Friday, September 23, 2005

Solitude and reflection

The opportunity to think deeply about various matters arises easily in solitude. Reflection is the domain of a mind at rest, it requires still waters and an outer fortification against worldly din, media, worries, anxieties, interruptions. It requires a temporary quelling of the desire to give our opinions - a silencing of our inner fountain of preset habits, thoughts, assumptions, suppositions, attitudes, inferences, conjectures, and interpretations. With a brief respite from the noise and unceasing demands of daily life and our own habits, it becomes possible to turn inward and contemplate the inner kernel of a matter.

What is reflection except turning inward to allow the mind the quiet, calm, concentration of its powers, in order to understand with depth. In order to allow the mind to place a matter in its proper place, to see the subtle connections which join and envelop all things but which escape our daily perception.

To perceive not just form, but meaning, to perceive inner content, requires a change of the focus of concentration from the outer world to the inner. The shell of a seed protects its inner kernel so that it may gestate and grow. So too our thoughts need to gestate and grow. In this manner we create and shape our inner world giving it depth and texture and real understanding.

We become the sculptor rather than the sculpture, we become the shapers rather than the shaped, we create our own internal configuration rather than allowing the external world to impose its configuration on us.

Then we can act in the din and strife of the external world with a measure of thoughtfulness and wisdom and depth. We can act with consciousness instead of reacting in ignorance. Unruffled, collected, we can bring our inner resources (nurtured to fruition) to bear on the complexity of life and bring steadiness to our own selves and possible benefit to others.

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