“Wisest is she who knows that she does not know.” Socrates
Every person should live in this beautiful world being liberal in his or her thinking and attitude and there lies the actual beauty. All around the world frequent war, conflict, murder and many other evils are seen which have made the peace-loving people so much tired and they have now become common phenomena. Aren’t they all taking place as there is a serious lack of proper practice of liberalism and lack of compassion, harmony and brotherhood?
“There was a door to which I found no key; there was the veil through which I might not see.” (Omar Khayyam)- When the mind is free from the veils of dogmatism which is a great obstacle in the way to be wise, it is then possible to promote compassion in the community where we live. The more pessimistic a person is in his thinking and attitude, the more dogmatic he will be as the days are passing away. Remaining above all kinds of orthodoxy emphasis must be put on what makes a man purely liberal in true sense and it is only possible when a person will learn how to think like a philosopher opening his mind and heart to let them allow to breathe the scented wind of knowledge. The more a person will learn to liberate his mind the more windows of knowledge and wisdom will be opened to him.
Wise in true sense is not he who claims that he knows everything rather real humbleness lies in acknowledging that he does not know anything and whatever his age is he is always a learner. When a person starts to claim that only he has the true knowledge and he is right and everyone else is wrong it clearly signifies his orthodoxy and illiteracy and neither he is humble and compassionate nor wise. Rather only through liberating the mind more scopes to acquire the true knowledge will appear before the eyes.
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop” (Rumi) – The more a person will concentrate on opening his mind so that the gentle breeze of knowledge can enter into his heart the more it will transform him into an ocean from which other people will also get a scope to have a sip and to be enlightened through giving company to him. When a person blossomed with knowledge walks through the path of a society everyone finds him as the torch-bearer to remove the darkness of ignorance and sometimes like to meet him with a view to having some solutions of the problems they are facing in their personal life.
Knowledge and wisdom are highly interconnected to each other and without the presence of one, another becomes totally incomplete. Many people will be seen in the society who might have a number of academic degrees from renowned universities but when they slap a taxi driver as he has only claimed ten taka more than the actual hire do his such degrees carry any value then or does his such act make any reflection that he is a man with higher status or in simple language will anybody like him then? When wisdom and insight is omitted from knowledge it loses its intrinsic value and it makes a man just like a “bottomless basket”. Therefore, the combination of both knowledge and wisdom certainly turns into something very strong and when such power emerges in any person it makes him highly confident, it transforms him into a bright light to remove darkness and thus makes him a path shower to all.
Without removing all barriers and curtains of dogmatism from the mind achieving enlightenment in true sense is quite impossible. Plato’s famous concept “The Cave” becomes relevant in this regard. He said, “Imagine a cave. Prisoners are chained facing its far wall. They have been kept there all their lives and their heads are held fixed so that they can’t see anything except the wall of the cave. Behind them there is a fire and between the fire and their backs a road. Along the road various people walk casting their shadows on the cave wall; some of them carry models of animals which also cast shadows. The prisoners inside the cave only ever see shadows. They believe the shadows are the real things because they don’t know any better. But in fact they never see real people. Then one day one of the prisoners is released and allowed to look towards the fire. At first he is completely dazzled by the flames, but gradually he starts to discern the world around him. Then he is taken out of the cave into the full light of the sun, which again dazzles him. He slowly begins to realize the poverty of his former life: he had always been satisfied with the world of shadows when behind him lay the brightly lit real world in all its richness. Now as his eyes acclimatize to the daylight he sees what his fellow prisoners have missed and feels sorry for them. Eventually he becomes so used to the light that he can even look directly at the sun.”
In order for an illiterate prisoner’s getting freedom from the cave of ignorance it is essential for him to be enlightened at first and at the same time emphasis must be put on acquiring knowledge. Moreover, in order to get release from the enslavement of any tyrannical power having a curious mind always is a must otherwise all doors to be ignited will be closed. A person with an ignited mind himself arises as a superpower against all sorts of exploitation and injustice and because of this fear Socrates was executed showing the reason that he has “corrupted young minds”. What an irony!
“Knowledge is power.” (Francis Bacon)- When a person will be successful to liberate his mind from the garbage of orthodoxy, dogmatism, egoism and hostility it will create a tunnel connected to his heart through which light of knowledge will enter, make it eligible to receive wisdom and more strong and it will enable him to regulate his life in a more organized manner as the torch is in his hand now to find the right path and guidance. Thus through a gradual process when knowledge converts a person into a patient learner it ultimately makes him very powerful and this power is not that one which many people acquire to lead the world into the path of destruction rather it is that power which beside making a man enlightened leads others to the path of beauty, peace, tranquility and justice.
To different people the definition of happiness is also different. Some people find happiness in leading a materialistic life, some in giving company of women and some in getting drug-addicted. But the actual happiness which perfectly adjusts with the law of nature lies in maintaining a disciplined lifestyle. In a speech delivered at Simon Fraser University, prominent philosopher and thinker Tariq Ramadan said, “Several days ago I paid a visit to the residence of the Dalai Lama. I have found his lifestyle highly disciplined. He goes to bed earlier and wakes up at 4 am and he does it on regular basis. When I asked him the reason behind it he said that the more disciplined and organized you are in your lifestyle the more liberal you are.” Therefore, being liberal does not mean that there will be no restriction in personal life rather real beauty and true liberalism lies in that particular pattern of life which is maintained upholding values and ethics and in accordance with a proper plan and enlightening guideline.
The writer is studying Law at Eastern University.