It is very difficult to quantify the value of soul enlightenment. By its very nature, it tends to engulf you when you least expect it, it tends to challenge what you have come to know as your reality and it tends to displace you, somewhat, from ignorance. How do you experience it? How do you purchase it? If it could be bottled, there would be very little knowledge of war, but in its place, a pure understanding of tolerance. Travel is one of the most vocal advocates of enlightenment of the soul.
There was a boy born into a world where everyone was given a box on the day they exited their mother’s womb. It was understood that during his malleable or impressionable years, it was the job of his parents to convey to him how special and unique his box is, his family to instill in him the importance of safeguarding it and his community to teach him where his box fits in the greater cube of society. He grew into a man who protected his box with tenacity, immersed in the pride the box bestowed upon him, and every day he would venture into the centre of his town and place his box in the bottom left corner, above his grandparents and two spaces to the right of his parents boxes’. This was his unique position in societies cube. Every so often, a traveller would wonder to the boarder of his town and before they were let in, they would be asked, “Where is your box?” Some would respond that they do not have a box and in that instance they would be turned away. By doing this, families in the town preserved their honor and took solace in the familiar and societies cube remained intact and unchallenged.
The melancholy of the situation does not primarily stem from the monotony or predictability in which life evolved for this boy, but rather that he would not allow the opportunity to be enlightened. His society would never know that their cube could be stacked in a multitude of other great structures, his family would never know that a box could be enhanced by different colours and bring joy to others when shared, and he would never know there was someone out there who was born with a key to open his treasure chest that he has come to know as a box. To a lesser extent, you may not know it, but this could be your world.
Quite simply, without soul enlightening activities, like travel, can you truly understand that the expression “to break bread” translates elsewhere into sharing sticky rice from generational rice paddies? Can you learn to appreciate that some people do not think of numbers and counting in the same way you do? Would you realise that there are people out there, like you and me, who may not know they need to be enlightened and perhaps, just maybe, your box can be the inspiration they need to embark on a journey of enlightenment and touch another soul, and in the process gain an unchartered level of understanding of self.
Some would argue that you could read about it, which should suffice. Enlightenment can happen in the mind. I argue that these should rather be treated as a medium to entice you to experience. What use is a life lived in the pages of a book or in the confines of a television screen? What use is a life if it isn’t truly lived?
By Hulisani Manyatshe – Investment Banking Analyst