“If you want to rise, you have to start nimbly and bravely.
You must be able to cut with an axe and destroy the roots of weariness, irregular and hidden tendency that pervaded your soul!”
Eliyo of Anbar (10th Century A.D.)
Every generation thinks that their lives began in difficult times, that they have more difficulties than the previous one. They assume that they swim against the current in the rough sea. And they express it.
However, the main issue in life is to be in the flow of life, to be on the move by serving. To comprehend the benefits of stabilizing. To feel and make others to feel joyful about contributing to the continuity of life by considering conditions of path/paths. To increase the required inherent equipment by being conscious of this awareness.
Conditions/motives of the inner journey are closely related to being on the move. They are related even to that degree that they affect areas/dimensions of the outer journey. Therefore, as the inner paths are cleared, extended, as the inner gaps/pits are filled, as the inner coldness is warmed, the outer journey becomes easier.
Despite the impact and challenges of all distorted motives that make life difficult, the main goal should be to make life easier, to improve and to enrich it!
Aside from tides/conditions that make life difficult, even if there is no problem, living and being in the flow of life is a responsibility all by itself. When ambitions, desires, anticipations, comparisons, dreams, incorrigible requests are added to this, the life necessarily becomes difficult. And it turns into an egg basket carried on the back. Therefore, sometimes the inner world of a man becomes a prison. But when place (space) is changed there will be (as the water in aquarium changes) a relief, a relaxation. If this relief (relaxation) is accompanied by sincere awareness, the interior development will be triggered. Because the shaking off and mobilization caused by the change of place (space) is important in terms of revitalizing the brain. So, sometimes a sudden strike, an uncomfortable situation will cause a bound and speeding up. In this way, something that isn’t achievable under easy circumstances will be achieved better when the circumstances become harder.
I believe it will be useful to remind the situation that 10th –century Syriac Scholar Eliyo of Anbar describes as “irregular and hidden tendency”.
He says, “If you want to rise, you have to start nimbly and bravely. You must be able to cut with an axe and destroy the roots of weariness, irregular and hidden tendency that pervaded your soul!”
From my point of view, this determination is an expression of a deep analysis that needs to be taken in consideration. If this determination is not respected, the harassments and chastening of life will inevitably come into play. Therefore, in order to ensure the comfort/peace of the outer journey, first of all it needs to be started from the “irregular and hidden tendencies”. Unfortunately it is not easy to reach the humanistic maturity unless the effect of irregular and hidden tendencies that triggers instability are broken or even destroyed.
The positive response-criticism of an intimate intention that does not wear any negative masks is like a food with high nutritional value. It both converts and rasps irregular and hidden tendencies. And this is essential and of vital importance for spiritual awakening and development. Just, the spoken words shall pay regard to the world of value and importance. Just, the words shall be spoken in a heartfelt manner.
Yes, in order to turn to the fountainhead, to the pure one, the person needs to force his hand or forced by someone who loves him. Warnings and road signs are very important in the process of defeating evil in order to multiply the favor. Because, what man does, he does it to himself. Whatever he lives, he lives it himself. Here it shouldn’t be forgotten that the mind has a role of legislation and the heart has a role of executor.
In this context, a contemporary social philosopher Australian Victor Frankl (1905-1997) writes: “There is a gap between impulse and reaction. We are free and have power to choose our reaction in this gap. And in our reaction there is our development and freedom.”
Although it is weary, it is certain that impulses and reactions that came out from the depth of an understanding love will function against the harassments and chastening of life.
In this context, St. Ephrem of Nisibis (303-373), states the following idea: “Elo koyo saybutho, lo mezdaghro talyutho.” The meaning is, “If the decrepitude is not reprehended, the childhood will be unrestrained.”
According to the thought of St. Ephrem, “saybutho=decrepitude” is a an approach that questions, it is a mind, a hope, a decency, an experience, a rule, a knowledge, a wisdom, an awareness and discernment, a prudence and discretion, an inspiration that nourishes the soul and the roots of meaning, it is a responsibility, a discipline, a self-control, a maturity.
If we generate an idea inspiring from the logic that says, “Wisdom doesn’t come with age”, then “saybutho=decrepitude” is a bright side of the inner dichotomy, it is a fatherliness and life experience.
“Talyutho=childhood” is an unquestioning purity, an ineptitude, an inexperience, an abuse of a goodwill, it is a curiosity, a little mind, a complex, an irresponsibility, a frailty, a sensitiveness, an offence, a self-despair, a giving up, a taedium, a weariness, not settling down, an emptiness.
Regardless of being an adult, there is an inner dichotomy in every young-old person, that is the bright and the dark side. Here “talyutho=childhood” should be perceived as an instability and the dark side of that dichotomy.
Therefore, in the flow of life conforming to people who came out from the “saybutho=decrepitude”, that is from the bright side of dichotomy will be a contribution to the positive change and spiritual development.
There are two kinds of change: changing by thinking and changing by dragging. Changing by thinking develops, it makes possible to achieve the goal. But changing by dragging wearies. If balance will be disrupted, it will cause a corruption.
