Sunday, December 26, 2010

Waiting For The Light

Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.

Emily Dickinson
"I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance." said Socrates. That realization made him a wise man. I enjoy reading the philosophers of the past and present, and what do I find? I find men and women who are searching, yes. They are searching for truth, for virtue and righteousness. But I also find another amazing trait. I find them waiting.
Some of those philosophers are scientists, some are historians or teachers, some are priests, imams and rabbis or other religious figures, some are artists, some are sailors, farmers, fishermen. But they all poke their mental fingers into every aspect of human life and probe into all the issues of human existence, from the most mundane to the most universal, trying to determine what we are, what our destiny is and what is the best life to have. They pose questions and ponder answers.

But the very best thinkers have become aware that there is a greater truth to come, a wisdom that is beyond wisdom, a place beyond the realm of simple, sane reason into a cosmic metaphysic. Enlightenment.

What makes these thinkers different from the rest of us is that they know it is there and we don't. They know that all the accumulated knowledge in the world is still ignorance when it comes to the great dawn of understanding. They also know that it is not something that can be pursued. One cannot throw a rope around it, jump off a horse and tie it up. Martin Heidegger said that when we go thinking after the most important thing to think about it retreats from us.

But to know the great truth is there and that it will come on its own terms in its own natural way if one remains prepared for it humbles the thinker into a blessed state of expectation and patience. And because no one knows when and where it will come, the philosopher is required to be perpetually alert to the rhythm of new ideas and new wisdom. The thinker's waiting is not passive. He is a watchman, a guard, a careful observer of whatever he does and what is happening around him. Bias, prejudice, assumption, foregone conclusion are not his tools. He may not have found the way but he knows the way is there and is not what we think it is.

DB - The Vagabond
Weekend Contest

Here we are a few days into Winter and I still don't have a Winter Question. I have some ideas but I open the meeting to anyone who would like to propose a good question to intrigue and inspire the readers to come forth with interesting answers.

1 response so far.

Thank you.



1 comment:

pacifica62 said...

I like ths entry, db, and most especially the last paragraph. So true that there are people who wait with expectation and patience. Never any question in their mind that this "englightenment" is coming. They do scan the horizon as watchpersons carefully observing what is going on around them. This is exactly what these 'philosopers' are like. Well said db.