18 April 2013
My event I attended was Zen meditation and in this paper I am comparing a few aspects of jealousy between Zen Meditation and Acts III-V in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. Between the two, there are two different kinds of being jealous. The two kinds of being jealous are inner jealousy and outward jealousy. Jealousy in literature shows a very human emotion that all of us have experienced. Understanding that this can be found in literature and in real life you can give insight on how you view the world.
In Zen meditation, both forms of jealousy are found. The first, inward jealousy, in my own experience, is more common than outward. When sitting for extended periods of time during the meditation you begin with racing thoughts. You think about things such as your friends, things you did during the day, and reflection on yourself. Most of the time, I end up thinking about myself in relation to others. This is can go one of two ways. I either begin to think of accomplishments and feel great about them or start to think of the accomplishments of others and this makes me slightly jealous. Since meditation goes on for an extended period of time, you really can get lost in thoughts good or bad. When you get stuck thinking about jealousy, you really analyze every little detail you have done. I always end up wanting to change the things I have done if other people have done it better. For example, if I think of some of my friends during this time as more productive or they have done more activities here, I try to think of ways that I can become more active. This at times, stresses me out because I usually end up comparing myself to my friends who do so much service events and others because they have more free time. It is important to realize that jealousy occur at anytime. In this case, it occurs during a simple meditation. It is important to realize that this can occur during meditation because during a long period of time in silence, you can actually at times use this jealousy to better yourself. You can reflect on what you have done and compare it to what others who may have done it better. You can then think of ways to go about your life while doing these things better.
Outward jealousy is directly proportional to inward jealousy for meditation. Though outward jealousy does not happen during the meditation, it still is related. The thoughts I think about during meditation and the jealousy I sometimes receive make me want to act and change certain things about others and myself. I think about what can be done and then once the meditation is over, I go out and perform them. Performing this act is merely an expression of jealousy of others. The example that I mentioned about my friends being more active is a great one. If I want to be more active like my friend, I then go out and join more activities and events. This is important because it can at times benefit you. It benefits me because I end up doing some service events with my friends!
Inner jealousy is found in Twelfth Night all throughout the play. Specifically, it becomes more relevant in the later acts and scenes such as Acts III-V. A few people love Olivia in this play. Specifically, Sir Andrew wants to marry Olivia. However, she is not interested in him. She is interested in Cesario who is actually Viola. “Marry, I saw your niece do more favours to the count’s serving-man than ever she bestowed upon me. I saw ’t i’ in the orchard.” This is a great example because it shows clearly Sir Andrew’s jealously throughout the play. Also, it shows his jealousy from a distance as well. He mentions how he saw her. He did not have any interaction with her so it clearly shows him being envious at a distance. This is important to recognize in literature and plays because it gives insight to character development and the plot. When something like this happens, you then see that Sir Andrew is no longer a contestant for Olivia’s love, making him more of a non-important character. You then begin to focus more on Viola.
Outward jealousy is found in these sections as well. One example is at the end of scene I in act I. Olivia expresses outward jealousy when talking to Viola. She loves Viola but realizes she cannot have her. She still mentions she loves her but will try to move on. “Yet come again, for thou perhaps mayst move that heart, which now abhors, to like his love.” There is some jealousy here. Before this, Viola says, “By innocence I swear, and by my youth, I have one heart, one bosom and one truth, and that no woman has; nor never none shall mistress be of it save I alone.” Viola says that she will never have love for just one woman. This makes Olivia sad and jealous. It is important to see the connection between these because it, as well as inner jealousy, brings about plot development and character development. You begin to see what direction Olivia is going in in terms of love.
Overall, inner and outward jealousy can be found not only in real life (meditation) but also in literature works such as Twelfth Night. You can examine the power of jealousy all throughout the play in a clash of lovers. In meditation, you experience jealousy within yourself and after the meditation. Realizing that jealousy does not have to be such a negative thing can allow a person to grow and better themselves.