Better, Magis — the comparatives

A philosophical reflection

There is a philosophical idea called symbols. Symbols point towards a reality, but the reality is not completely captured by the symbols. A national flag is a good secular example of a symbol, whereas religious symbols like cross do the same in the religious field. It is true that all symbols are not equally important; we also see occasionally that disrespect to a symbol is considered as a disrespect to the reality it symbolises. Some philosophers describe the process of idol-making from symbols, when we equate symbol with the reality. Once this phase occurs, any dialogue or discussion regarding the symbol is impossible. It might also help us to forget the reality itself.

As Ignatian family along with the Jesuits celebrate the feast of St Ignatius today, one of his commonly used word is Magis, which means more. The words like greater in celebrated slogan “all for the greater glory of God” (ad majorem dei glorium — AMDG) echoes that same spirit. It's never the best or the most, but better and more. When we reach the best, we reached the stage of idols; nothing more is required; everything is perfect. Magis is all-time, continuous search for growth, understanding, love, peace etc. It is not a non-acceptance of my present condition, but a restlessness for more. Yes, there is a dynamic tension and we live that. Even between symbol and reality, that dynamic tension exists. Once we reached idols, its gone.

I may not able to categorically say this, but the best sportspersons in the world may be a good example. The world might call them the best in the world, but once that thought gets into them, or if they lost the motivation to move further, their performance will be affected.

Hopefully Ignatius can inspire us to keep moving continuously, going farther and deeper to make the world a “better place”.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
arun simon

arun simon

A Jesuit with all the crazyness… Loves Jesus…Loves church, but loves to challenge too… Loves post modern philosophy & Gilles Deleuze.. Loves deep conversations…