Dr Dimitri Karalis
There is no difference between a precious stone and a common stone in their building structure, except only in the rearrangement of their particles. The carbon in the charcoal and diamond, for instance, is the same, except for the different arrangement of their molecules, namely the crystallization. Yet… how far apart are they in beauty and value compared to each other. The pearl and the seashell have also identical structural synthesis; yet the pearl is superior in beauty and as cosmetic value. Similar situations we observe also in human beings. Two humans have the same ideas and words to speak and write, yet one produces literature and the other platitude. Why does this happen? What element made them differ so widely?
The secret lies only in the presentation of their thoughts. A finer and more compendious process has gone on in the one case than in the other. The words are fused and knitted closer; in some way heightened and intensified so lyrically like the sounds of Aeolian harp. Philosophising literature, offers joy, enthusiasm, knowledge and creative excitement to a mature reader. Such enviable writing remains an indelible and inexhaustible source of mental inspiration to ever-searching humanity.
Paging through famous literature biographies and essays on virtue like that of ancient writer Plutarch; we feel mentally and spiritually wealthier by reading his celestial treasures. Justly the French thinker ‘Michel Mountain’ called him the ‘physician of the soul’. Real profound literature is not written to project egoistic and vanity, but to love and be loved. A skilful writer never leaves his readers where he finds them initially, but enriches and inspires them to a higher spiritual platform. ”Do not read books that your soul dislikes them,” said Shakespeare,” you wasting your time to receive no benefit.” Books written with a deeper soul, are recognised instantaneously by reading only a few words anywhere amongst the pages. ”There are three types of books like our food,” said Francis Bacon,”1. Those we eat (read) and immediately spit out as unsuitable food (knowledge). 2. Those that we eat (read) pleasantly and fall short to nourish (educate). 3. Those that require slow chewing (reading) to extract their nourishing substances well”.
When we read advanced spiritual works, like that of Neo-platonic writer ‘Synecious’, we discover that he is in love with divine truth as he writes. Every word is loaded with mystery and exquisite celestial music, which brings our soul to ecstasy, like walking in Eleusinian ancient mysteries. We revive the ancient celestial ceremonies again, as if we lived in those practising days too. This is the supreme aim of literature, to extend our vision higher with the majestic truth which they contain. Without the truth, as a captain in a writing ship, no soul will follow our literal journey. Here exactly we find the soulful and un-soulful writings. From here, we collect lexical ambrosia to groom our thoughts and words with celestial glory. Do not publish this letter, said the Greek writer Kazantzakis, to the Athenian editor ‘Prevelakis’, because I did not put soul into it. Many writers have experience in these kinds of moments, when they write egocentrically.
One word to write wrongly, and immediately our souls interrupt the flow. Like the unskilful musician, who plays false a note in an orchestra, and is interrupted instantaneously by the maestro to restore the lyrical harmony. Who writes literature then, our selves or some outside power? Could it be that we become an instrument for the spirit to deliver a message to humanity? Naturally, not all writing is spiritually endorsed; because all depends on the spiritual level of the individual. A hill has a better view over the landscape than a flat valley, but only on the mountain noetic peak is one nearer to indigo sky and to mysterious glimmering stars.
How does one become spiritually aware to write well, is the question? Here is what the philosopher Emerson’ has to say on the subject.
- Gentlemen, I have ventured to offer you these considerations upon the scholar’s place, and hope, because I thought, that standing, as many of you now do, on the threshold of this college, girt and ready to go and assume tasks, public and private, in your country, you would not be sorry to be admonished of those primary duties of the intellect, whereof you will seldom hear from the lips of your new companions. You will hear every day the maxims of low prudence. You will hear that the first duty is to get land and money, place and name. What is this truth you seek? What is this Beauty? Men will ask with derision.
- If, never the less, God has called any of you to explore truth and beauty, be bold, be firm, be true. When you shall say that as others did, so will I. I am sorry for my early visions; I must eat the good of the land and let learning and romantic expectations go until a more convenient season. Then dies the spiritual man in you; then once more perish the buds of arts, prose, poetry and science, as they have died already in a thousand and thousands of men. The hours of that choice, is the crisis of your history; and see that you hold yourself fast by the intellect. Bent to the persuasion which is flowing to you from every object in nature, to be its tongue to the heart of man, and to show the besotted world how passing fair is wisdom.
Be contained with a little light that it is your own. Explore and explore. Be neither chided nor flattered out of your perpetual inquiry. Neither dogmatise nor accept another’s dogmatism. Why should you renounce your right to traverse the star-lit desert of truth, for the premature comforts of an acre, house, and barn? Truth also has its roof, bed, and board. Make yourself necessary to the world, and mankind will give you bread. ”
You will not fear that I am enjoying too stern an asceticism. Ask not, of what use is a scholarship that systematically retreats? Or who is the better for the philosopher who conceals his accomplishment and hides his thoughts from the waiting world. Hide his thoughts! Hide the sun and the moon! Thoughts are all light, and publish themselves freely into the universe. It will speak, though you are dumb by its own miraculous organ. It will flow out of your actions, your manners, and your face. It will bring you friendship and impledge you to truth by the love and expectations of generous minds. By virtue of the laws of nature, which is one and perfect, it shall yield every sincere good that is in the soul, to the scholar beloved of earth and heavens.