(… so are the Days Of Our Lives… cue music; slide up volume.)
I spend more of my time than is probably good for me thinking about thinking!
“What i think. How i think. What i do with those thoughts. How reliable or accurate are those thoughts in representing the ‘real’ world i think i live in? When i am in control of my thinking and when my thinking just takes over and does it’s own ‘thing’. Do other people ever have similar thoughts and have they come up with any answers i would find of benefit in my life? What assumptions go along with a thought/idea?”
That sort of thing (and much much more besides. Don’t even get me started on our metaphysical natures!)
This morning it occurred to me that the way I think, and therefore, by extension, how all sane* people think can be compared to the sand in the bottom half of an hourglass (in one way at least!)
(* I know – it’s a big call putting myself into that category! 😉 )
We start off with virtually a clean sheet of a mind – the flat empty ‘floor’ of the hourglass, full of potential but very little substance. (I’m talking about from the moment of our birth here). The mind then, through each and every moment and experience of time as we age, piles up little ‘grains’ into a mound (= our conscious mind) that keeps getting bigger by applying layer after layer of sand to the small pile we commence to build upon. The occasional ‘landslide’ may occur where the external and most recent grains rearrange themselves into new, more solidly supported structure, but basically are constrained to follow a similar overall compliance to what we started with. The change we might see is mostly external and cosmetic – the inner fundamentals (the cone shape on the flat floor if you will) generally remains the same basic form. We may look at some outside events from a new perspective but the way we think – our ability to modify and alter our behaviours may not be quite so easy to adjust.
We may learn more but perhaps still in the same ‘old’ way. Our understanding may change but not necessarily our beliefs that form the basis of that understanding. We may think we are changing and growing when what we are in fact doing is simply ‘moving the deckchairs on the Titanic’, a superficial rearrangement of what or how we think.
At the times we find ourselves ‘stuck’ or feel unable to move on or change from a situation we are not comfortable in (or are maybe too comfortable in also?) it maybe of benefit to see things from the Hourglass perspective and realise that for some changes – the Big Ones – it may be necessary to move all of yourself out of the hourglass and find a new way to form your thoughts instead of piling them on top of what has already been built.
Sometimes you need to start from scratch and relearn things in a more ‘adult’ way.
A wiser, and hopefully more knowledgeable way, than when you began learning as an infant/child.
(This is by no means a short, simple or easy process! It may however, be necessary?)