Do not oppose the essential soul when it reveals itself. That self-revelation is constant. Even when the thickest clouds mask the soul’s brilliant light, it shines with all its power. It carries the world and every human being to the goal of his fulfillment—a goal that transcends all definitions.
The soul speaks without speaking. It acts without acting. With it alone do we ascend those steps to which we are impelled by the impulse of that which is truly life, in its most profound mysteries. “Then shall you rejoice in G-d.”
This is the secret of thirst and the mystery of its quenching.
— R’ Avraham Yitzchok Kook, Oros Hakodesh I, 173
A good friend of mine shared this with me just a little while ago, and it’s given me a great deal to think about since he went it. Now that I’m done with most of my projects and am in this annoying time of recuperation, I’m trying to make more time for writing and personal reflection, something I haven’t had much opportunity for lately with my busy regimen.
The above quote reflects something that’s been in my conversations lately, especially with my boyfriend—why we feel the need to quench who we are at our very core in favour of who we want to be or who we are expected to be. I think it illustrates a fundamental misconception of what it really means to be human; a failure to see ourselves as magnificently designed beings who are capable of incredible as well as dreadful things, as well as the capacity to change. We are not slaves to our instincts.
My apologies—I had a marvellously written few paragraphs a little while ago, and the fucking internet crashed on me just as I updated the fucking post, so I’m a little irked at the moment.
That, and I can’t type today.
So why do we settle for less than what we are capable of; for not meeting our full creative potential?
Fear? Very well, fear of what? Of venturing into uncharted territory? Of failure? Of disappointment? Disappointing others?
I think a lot of the time we also listen to the voices of those who settled for the comfortable job; for the convenient marriage or relationship because it’s safer than being alone; for staying in the small town because it’s all they’ve known. They say things like, “It’s just a restless phase” or “You’ll feel better as soon as you find a good job [or woman] and settle down.”
It’s highly doubtful that there are any statistics on how many people throughout history have settled for mediocrity because it was expedient; sons abandoning their ambitions for their fathers businesses; daughters dying silent deaths in fixed marriages that sealed deals or kept peace, birthing and raising children fathered by men they didn’t love; men and women who buried unvoiced desires and needs, and all because it was expected of them by society, by their family, or by their religion.
We are so much more than stone, sticks and bones, to quote Switchfoot. We start off so optimistically as children, ready to take on the world and not giving a shit what anyone else thinks about who we are. It’s when we become older and self-actualised that all that changes and we start worrying about being cool, or attractive, or smart, or funny, or likable. We compare ourselves to others in our local enclave and disfigure ourselves to “be like folks,” regardless of whether there is any defecit; like in the classic Twilight Zone episode “Eye of the Beholder,” where Miss Janet Taylor is afflicted with what we would consider beauty in a world where everyone is ugly—yet all she wants is to be hideous like the rest of her society.
These are just musings. No answers here.
Just thinking out loud.