The inner child needs to be well taken care of and raised in order not to experience traumas and drifts. Valuing the power sources in the spiritual world should be the main principle. As long as a man in the path of truth and life holds onto his spiritual power bases, realizes the inner child, nourishes and raises him, he will obtain knowledge, fill his spiritual emptiness, get rid of his addictions, corroborate his self-directed areas, find a real peace and real freedom.
It is a positive sign that in youth of today there is almost no sense of worthlessness; that their self-worthiness is at higher degrees. If this self-worthiness feeds and surrounds self-respect and self-love, the fruitfulness/productivity of youth will grow, the responsibility coefficient will increase. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that if there is no improvement and elimination of deficiencies at discipline and self-control areas, then those troublous areas will cause restraints and dysfunction. And this will prompt the hidden laziness over time. So it is very important to improve and enhance the awareness on this subject.
Because, youth period is the process of assimilation and absorption. Decisions made in this brewing process where developmental tension is experienced, carry sparking attributes. They either burn or heat. May be I am wrong, but in my opinion, today’s youth need to understand and be understood. As they strain they will grow and progress. Over time, they will realize that road conditions have been changed and thus conditions of journey must be changed. However, if the moral-spiritual world is not strong enough, shifts in the semantic world will be inevitable. And it is evident that this is a danger that will shake the future.
Therefore, it must be known well that as the inner world grows, the intellectual capacity expands there will be a relief proportionally. Until that relief comes out, patience, that is the greatest spiritual weapon must be activated. As the new knowledge, new values are absorbed the resistance against extinction will get involved by itself.
In addition to hormonal changes, the youth is confronted with new knowledge that entered a semantic world, with new encounters, new contacts, new socio-cultural innovations and different types of perception. They feel and see the mistakes of elders, political attitudes, administrative distortion, environmental imbalance. While youth living all these, environmental factors, philosophical, social, academic, legal, political, etc. concepts become vital in their semantic world and cause positive/negative reflections in their personality.
It should be known that enlightenment and change are painful at every stage of life. The body must be prepared and strong. Multitude of truth and the good will in the focused areas will affect the personality, expectations and results. Change/action without a justification is like a tree without roots; it remains as a log despite the effort.
We must know that in the last instance in order not to writhe in the pain of disappointments, we will get a response not to the extent of our efforts, but rather to the extent of our sincere intent and justifications. As it is said, “An action without intent is worthless, an insincere intent is soulless”. Therefore, the primary purpose should be to corroborate the justifications and meanings about life. The greatest justification of life is love and being helpful and contributive person. In this context, the focus must be not on the distortions, but on the goal/goals. Inherent equipment and intellectual shelter must be developed. These are necessary in order to be able to serve life with confidence, respect and courage. Otherwise, material and moral self-worthiness will not rise and grow.
I have to say that though the walk of the youth is self-confident most often, their anxieties and fears about life -sometimes- gnaw away at their courage. The effect of this gnawing away both tires out and makes to think. It causes tides between the reactive and the affective personalities. In order to reduce the effect of the reactance that causes loss, the affective personality should be strengthened more. If any kind of reaction is supported by power sources of the inner world, the effect of the trauma will be more easily broken.
It shouldn’t be forgotten, if the youth that laying bricks of the future lose their power, their desire to live and joy of living will collapse. Their confidence will get hurt. And this will prompt an acting cowardly, incredulously, unsociably or a tending to do harmful things.
Accepting a man himself as who he is without being arrogant is vital in terms of perception of worthiness. But here pre-admission of weaknesses, flaws and inadequacies is very important. It must be started by recognizing and adopting deficiencies. The ways of disciplining the ego (the flesh) and the pains needs to be sought. Negative conditionings, accusations and judgements should be avoided; comparisons and competitive feelings need to be paid attention.
A contemporary western writer who shows how to achieve the real life by teaching skills that manifest the ways of self-defeating, writes: “After struggling against my own darkness and destructive tendencies, I have understood well the absolute excellence and unreasonableness of human experiences. The thing that whips a change most intensely is the pain. The pain is a spiritual crowbar that opens a door by forcing it to the new realities. If everything was perfect would we ever examine our deeper personalities? Would we place emphasis on them and deal with them? Would we research into them and make changes in our lives? Most likely, we would continue to live comfortably in the comfort of our familiar worlds day by day. The pain that we inflict on ourselves is an extraordinary spiritual gift. When it is researched and its real purpose understood, the pain of self-defeating will reveal new and unknown areas that could change the course of our lives.”
Above mentioned “irregular and hidden-destructive tendencies” sometimes creates unwillingness, laziness, spiritual weariness, discouragement in the person, but also it puts a person into the atmosphere of strangled feelings. It almost brings to deadlock and undermines. In such cases, the ways of getting rid of this atmosphere must be sought immediately. The deadlock needs to be broken. Self-defeating must be undermined. The key and the energy are hidden in the inner world of a person. They are in the intellectual data that don’t block the meanings.
Among the psychological causes of the aforesaid unwillingness which means “irregular and hidden-destructive tendencies”, fear of mind and pessimism come first.
