Γράμμα 5

From the book "Letters to a young friend"

It began to rain yesterday afternoon and how it poured last night. I have never heard anything like it. It was as if the heavens opened. There was extraordinary silence with it, the silence of weight, a great weight pouring itself on the earth.

It is always difficult to keep simple and clear. The world worships success, the bigger the better; the greater the audience the greater the speaker; the colossal super buildings, cars, aeroplanes and people. Simplicity is lost. The successful people are not the ones who are building a new world. To be a real revolutionary requires a complete change of heart and mind, and how few want to free themselves. One cuts the surface roots; but to cut the deep feeding roots of mediocrity, success, needs something more than words, methods, compulsions. There seem to be few, but they are the real builders-the rest labor in vain.

One is everlastingly comparing oneself with another, with what one is, with what one should be, with someone who is more fortunate. This comparison really kills. Comparison is degrading, it perverts one’s outlook. And on comparison one is brought up. All our education is based on it and so is our culture. So there is everlasting struggle to be something other than what one is. The understanding of what one is uncovers creativeness, but comparison breeds competitiveness, ruthlessness, ambition, which we thing brings about progress. Progress has only led so far to more ruthless wars and misery than the world has ever known. To bring up children without comparison is true education.

It seems strange to be writing, what seems so unnecessary. The thing that matters is here and you are there. The real things are always alike, so unnecessary to write about or talk about; and in the very act of writing or talking something happens to pervert it, spoil it. There are so many things that are said apart from the real thing. This urge to fulfill, which burns so many people, in small ways and big ways. This urge can be satisfied in some way or the other, and with satisfaction the deeper things fade away. That is what happens in most cases, does it not? Fulfillment of desire is such a small affair, however pleasant; but with its fulfillment, as it keeps on satisfying itself, routine, boredom sets in and the real thing fades away. It is the real thing that has to remain and the wonder of it is, it does-if there is no thought of fulfillment but just seeing things as they are.

We are so very seldom alone; always with people, with thoughts that crowd in, hopes that have not been fulfilled, or are going to be-recollections. To be alone is essential for man to be uninfluenced, for something uncontaminated to take place. For this aloneness there seems to be no time, there are too many things to do, too many responsibilities and so on. To learn to be quiet, is to have that flame.

Things may not be easy but the more one asks of life, the more fearful and painful it becomes. To live simply, uninfluenced, though everything and everyone is trying to influence, to be without varying moods and demands is not easy, but without a deep quiet life, all things are futile.

“ Why do you want to read others' books when there is the book of yourself? „
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