Sunday, 7 October 2007

Meeting good people (reunion with an old friend)

When I meet good people (a rare event indeed), meaning people who make great effort not to wrong or hurt others, often at their own expense or pleasure; people who communicate openly and do not hide anything even if that will influence others' opinions in a negative way; people who do not exaggerate their claims about their emotions, but prefer to show them with their actions and doing the best they can for the spiritual development of their friends; it makes me feel like crying, it is as if a major catastrophe is looming, like a tornado or a hurricane; there is an incessant turmoil in my heart; I find it hard to believe it and I am moved beyond words, sort of like coming home after being away for a lifetime in a perilous and hostile environment.

For some strange reason, the way Kafka describes the kind of books one should read, is very similar to my feelings about good people:

I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? ...we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.

Also, there are people who make you believe that they are like that, and later you may realize that they are not. They might have (with or without intention) fooled you, but they have also fooled themselves in the process. In fact if one is fooled by someone, s/he is, in Larkin's words "Less Deceived", than when fooling oneself. Fooling oneself shows so much hidden pain.

May these people also be well; may they also be happy.