There are innumerable ways an individual can select to live their life. People, depending on their finances, nutrition, 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. 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 that this is how society has been constructed, shallow thinking proletarians 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 kindling of inquisitiveness is lit it feels like a perennial secret has been whispered; a euphoric wave, equivalent to that of a religious revelation, is not uncommon. Novel luminosity shines light on our perception providing clarity and catalysing questions from a newfound intrigue of 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 and 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 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; it also puts people into a position outside their norm to meet someone who may 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 benefit to individuals it isn’t as easy as turning a light on and off, there is a certain amount of strain to shoulder if one is to become a deep thinker. When everything becomes a philosophical playground it spurs a child-like intrigue of life, however, after a while, a person may not operate to their fullest degree because thinking isn’t practical.
Jung supposed the idea within himself of the duality of souls – one, timeless and everlasting as found in moments of contemplation and with nature; the other, 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 nothing can be without meaning and one finds themselves consistently at odds with their environment and those in it.
With this mindset worldviews ferment in hubris and instead of examining their surroundings to proficiently adjust to conditions, one rebukes from a 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 the newly illuminated curiosity can galvanize overthinking. This state of mind may 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 while 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 its depths.
In the 21st century there is a richness of technology customizing life, 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 main outcomes while 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’s not always easy to be in the sunshine while others linger in shadows, but if one is able to accept their auspicious burden as a right of passage their strain will build a bulbous muscle, an intellect pulsating with lust for life.
Image Source: Shutterstock