If we follow the philosophy of ‘Negative Capability’, we might get extraordinary success in life, and also in the field of literature. No doubt, in the contempory world we find that many people become victims of exremism, as they are unaware of ‘negative capability’. Negative capability means the infinite ability to bear doubts and uncertainties. This quality directs an individual away from complacency.
Keats in one of his letters aptly defined this term: “I had not a dispute but a disquisition with Dilke, on various subjects; several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, what qualitywent to form a Man of Achievement especially in literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously – I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts without any irritable reaching after fact & reason”.
The above quote makes it clear that many people won’t be able to live with this philosophy comfortably, as they prefer certainties to scepticism. The danger in suchsmugness and complacent thinking is the retardation of the brain itself.
It is my observation whenever we get failure in life, we become pessimistic. The power to bear doubts and sorrows will make us extraordinary persons. Both Shakespeare and John Keats prefer negative capability to conforming to traditional values. Whenever we are confronted with sorrows, we should develop the habit of bearing defeats. We are at the beginning of wisdom when we are guided by the philosophy of negative capability. “You may fail, but fall still fighting.” The following inspiring lines will really help us in aviding pessimistic attitude toward life:
Keep yourself in fighting trim.
If the worst is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do,
Running from it will not save you,
See it through!