Do You Think?
I mean this seriously. Do you seriously think? I mean, yeah, obviously we all think. Thoughts well up from who knows how deep within us. We know nothing, absolutely nothing about the abstraction that is thought. Who knows what set of physiological prerequisites have to align perfectly and resonate in a way that materialises a thought far down in the depths of your being, and then allows it to surface as a mentally uttered phrase within your head. But it happens. It happens every single waking, and even unwaking, moment of your existence.
Granted a lot of it is probably arbitrary. A commentary on actions which you perform as you work. Meandering imaginings of what you're doing this weekend, what you're going to eat later, whom you're going to say what to. Thoughts that just happen to you, without any (pun intended) thought.
But how often do we sit down and think about our thoughts? It's true that we are full of innate wisdom. We know things that we don't know we know. Or don't know why we know. But they manifest themselves to us in dreams or eureka! moments of clarity. But equally it is true that we also conceal hidden within us things that we think we know, without actually thinking about in order to confirm whether or not we do in fact know... Are you with me?
I'll give you an example. I have, for the most part, been quite appalled with the way in which the human race has devastated our planet in such a short amount of time. There was a day, several years back when whilst stewing on my contempt with the issue, up from my innermost being sprung the thought in which I, in that moment, compared our species on this planet to mould growing over a loaf of bread.
Boom. The perfect analogy. And as if from nowhere. But it came from within me and was internally articulated in such a way that I found poetic and truthful. I had a thought and just assumed it was true. But that's dangerous. There is a level of arrogance there that really is beyond belief. It never occurred to me, or at least not until years later, until very very recently in fact, that aside from the fact that we have been on this planet for millennia, and the damage of which we are participating in has only come about in really no time at all in evolutionary timescales and that we are ultimately as a species, just fumbling through this world doing our best trying to survive (albeit at the expense of others), it was also a fundamentally genocidal thought. To think of the human race as mould. As a parasite. As a disease. As something bad which destroys. That is depraved on the basest of all levels. Because what do you do to a corruptive agent such as mould or disease...? You kill it.
Now obviously I don't actually align myself with meta-genocidal thoughts, but as it turns out, I very much had, and all because I didn't THINK about what I had thought. I had never sat down and contemplated what it actually meant to think such a thought. I had in no way tried to pick the thought apart, argue against it, seek to discover any potential flaws with my line of thinking.
How many of us do you estimate fall prey to the same arrogance? Be it innocent ignorance or wilful blindness. How many of us do you think cruise through life thinking things without knowing why we think them, or worse, whether or not they actually have any substance to them at all!? Holding prejudices, self enforcing rigid opinions, entering unto discussions about things we have no idea about, and have never actually fully contemplated either?
... How many of us do you think go through life, essentially turned off, without any genuine meditation on any abstract ideas about the reality we find ourselves in whatsoever, big nor small?...
Have you ever actually, genuinely sat in a room, a silent room, with no distractions and fully contemplated the reality of your pending mortality? To consider what it means that you actually are definitely going to die one day. Tomorrow perhaps. Because I have. And to do that is to reconcile with the fact that not only are you limited and incredibly fleeting, you are also ignorant in almost every way possible. And you are going to die in ignorance about almost everything. And so in light of that why would you not endeavour to enlighten yourself to as many possible things in the limited time you have? To be humbled in how wrong you probably are about basically everything...
To take 10 minutes a day to simply THINK about what it is you think. There really is wisdom residing within us that we know not of. But not all of it is innate. You could scroll through your Facebook newsfeed aimlessly lapping up countless amounts of 30 second videos, or commenting what your name would be "if it didn't contain these letters" or simply ingesting statuses about the, likely equally as unthought out, thoughts of others. Or you could deeply contemplate what you think and why. Strip back the immediate ego that you wrap around your own words and ideas, and find the wisdom contained within that comes about through the rigorous and thorough exercise of trying to undermine and break apart exactly what it is that you think.