Saturday, December 09, 2006

THE INTERNAL IDEA

THE INTERNAL IDEA

The phrase "internal idea" means the most serious aim of Esperanto. That idea is the kernal, the heart, the profoundest distinguishing thing in the spirit of the international language.

We customarily refer to other Esperantists as "samideanoj" or fellow-thinkers, ones who think alike. But when I read the personal profiles (such as those in lernu.net) of Esperantists of varying language capability, I find many differences between them and me. In fact, I often do not have the same ideas about most matters!

A common national language doesn't mean the speakers think alike, does it? Well, common Esperanto language ability does not guarantee the members have the same idea about anything at all.

Are you now confused?

A long time ago I was priveleged to listen to a tape recording of Zamenhof himself when he greeted members at a congress, and he said "samidealojn," or "folks who hold the same ideal." This truly makes sense. Concealed in the heart of Esperanto is one ideal, that is the humanity among different language speakers by means of a common language.

One has a better right to call the internal idea the internal ideal.

It seems to me that many learners have not dedicated themselves to any ideal regarding linguistic study.

Their reasons for studying Esperanto are not similar to the reason Zamenhof thought about when he created it. He did not merely have an idea, but an ideal. What a difference!

Every student has his reason or aim for learning Esperanto --- for example an intellectual hobby, mind-game, opportunity for foreign travel, etc. No reason or aim in this group is the same as the reason or aim of Esperanto's creator.

We have many ideas, but Zamenhof had but one ideal.

Our aims for the most part are directed into ourselves. Our idea is to contribute to our own amuzement, either alone or with our friends.

To Zamenhof fun with a language was not important. He invented Esperanto to achieve a goal --- the ideal of international understanding by means of Esperanto.

It is said that the longer one is an Esperantist, the more likely one is to grasp the "internal idea" and be captured by it. I hope this is so.

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