Monday, July 12, 2010

Great Person?

I was reflecting the other day that there is really no such thing as a great person. Whoever each person becomes was their within their potential anyhow. That was their mandate, their chance, their place in the scheme of things.

It is no greatness to be who you are -- it is exactness and circumspection. Therefore a person who is truly noble is not one that is rising above or expanding beyond their natural space (and different people have different natural spaces), but the one who restrains themselves exactly to their natural space. This makes them 'disappear' in a sense for they are part of the same fabric that everyone else and everything else is a part of, too. Thus by way of being part of the same, we become invisible to each other. Visibility, then, is akin to the visibility of a wart on a flawless skin -- it garners immediate attention. But it is truly great?

This brings me to the case where we seek greatness by way of extending beyond ourselves. First, we must note, that a thing or a person may be stretched beyond themselves temporarily, as some kind of structural adjustment. This is not desirable and it points to something that is not working somewhere, yet it happens. It is not, sometimes, a deliberate decision. The kind of extension-to-greatness that is to be warned of is.... seeking significance. Being 'great' by being more than oneself, handling more than one can honestly deliver, consuming others' space to be, to work, to exist.

This is, oddly, considered noble. There is nothing noble about it. It may be something that arises out of a deliberate need to be a giant, or out of an inability to make decisions and keep life in perspective, or sheer ignorance of one's scope and limitations. In any case, this is tiresome. It also costs one's relationships, drains one's world, and, even, cost the planet in tangible terms. For instance, such a person would be traveling all over the town doing 3 jobs, one of which they can give up if they so choose.

It is said in Islam, which is the way I subscribe to, that true greatness only belongs to Allah: Allah being All-That-Is. Allah is not just greater or the greatest. Allah is Great.

What does this mean? It means that there is a gestalt of being. That the whole is larger than the sum of its parts, that it has an energy of its own that cannot be accounted for by the sum of parts. It is that which is great, truly more, truly creative, truly the Source. It is the creator of potential.

A human being -- or any other kind of being -- is not. It is only itself: good, bad, ugly, or beautiful -- anything, but not great.



  1. Hi The Prophecy,

    Interesting. Seeking significance is the desire of ego-mind to strengthen itself. It is also the trait of cancer cell too--cancer consumes other cells in order to be great, and thus creates imbalance and destruction to the body as a whole.

    But of course, we need to inquire ourselves; what is great? It is the same as good, bad, ugly, or beautiful. It is a construct of the mind. Not reality.

    In reality, there is only All-that-is.

  2. Hi Rizal:

    Peace be on you!

    The analogy of the cancer call is apt, interesting, insightful. Perhaps this quest for significance/ greater-than-self'ness will be found related to disease as it resembles the patterns of a disease. And so, we may find the cure to some of the most damning ailments of humanity. Amen!