The second important aspect in life is to know oneself. We are like icebergs. Only twenty percent of our character and real self is exposed and eighty percent is hidden and unexplored. We fear to open our inner self as we fear to open the bills in the beginning of the month which might eat up the whole of the earnings. A walk into our inner self might sometimes consume all the delight and makeup we put on and made the world around us to believe. Probing and introspecting in to the real self is pricking and hurting and therefore we begin to float on shallow waters of slender delights than attempt to delve deep waters to search for the pearls.
Fr. Johnson Jacob, CM
We love to be like children who dig a hole in the sand at seashore and claim to have made a tunnel to Europe, or made a little bund on sand and claim to have constructed the Great Wall of China, wrote a couple of simple lines of poetry and claim to have composed a classical symphony or an epic, got a medal in the village day and claim to have won an Olympic gold medal, or built a little hut on sand and claim to have made the greatest castle on earth. Deeper experience of intimacy with oneself is difficult and nightmarish and face to face with reality is frightening, and so we are reluctant to undertake it.
Once I had a chance to be part of two singing competitions on the same day. The first one was in a very big college and the competition was on western music with all the sophisticated instruments. Most of the participants were experts in it. Each of the singers came to the stage with the microphone, moved restlessly, immersed oneself into the depth of music and gave the audience a feast to their ears with the soul stirring music. The entire auditorium was lost in the world of music. The frenzied crowd, the attentive judges, the running lights and the flashes of the camera … nothing mattered the performers as every cell of their body and every fiber of their being joined together in perfect blend to sing the song. The second one was a singing competition of primary school kids. They stood in front of the mike staring at their teachers and audience in fright, folding their hands, swallowing their spittle time and again and completed the song learned by heart. Two completely diverse approaches to the same, one a great passion while the other a routine. The passion of the former brought out the best in them while the other did not. Sure, passion for anything you endeavor is primordial to success and happiness.
Our lives are like Michelangelo’s Day and Night statues. Night is personified as a woman sunk in deep sleep, the face shown uneasy and not peaceful. Day is portrayed as a young man who lifts himself in an attitude of wrathful and disturbed awakening, left unfinished. The head and face are merely blocked in the large marble while the limbs partly shaped, leaving much to be completed and shaped, the Day Man almost struggling to free himself from the marble shroud that keeps him veiled. Through this portrayal Michelangelo perhaps wanted to tell the world that human character is much to be completed and shaped. It is eternally in the making like an unfinished statue or an unfinished music.
The most successful person on earth need not be the richest one, need not be the most famous one or the one who has achieved much but rather it is he or she who is able to understand the inner self and live a harmonious life. However, often our search for life and attempt to achievements do not hit the bottom of life but only the bottom of our egos, do not hit the bottom of our soul but only the bottom of our instincts, do not hit the bottom of our minds but the bottom of our emotion. Most of us live in the castles made in the air without knowing the inner self, the purpose of life and the destination to which we march. And this keeps us unhappy although our life. We are a combination of fifty per cent reality and fifty per cent dream, partially shaped and partially in the shaping. Reality is far removed from the promises of life. Love is described beautifully in glowing and endearing terms but when bills keep pouring into the kitchen love quietly flees out of life through the parlor.
Education is complete when these two aspects or rather needs of man are fully met. Thus securing high grades and creating skilled individuals alone cannot create a happy and contented society. The frozen ice has exactly the same content as the water. But unless it melts it hasn’t all the qualities or properties of water. Hence, the pivotal role of education in the cultivation of the heart and mind is significant. De Paul attempts to grow rabbits, equips them to run like rabbits or like a race horse in this highly competitive world, and shapes resourceful persons of passion and self-knowledge.