What if I told you that somewhere at some level, you already understand where you’re going and what you’re becoming. What if that part of you already knows what is to become of you and has in a way given up trying to bring your attention to it. Because you might not want to listen to what it has to say, of how predictable life has become- from the way we have our thinking hardwired for us. So much so that we don’t even have to be there or think about what we’re doing, its like a fixed record the body plays out, while we have our mind-trips. It’s kind of like, trying to watch a movie whose ending you are already aware of. Since you know how all of it is going to be like, you lose enthusiasm and thus fall asleep.
“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
In an age, where we have formulas and solutions for just about everything, thinking becomes unnecessary. It’s no surprise that most of us rely on borrowed thoughts with much less evaluation. We might believe we understand a concept, but it’s possible that we just believe in the concept rather than understand it. And it gets more complicated when we selectively perceive things around us, just to fuel those beliefs. And when we believe in it, we obviously hope it’s true otherwise we’d have to think and figure a way out, but who would want that?
“There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking.”
Thomas A. Edison
Lounging on the Complacency couch
When we have ready-made concepts offering answers to just about everything, thinking takes a backseat- we don’t really need to think anymore. Since much of it has been already figured out, why bother to rethink? Complacency offered by well-explained concepts is like a couch, where we’d lounge in the comfort of not having to think. This certainly makes it easier and grants us a better stance for further exploration, if we care to be curious. But if that be the case, we’d have to lay off the couch and some serious thoughtwork beckons. But lounge we must, ’cause in couch we trust.
Too much questioning or scrutiny might spell trouble.
“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”
From Compulsive to Creative thinking
Nobody is a stranger to compulsive thinking. The babbler or the record that play in our heads involuntarily. Whether it’s troubles of the past or anxieties of the future, any zen master would tell you it’s primarily a resistance to what is, the present. The world that plays out in our head isn’t necessarily in tune with actuality.
When we are courageous in thinking from dissimilar perspectives and start paying attention, that’s when the magic happens. That is when the hidden connections are uncovered.
Distilling Knowledge from Information
If much of this sounds familiar and you believe you understand, trust me you’re laying on the couch.
Understanding comes in layers, and depths that remain unexplored are limitless. Asking the right questions accelerates the process of excavating these depths, reflection is the tool.
Questions can be terrifying, especially when we have to do the answering. When we question a lot and search earnestly for answers, we push forward, we are thinking.
In an age flooding with information, knowledge gets diluted and disheveled. Truth is fragmented and can be easily fabricated. There is a compelling need to be able to distil knowledge from this debris. Being able to think right, having the right perspective, is when people start receiving answers. That’s when people rely less on formulas and learn to figure out solutions for themselves. There’s much less dependence and lesser confusion.
The Spark that awakens
This may sound bizzare at first- but the knowledge, we hold inside our brains, is in a way alive. It’s very much structured by our notions and beliefs. It wants to sustain itself and it does a great job of having you believe that it is who you really are, masquerading as you. Once you disentangle from this structure, you release yourself from conditioning. We can then realign with the right strucure that’s resonant with the truth. That’s what you want, the living truth that guides you.
Identifying the truth is the pain, the labour that has to be coped with.
This may seem difficult yet it’s very much possible. Parting with our prejudices and revisiting the world around us is a start. You know it’s working when reality seems different and things around seem less obvious than before.
And that’s where the marvel reappears, the eagerness to explore comes in and you find yourself driven by this exhilarating and passionate energy.
That’s when you know you are alive and awake.