Thought of the day

by shalinijena

Better to know a few things which are good and necessary than many things which are useless and mediocre.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson belonged to the school of transcendentalism which believed in independence of the self, from all that is bounded or indoctrinated.

I was having a hard time today, channelling my negativity to its origin. And this came as a much needed wisdom for the day. An unknown frustration kept engulfing my sanest thoughts and everything seemed very dark, perhaps even meaningless. I don’t want to be ashamed of admitting how I have been obsessing over the meaning of life for a while now. Most times I would even blame people, situations, ‘the cage I have made for myself’ – for these sporadic bouts of restlessness.

In times like these, I surrender to the know-alls of this universe and feed on their thoughts by reading about their lives- in a hope to somewhere connect with mine. Over the time, it has taken a lot of conscious effort to not delve into them more than I am capable of. That includes films for me, where I end up living the character and his/her decisions if they even remotely reflect on my experiences of life. That thought too deserves this beautiful quote by Arthur Schopenhauer (who spoke about “the will to do something” as not being under the conscious control of man):

A constant flow of thoughts expressed by other people can stop and deaden your own thought and your own initiative…. That is why constant learning softens your brain…. Stopping the creation of your own thoughts to give room for the thoughts from other books reminds me of Shakespeare’s remark about his contemporaries who sold their land in order to see other countries.

Schopenhauer used to say that The world is my representation where “Man can indeed do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wants”. I find it very interesting, because our thoughts are channelled by any void in time and space. That void could feel full or empty, brimmed or scarce. And our mind’s energy start to channel from these thoughts of a particular moment, which soon reflect on our actions.

So, maybe it is not our thoughts that we can completely control. But rather, the knowledge that made them. Hence, the (full) quote of the day. I repeat:

Better to know a few things which are good and necessary than many things which are useless and mediocre.

What a great treasure can be hidden in a small, selected library! A company of the wisest and the most deserving people from all the civilized countries of the world, for thousands of years, can make the results of their studies and their wisdom available to us. The thought which they might not even reveal to their best friends is written here in clear words for us, people from another century. Yes, we should be grateful for the best books, for the best spiritual achievements in our lives.

I sure feel grateful.