I don’t know how right it will be. But as far as I understood, this situation resembles the frog in the following example: “They put a frog into a pot filled with boiling water. The frog jumps out of the pot for dear life. Next time, they put a frog into a pot filled with warm water. And heat up the pot lightly. The frog likes the warm water, relaxes and surrenders itself to the water. The water gets hot gradually and the frog continues to relax. But after some time the hot water starts to hurt. Being relaxed well, the frog wants to jump out of the water, but has no strength left. The water starts to boil and the frog starts to be boiled.”
We must know that falling of a person into harmful processes, laziness, evil and unwillingness starts with such slow process. When it is desired, it is not difficult to get rid of the damage of the suddenly striking evil. It is possible to get rid of by the shaking off of slowdown and by spiritual awareness. However, the result will be bad when you are accustomed to the sneaky evil that comes slowly.
Yes, in order to escape from the current unwillingness, from the irregular and hidden tendencies without boiling, words and inspirations/suggestions of loved ones/elders must be considered. Because, the laziness and unwillingness trap is like a marsh; if one can’t get out of it as immediate as possible, he/she will be drowned there.
If one has fallen into this trap, he/she needs to get out of it as immediate as possible before it becomes impossible to get out of it. We need to either force ourselves or be forced by someone who loves us. If these thoughts are valued, the spiritual shaking off process will speed up, the trap will be destroyed and the mind will be healed.
With an equilibrated mental programming, the enthusiasm for life, joy of life and courage to work that are in soul will be revived and become alive. There will be a relief. Because life is like driving a vehicle on roads with full of danger. According to the road conditions, there will be times when we need to stop, speed up or slow down and be in need of air-conditioner, chain, rope, water or engine oil. A healthy person is the person who looks out for the road conditions. The person who can manage the life vehicle in the most appropriate way for the requirements of the road.
A human is continuously in need. And he serves his needs. It is impossible to accomplish, produce, work or develop for the one who forgets or denies his/her needs. The result of being without any goal is idleness.
Saint Ephrem says, “betlono avsro damle husrono/idleness is a storehouse full of losses.” Because the weariest people of the world are idle people without any job. Being disinclined is not good at all. The sweat of one who doesn’t work cools down and he/she becomes disinclined and gets dragged into laziness and effortlessness. Therefore, elaborateness, insistence and effort that will be made to overcome the idleness are so important.
Laboring and working on some areas is a psycho-social need. This fact should always be kept in mind. Not only doing something, earning money or living on, but also holding on to life is called TO WORK. This is a situation concerned with being useful way beyond going to work. Being useful is a nice feeling, it makes a person happy. Those who are good for nothing suffer with a feeling of worthlessness. They become unhappy. In brief, meaning of working is to be on the path of life and to walk this path.
While walking this path, keeping in mind the statement of the famous British philosopher and sociologist, Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) that says: “The goal of education and tendency is not only a knowledge, but also act and action” will be beneficial. Therefore, working, getting tired, producing and being useful is better than being out of practice. “To live and walk this path” without looking to somebody is one of the most beautiful flavors of the world.
The experience of flowing in the path of life insistently, without being unfruitful, without neglecting the moral equipment, favors and the fund that will succor in rainy day, without being turbid, becoming disinclined, being perished should be experienced. The joy of getting to work and working should be experienced. And make possible to others to experience. Because unprofitability is a sign of spiritually getting older. When a person starts to work determinedly and be useful, life will become no burden for him/her. It will turn to a meaningful journey. Success is the natural outcome of sincere endeavor and working. Because every success that comes from labor and the price paid from itself is a motivation and honor. However, as far as the main issue in life is not success and victory, but the journey, a human’s duty here is to plant wheat, to endeavor and to water if possible. Others believe that God himself will bless and make to grow. Because all successes come from Him. “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.” (NIV, 1st Corinthians 3:7-8)
The great poet of India, Rabindranath Tagore, says: “I slept and in my dream I saw that the life was a joy. Then I woke up. And I realized that the life is a Duty. When I started to work, I saw that the Duty can also be a Joy.” I wish to our youth a better days where a skill that can interiorize the above mentioned statement, a responsibility that prioritizes the moral consistency, a productiveness, fruitfulness, diligence, decency, merit, honor, meaning, goal, loyalty, all successes that makes easier to carry an egg basket on the back are experienced. I wish them a lot of awareness.
It must be known that life is like a redoubtable depth-collector. It can take back at stroke all of the things that it gave and would give. Therefore, , the awareness that enables to get rid of undulant obsessions of those unsteady, irregular, hidden and destructive tendencies that open the way to a collector in this world where we don’t have a full ownership, is very important. Awareness is a light between individuality and freedom. Awareness is the mother of an orphan knowledge. Without awareness, it is not possible for the essence to become abundant, for the power of comprehension and the meaning of life to come to existence.
….And therefore it is said, “one who has reached, has reached only by respect and propriety; one who has missed out, has missed out only because he had abandoned the respect and propriety.”
Malfono Yusuf Beğtaş
Syriac Language-Culture and Literature Association
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