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IMITATION

Usually, people are quite distressed when imitations are uncovered. Whereas the entire life is full of all degrees of imitation. Each teacher if he notices that his pupil has fully mastered his subject and his method could also call it imitation.

A man has adopted some sayings. In them he also imitates the sources from which they derived. A man adopts this or that style of work  could one think that he imitates that style? In the final analysis imitation and emulation are rather close, and only an inner impulse can prove the true motivations.

Altogether, if one were to become distressed by imitations and perceive them everywhere, life would be filled with quite unnecessarily bitter feelings. What of it if someone is attracted to this or another method and the means of manifesting it? True, there may be also quite base and greedy goals. There may appear even a counterfeit in order to corner some sort of market. In such case it will be simply a preconceived criminal action; and every legislation takes such falsifications into account. Essentially, such striving for imitation only proves that the original product was really good and merited attempts to repeat it.

About these counterfeits, foreseen by law, there is no use to talk  their destiny is clear. But there are other imitations, which are not subject to any law. There may be, for example, an educational institution with original and practical methods. Somebody evaluating the applicability of these methods will open a similar institution on the next block. Of course, it will constitute an imitation, but it is absolutely impossible to forbid such competition. Or, someone will write a book or compile a dictionary, and someone else, an adroit businessman, will turn this dictionary around or will use a third of the book in its entirety, tying it up by some flimsy proofs. There is no doubt that it will be a false representation, and there is also no doubt that the adroit businessman will escape condemnation. Even if someone should be aware of all the circumstances of such borrowings and imitations, no statutes of law will convict the cleverness of such imitation.

The dimensions of all kinds of competitions and imitations are without end. The main and wise rule upon their discovery is not to be embittered. They will always be found in the very same foam of life as will any slander that is the result of base and criminal thinking.

If slander is to be regarded only as a peculiar evaluation on a large scale of that which was created, then an imitation is also only a proof of the soundness and convincingness of that which was originally made.

Amidst the properties of ignorance one may also see coarseness, ingratitude, falsehood, and all kinds of betrayal. These dark qualities will cover up the real causes of any and all falsifications and imitations. A great many obvious falsifications have ingratitude at their basis. Therefore, gratitude was regarded in ancient scriptures as a lofty, distinctive quality. Often a man approaches hypocritically under the guise of a friend in order to spy out that which he regards as successful and convincing, so that he may eventually give it out as his own. There are many such cases! Sometimes a coarse savage simply wishes to do the very same thing that he admires, not even considering what he violates in this way. That which he sees he regards as his own. And such examples of deplorable vulgarization are very many.

True, there may also be betrayals which attempt to make out of everything useful just a crooked mirror, in order to demean or harm a principle dangerous for them. There are many kinds of betrayal. In the final analysis, which betrayal is better, a conscious or unconscious one? They both are, in the end, the very same thing, because their consequences may be of equal value. The subject of betrayals is inexhaustible. So much that is valuable and unrepeatable is destroyed by a miniscule betrayal, self-love, conceit, pride, or simply a mood, and quite often those who have committed some sort of betrayal, will forcefully deny it and try to prove to themselves that something quite different took place.

Now, we wish only to note how one should regard all kinds of unavoidable imitations. We hear from different countries about the very same thing; we hear of perplexity and indignation because an unskilled imitation violates an already existing useful work. In such cases you can do nothing. The only thing one can advise is not to be embittered; and only to double the high quality of one's own work. If that which you are creating is of a high quality, you may be calm  any kind of imitation will prove to be base, vulgar, and will consume itself. But if the imitation finally exceeds your work, then it will become emulation and should, in a sense, evoke a certain share of gratitude from you, seeing the growth of seeds which you have planted.

And so, imitation, rivalry, competition, if it has no destructive envy in its foundation, will be but an unavoidable branching out of your own undertaking. Every sower must first of all rejoice if the seeds strewn by him grow into useful grain. Thus it always was and always will be; and let the works, even those arising in close proximity, compel each other toward the betterment of quality.

Work! Create!

Tzagan Kure

May 14, 1935

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