There are innumerable ways an individual can select to live their life, people (depending on their access to finances, food and education, as well as cultural norms) can orientate endeavours to what they believe will provide a happy existence. For the majority life doesn’t automatically spark a yearning to investigate deeper than the surface, in the west particularly, citizens strive to attain a stable job to live a life of relative comfort with disposable income and time for to predilections. Unless outside factors are impeding, these individuals have little concern of what’s happening around them separating their existence to that of their neighbours.
Although one cannot completely denounce this way of living we must be aware this is how the establishment has constructed society, the shallow thinking proletarians unknowingly bolstering the system that anchors them down. One may be stuck in this monotonous cage for years until a flicker of profound rumination scorches the mind’s shackles; it may be a novel, song, public figure, artwork, travel, nature, but with the ignition of curiosity comes a guiding flame into insatiable unexplored knowledge.
When the kindling of the inquisitiveness is lit it feels as if a perennial secret has been whispered to the mind, a euphoric wave, equivalent to that of a religious revelation, encompasses the individual. The novel luminosity shines light over the consciousness’ perception of reality providing clarity and catalysing questions from a newfound intrigue in life’s intricacies.
Humans all share the same origin story but our personal pathways are varied, we all have the capacity to engage deeply with life but due to differences in education discrepancies are inevitable. Socio-economical status and religious labels create a chasm between people, the information provided to individuals and their cultural beliefs leave many insistent on concepts they’ve under examined. Those of academic proficiency may foster great intelligence yet if their curiosity is underdeveloped they are ignorant to several fascinating components of life, viewing the human experience with a self-indulgent tinge where their existence is most salient.
As children this inquisitive spark burns bright and life is an enchanting place between reality and imagination, growing older the mist of wonder evaporates with enhancement of self-awareness. For some their knack for contemplation continues throughout their youthful years and the flame still flickers into adulthood, for others the fuse isn’t relit until the right ingredients can reproduce the fire. The reignition of curiosity radiates the world once again, however, there is no singular panacea for everyone to reclaim their awe, it requires a personal encounter with insight.
Many have found their spark in the philosophies of the East with acquaintance to the interrelatedness of the ten thousand things, that of the West have opened the doors of metaphysics to question what life is and how we mortals fit into the cosmic scheme. Travel is another opening to ignition by exposing oneself to the differences and similarities around the world, its also puts people into a position outside their norm to potentially meet someone who will change their worldview. The arts are lucid displays of human emotion conveying so much more than the exhibited surface. With ample techniques of communication individuals can find themselves escorted into a new dimension of expression.
However one manages (if they are open to the change in perception) to rekindle curiosity becomes their personal avenue to advancement, yet, once the flame begins burning it cannot be quelled without a depressing sacrifice of intellect.
The Battles Of The Pensive Mind
Although the reignition of inquisitiveness is of such benefit to individuals it isn’t as easy as turning a light on and off, there is a certain amount of strain one must shoulder to become a deep thinker. When everything becomes a philosophical playground it spurs a child-like intrigue of life, however, after a while the person can’t operate to their fullest degree because their thinking isn’t always practical.
Jung supposed the idea within himself of the duality of souls, one which is timeless and everlasting as found in moments of contemplation and with nature, the other is the social fragment required for functionality in day to day life. If the timeless aspect of oneself is dominant in social settings one is lead down the track of the misanthrope; when everything must have a greater consequence and nothing can be without meaning one finds themselves consistently at odds with their environment and those in it.
In this mindset an individual ferments hubris in their worldview and instead of examining their surroundings to proficiently adjust to the conditions, they rebuke it from their high castle of judgement. People acting in this fashion habitually find themselves isolated and detested by others, even if they are a genius they’ll be known by those closest to them for their gauche demeanour.
Sometimes for others their newly illuminated curiosity galvanizes overthinking, this state of mind can usher in despair and even misery as they have not figured out how to calm their conscious. It isn’t uncommon for these individuals to wish they could revert back into the cave and allow their mind to be filled with nonsense not notions, yet in attempting they are unable to fully remove their contemplative nature and must numb themselves with external stimuli.
In order to reconcile these two portions of the soul a great maxim from a 16th century mastermind speaks volumes, “Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest”. Shakespeare’s words penetrate into what it truly means to be a ruminator, to have an abundance in the internal world whilst not needing to flaunt it in the external. Observing this thought, the pensive mind can take solace in it’s own wealth and use the brewed confidence to apply it aptly in tangible reality; when one’s able to understand and appreciate the souls duality they can switch between the inner and outer world with quiet precision. It is the job of those carrying the intellectual flame to light portions of the path for those willing to transcend into its depths.
In the 21st century we are provided a richness of technology to help make life as we want it, but all the tools engendered hitherto don’t hold a candle to the mother of mechanisms endogenous to all living creatures, consciousness. If the mind stays merely at it’s societal level one misses the nuanced colours of life, seeing the main outcomes whilst missing the combinations of hues required for their composition. Having the torch of curiosity revived reacquaints people with the light, yet, it also shows them how the construction of society leaves the majority in darkness.
As Plato’s allegory shows it is not always an easy task to be in the sunshine whilst those around you are still in the shadows, but if one is able to accept their auspicious burden as a right of passage their stain will create a bulbous muscle, the intellect pulsating with a lust for life.
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