Sunday 1 January 2023

The scope and power of the thinking self

Sometimes, when I am thinking well, I am aware of the tremendous, limitless scope and power of real thinking. 

This is, I think, a very basic and fundamental human experience and assumption. It is what almost everything is rooted in. 

Yet it is not sufficient, and it is countered and modified by an awareness of our own inconstancy and failures; the fact that most of the time our thinking is shallow, manipulated, constrained - and utterly unsatisfying. 

Analogously, we begin life immersed in an unconscious (taken for granted) sense of being 'in' the world, and bound up with the other people in the world - especially our family. We experience our-selves more as concentrations of awareness in a general awareness - minds are experienced as permeable. 

Yet, soon we become aware of an opposite sense of being isolated selves, cut-off from the world of nature and of other Men. We become afraid of others, and of the world; afraid of dying and the death of those we love. 

We begin to experience a crumbling of meaning, a sense of incoherence, a general tendency towards disintegration and dying.  

In one sense, at one level, we feel self-sufficient - capable of knowing and creating from our-selves all that we need; yet, at another level we realize that this would actually be a life of ineradicable boredom, and self-inflicted suffering. 

This is The Problem - and (to some extent) most people seek for, or at least hope for, a solution: a solution that eradicates the bad aspects and negations of our condition, while making permanent and building-from that scope and power, that connection and awareness.

There have been many, many attempts to solve this problem - but almost all are only partially successful (even in theory); they solve some, but neglect other aspects; and are reducing to saying that the unsolved aspects do not really need to be solved, or that our strengths are actually our problems. 

Only Christianity solves the whole Problem: only Christianity has the potential. And only some, minority, selective Christianities - from those many throughout history. 

There is only one answer - which is why Jesus Christ is essential. 

Fortunately for us (but not by 'luck, but from the deliberate design of God) we are not required to solve The Problem for ourselves; but only to recognize and choose the answer, when it is presented to us


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