Tokugawa Ieyasu was the first Shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate. The above is one of my favourite quotes by him and is appropriate even in the 21st century; though it was spoken more than 400 years ago.
No matter what the era, illusions and delusions about fellow mortals have always led to individual ruin.
Let us discuss the quote in parts:
Persuade thyself that
These three words are a message within itself. You are the only one who can pacify yourself. You are the only one who can ruin yourself with toxic thoughts. It’s your decision. You are the only one who has the authority to persuade yourself and change your own opinion. Don’t get influenced by others. At the end, it all boils down to what you want to perceive about yourself and your surroundings.
In this context, Tokugawa Ieyasu san wants us to coax ourselves by understanding the truth of human nature.
imperfection and inconvenience are the natural lot of mortals,
Human beings are the epitome of disharmony in terms of emotions. We are guided by the flow of our thoughts, impulsive to the core, and we succumb. That we act on instincts makes us different from each other. We set different standards of reality and act according to it. At the end, it all boils down to ‘Me’, ‘Myself’ and ‘I’.
Thus, everyone acts according to their own motivations. And when things don’t go our way, they are just an eyesore. When we expect something from someone, we impose our view of reality on them. This, of course, is our flaw. And when the person is not able to fulfill them, we get disheartened. But in actuality, they were just acting according to their version of reality, which unfortunately turned out to be different from ours.
In this sense, none of us are perfect in each other’s eyes. And when things do not match our reality, they cause discomfort. Distortion of thoughts. And as an intellectual species, the haywire of thoughts and emotions is an inconvenience.
The quote wants us to realise that every single mortal will act according to self instinct. And instincts are meant to come naturally. Just as sheeps follow the shepherd, humans follow the trail of individual desire.
and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair.
After you acquaint yourself with the fact that every human being will surely differ from your expectations, emotional resolution will arise.
As I said previously, things that don’t go according to our will are a hindrance. When we free ourselves from the false thought that people will keep up to our criteria, we save ourselves from the trauma. There is no discontent in thought and everything is clear like a summer day. Discontent causes turmoil. It obstructs day to day activities and prevents us from thinking straight. And as intellectual beings, a loophole in the thought process can cause severe decisive consequences.
And this in turn leads to despair. We survive in a vicious circle of thoughts. Despair makes us question our lives and affinities. And that is detrimental. It makes us question and generalize humanity.
“Why does this only happen with me?”
“Why is this world so cruel to me?”
are thoughts that bother us.
Actually, it’s all in the mind. If we convince and immune ourselves to human thought and behavioural process, we can have a peaceful mental status.
Persuade thyself that imperfection and inconvenience are the natural lot of mortals, and there will be no room for discontent, neither for despair.
Always keep in mind that no one can ever be at the exact pedestal that your thoughts lead you to. There are discrepancies. The fact that we can’t actually understand each other’s reality is a human flaw; an imperfection. This has caused inconvenience since time immemorial. But do not let this sway you. Do not let this disrupt your spirit. If you accept this fact, you will be free from disappointments and disarray.
(Symbol of the Tokugawa clan. Image source- Google)
Thank you for checking out this blog!
Do comment your views and suggestions about this format of quote interpretation.