Monday, December 12, 2011

Seeking lessons from within one’s interior


Helen Pinto’s response to a post by Smita Shah Shetty’s on Facebook brought to mind thoughts on interiority. It may seem like an extrapolation, but some consideration to my thoughts will be appreciated.

Smita Shetty posted the following:
I asked myself how to handle life. 
My room gave me the perfect answer.
Roof said: Aim high.
Fan: Be cool.
Clock: Value time.
Calendar: Be up to date.
Wallet: Save now for future.
Mirror: Observe yourself.
Wall: Share other's load.
Window: Expand the vision.
Floor: Always be down to earth..
Have A Good Day.....

The directness and sincerity of Helen Pinto’s response to Smita Shah Shetty: Amazing is it not - lessons can be learnt so close to home, only if we care to…, struck me as a quality utterly lacking in many of us today. This ability in a response to greet, touch, to celebrate the other at the same time, from wherever we may be—by giving words consideration, seeing the meaning in them is a waning quality. 

Over the years I have seen too many of my compatriots as being less in personhood and more individualistic; where anything uttered from the opposite mouth does not matter and is regarded as inconsequential. Often we but cannot see that it is the simpler conduits that show us where within wholeness we belong. Reason gives meaning to reality, and the power to understand it, alongside the experiences we encounter and attempt to process. 

Only someone who is silent is listening. And only the invisible is transparent. To be sure, a deeper silence than mere abstention from speech and utterance is required. There is also interior speech which must also become mute, so things might find their proper utterance (Pieper, 1991).

Within a more secular frame of seeing: The ability to make analogies is in a way a gift; which of course can be learnt. However, applying any understanding, and maintaining the focus and fortitude to do so—nay, the resolve, is a whole other struggle. It is as though one has little choice but to shape a personal pedagogy (since we tend to slip and we do often slip); one that addresses the need to ceaselessly look within or glean meaning from within. That awareness changes how we see the outside, learn from the surrounds, and mesh ourselves with those thoughts and energies. 
Pieper, Josef. 1991. A Brief Reader on the Virtues of the Human Heart. San Francisco: Ignatius.
images: In the Distance of Affection; calligraphy: Seikou Kaneko

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