep, or not keep their eyes on the goal for truth; or as they set, or not set, their hearts on reaching it. Most toddlers on their way amuse themselves with hedonistic pleasures that soon turn to pain. The spiritual mountaineer should be free and caring a light load as possible, if he wants to reach the summit faster without obstacles.
There was a Chinese mystic once named Hsu Yu, who lived alone on the mountain without owning anything, not even a pair of sandals. A passing hunter saw him one-day drinking water from the hillside creek, scooping it with his two bare hands. He felt a compassion for the ascetic loner and gave him his calabash to drink the water little easier. Hsu Yu accepted with gratitude the gift and hung it on the branch of an oak tree, but the strong mountain air was rattling the calabash with a disturbing sound. What a noisy thing is this calabash! Said Hsu Yu, and he threw it away into the river. Ah! How clean and pure it was his heart with such material detachment! Even the cynic philosopher Diogenes, will envy him from his barrel dwelling castle.
‘We are all vessels for truth; but we cannot contain any more of it, than we make room for in our souls. We cannot fill a jar with wine that we have filled already with vinegar. Likewise, the heart stocked with earthly passions, unless emptied first cannot stock itself with heavenly desires. In other words, we reflect the truth clearly or tarnished accordingly, as the mirror of our soul is clear or tarnished.’
The American philosopher R. M. Emerson mentioned that he knew once two men in the United States Senate, who were both men of distinction and took an active part in politics. They had also a keen interest in intellectual and other spiritual issues (rare phenomenon of course). They spent lot of time together conversing about philosophy and the destiny of their souls after death. One of them took retirement earlier and left the senate for his faraway hometown. As the distance was long that separated them, they never saw each other for 15 years until one evening in a crowded reception at the president’s house in Washington.
At last, they met again and shook hands long and cordially. Any light Albert?’’ none said Albert. Any light Lewis, ‘None replied he. They looked in each other’s eyes sad and silently, gave one more handshake and parted for the last time. Now, said Emerson, although they were men of a good minds, they were also both strong materialist in their daily aims and way of life. I would like to add said he that the practical faculties develop much faster than the spiritual ones. That is the reason that most people prefer the materialistic road and ignoring the true meaning of life, which is the intellectual and spiritual development. Unfortunately, we cannot shake hands with God and devil at the same time, as we have to choose one or the other.
The father of the Greek writer Kazantzakis complained to his wife one day, that their beloved son was a stargazer and dreamer. Instead of opening, a law firm after his law school gradation and become politician later, he dreams about stars and galaxies, he said; Father! Replayed Nikos, I did not come into this world in order to become court dweller and a vain politician. I do not like to liven like a bird in cage that you call office; but I want to know where I belong into universe and what the destiny is of my soul from here afterwards.
Meditating upon Nikos Kazantzakis wise words, I resurface this inspiring incantation of the great Persia poet ‘Jalalu’ddin Rumi’.
Every shape and word you see and hear around has its archetype in the place-less world;
if they perish someday, what does matter since the original is still everlasting?
Whereas the spring-head is undying, its roots and branch gives food and water to the trunk and branches continually;
Since neither can ever cease to exist, why are you lamenting?
Conceive the cosmic Soul as a water fountain and all creation as its rivers.
While the main fountain flows, the rivers will never parish.
Put grief out of your head and keep quaffing this crystal river water before you brother.
Do not think of the water is failing, for this water it will be run without end.
From the moment you came into this world of human being, a ladder was placed before you that you might escape and climb little higher.
First, you were mineral and after plant and then later animating substance, how this can be enigma and secret to you!
Afterwards you become a man with intellect, reason, knowledge, and spiritual perception. Behold the body, which is a portion of the dust pit, look how perfect it has grown today!
When you have travelled the end of the human form, you will doubtless become an angel.
Again, you will be progress from angel-hood into boundless cosmic sea, which we name God.
Leave this ‘Son’; say ever, ‘One’, with all your soul, if your body has been aged, what does it matter, when your soul is forever young?