The Thought Suffices
(Originally posted on the website Heron Flight)
“It is remarkable, that persons who speculate the most boldly often conform with the most perfect quietude to the external regulations of society. The thought suffices them, without investing itself in the flesh and blood of action.”
from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1850
There is a remarkable depth to the inner workings of human beings, be those inner workings attributed to heart or imagination. There is a vast unfathomable ocean within the mind of each person. Not even the individual himself/herself can fully plumb the depth of this ocean within his/her own inner being. As soon as she thinks she has set foot upon the ultimate miry deep of her imagination, far, far below the observation of any other living soul, the bottom gives out and she finds herself adrift yet again.
Have you yet discovered Hawthorne’s statement as truth in your own experience? No, I do not ask your opinion as to whether the statement is true. I know it is. I have sped for days through the vast vacuum of my own speculations, my own imaginations and fancies. I have drifted to the orbital limits of the conventional norms surrounding me, to the point I feared rocketing beyond the pull of societal gravity and into the nether realms of insanity. Yet, I discovered that only in severing the tethers which bound me did I find the expansive liberty of free thought. I could live boldly in my own universe… yet, walk undetected in the normality of yours. The thought suffices.