Saturday 28 May 2016

Thought and Think-ing: the gap between theory and practice - aspiration and achievement

We create the world (more specifically, we participate in creating the world - in interaction-with the real phenomena of the world) through our thinking ; and the -ing of thinking is what requires special attention. Thinking it is not the abstract category of 'thought' but the active process of think-ing, by which we co-create the world. 

The world is real, but its reality is inextricably bound up with our thinking - it is the active process of thinking that is primary (and we must not kill it in our attempt to comprehend it).

We change our thinking, and it is-changed by the experiences of our lives (and often for the worse - often in ways which sabotage our lives, and prevent their spiritual progression - induce spiritual corruption instead. Look around!). So, thinking can be changed and is changed - and we ourselves might want to take-over this process rather than being passive recipients of changes imposed by our environment... what do we do?

The answer is: Thinking-about-Thinking - that is, we need to think about, become aware of, our own Thinking and its assumptions and characteristic (habitual) processes. Another word for this activity is Metaphysics.

Why is Metaphysics so difficult? Why is it blocked by external distractions and internal incapacities and obstacles? These seem legion - and the worst is that, to some degree and sometimes very completely - our selves (who are trying to do the Thinking about Thinking) are actually false selves; mere personae that have developed to do automatically the business of interacting with the world in ways that are short-term expedient.

There is a tendency (at times almost irresistible - because habitual) to make the seeking of understanding into a static and deadly analysis - we distinguish, divide, organise and kill the concepts we need. Like subjective and objective - we distinguish them, divide them and separate them - and then they both die.

What is needed is to be able to analyse without killing - which means that instead of laying-out reality before us, inert, on a dissecting slab - reality must have at its heart and as its prime term, a thing which is dynamic, alive and existing through time (with a past and future - not seen as a timeless 'present').

Analysis must not be allowed to kill the livingness of the central phenomenon. Rather, analysis must go-on around the livingness of the central phenomenon. In other words, the central pheonomenon can be delineated - but cannot itself be analysed (or else it will be killed). If the central phenomenon is Consciousness, or Quality, or Reality - then it cannot be dissected without killing it and thereby making it no longer the central phenomenon.  


When think-ing changes, the world changes - and not just 'my' world: but the actual world. There is, indeed, no division between 'my'-world, and the-world (if there was, the world would not be my world). To change the world requires changing our think-ing (it is a fallacy to talk about the outer-realities as if they could be divided from our think-ing); and the difficulty of changing our think-ing is a measure of the difficulty in changing the world.

(As usual, it is far easier to change things for the worse: to destroy --- than it is to change things for the better: to create.)

On the other hand, if - by thinking about thinking - we can gain metaphysical understanding and can cure/ improve the mainstream metaphysical corruptions as they operate in our minds - can improve our habits-of-think-ing to make the process more Christian, loving, creative... then by this we have improved the world (not just for ourselves, but for everyone). 

Metaphysics is therefore a prime task for everybody now, not just intelectuals (although they need it more than most). And since metaphysics is intrinsically difficult, and being made ever more difficult by modern culture, and deliberately so - we need to enable it in our lives by ceasing to crave distraction, intoxication, and passive absorption: by seeking to make our thinking active, awake, aware and concentrated on what needs to be done.


And what is it that does the thinking about thinking? And how is it able to do it?

Ah - there's the crux of the matter! It is our eternal and (embryonically) divine selves that are what does real metaphysics. And it is its eternal position and and divine nature which makes possible the detachment required for thinking about thinking.

Metaphysics is our eternal self contemplating our mortal self - but actively: that is eternal think-ing contemplating the mortal personae which have been built by experience and expediency, and which now do so much of our thinking and being, that we have often lost or encapsulated the eternal self...

1 comment:

ted said...

"As above, so below."