Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The ultimate role model

It is interesting that intellectuals who are not ostensibly religious are drawn to the life of Jesus Christ. Oscar Wilde, whose life on the surface seems to be one of indulgence and extravagance rather than prudence, came to a deep understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ in his last years. Wilde was imprisoned for a "crime" which by today's standards is nothing but an expression of personal traits best left for discretions. Wilde's De Profundis, written in the prison, delights the reader with the artist's in-depth interpretation of the man that was Jesus Christ.

Leo Tolstoy, the novelist of Anna Karenina and War and Peace, dedicated his later years to writing on Christianity. His book "The Gospel in Brief" had a profound effect on Ludwig Wittgenstein, arguably the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. Wittgenstein carried the book everywhere, and recommended it to people he encountered, so that he came to be known as the "Gospel man".

It is interesting to observe in what context Jesus Christ became an inspiration for these valuable people. It was the principle of individuality. In Jesus Christ we find a man who did not become fearful of obeying one's inner voice even if that was against the common sense and codes of morality of the society at that particular time. Creativity is often proportional to the courage to venture into unbeaten paths, and Jesus Christ provided the ultimate role model.

In the pursuit of individuality, "God" could be a metaphor. God represents that which is unchangeable and ever life-supportive in the battles of individuality in a society where the peer pressures are sometimes too strong and the codes of behavior too demanding.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe many famous minds and thinkers feel drawn to great religious figures because they understand that they are equals to them. Kind of like two respected friends discussing ideas over coffee... De Profundis is indeed a wonderful book!

Zhiyang said...

It is interesting that I wrote about the Bible on my blog on the same day as you did about Jesus Christ.
What a coincidence! ;)

I've just started to read the Bible.
So, I don't know much about it yet,
I'm just a beginner,
but there are a lot of interesting things to learn, and reading and studying it, I am sure that it will help in many ways in the future, such as job or the relationship with friends, coworkers, family..

I read your blog every day.
I learn new English words and phrases on your blog!
I'm looking forward to reading the next.

Thank you.

Yuzu said...

How wonderful the life will be a lot of learning.
I don't have any religion, but I think of life with love,
I find own something to appear principle.
However, meeting someone for learning or life which is marvelous, I think.

(ma)gog said...

I don't know if "God" could be a metaphor in the pursuit of one's individuality.

Maybe I didn't understand what you meant correctly, but both Oscar Wilde and Leo Tolstoy must have endeavoured fiercely to pursue to understand what truly lies in Christianity on which their spiritual education both at home and at shool had been based.

And probably they already had "seen" the universal truth that is "God" shown in the teachings of Jesus Christ and through their works they told us what they already knew, just like Jesus told us about God and sacrificed his own life purely for his love of God.

Anonymous said...

Of course I love Dr. Mogi's essay so much. It always challenges me but also people’s comments are wonderful assignment. They act as a link between my yesterday and today.

stomachache, De Profundis ...

it is not an easy task but every morning i try to understand what is now expressed by the people.

Anonymous said...

"discussing ideas over coffee .. with respected friends" is an extremely nice and vibrant idea. I seldom experience such ‘golden afternoon’-tic situation. maybe our life must often be powered by such close range interactions. internet impossible.

Anonymous said...

Amazing as always