Clouds echoing form of a treeline

EbbSpark & the value in thought

Writing for this site, I’ve tended to ask myself at these regular intervals where this is headed – checking in that things haven’t gone off track or wandered down some dark alley too removed from reality to be of use. Because, genuinely, I write as much for myself as any audience, as my way of trying to make sense of life and find the threads or pathways within it.

Perhaps it’s this notion of having a worldview? All the ideas, thoughts and beliefs we have in mind about the nature of reality and our place within it. This sense in which we all carry a world in our heads; one that may or may not relate that truthfully or helpfully to the one that’s actually around us.

It must “matter”, the ideas we have in mind. Doesn’t our pre-emptive sense of understanding, in a way, determine both what we’ll see and how we’ll interpret it? Our reactions or responses essentially flowing out of the way we’ve already learnt to see things. Responses that, in turn, presumably shape reality through the attitudes we cast back out there.

Isn’t it true that our presence in the world changes it? That everything arriving on our doorstep leaves, in some way, transformed through how we’ve interacted with it – every person, object or idea we come across having been treated with respectful interest or casual disregard, depending on how much we value all the experiences of life.

Do we realise that all we do matters? That every interaction speaks volumes about the values we hold dear, principles we’re bringing to life, and extent to which we care for everything in the world that’s not us. In a way, our lives can be seen as a reflection of our ideas: all we’ve learnt or been told, everything we’ve come to see as valuable, informing how we choose to be.

As thinking beings, isn’t thought the source of our independence? Our capacity to reason, remember, and form decisions effectively creating the foundation for our being in the world: we can know where we stand and, based on that, decide how we’ll live. Isn’t there incredible freedom and responsibility to being in charge of ourselves this way?

If the thoughts we have in mind – all the facts, figures, theories, sensitivities, assumptions – inform our choices for how to act, then don’t they matter a great deal? Approaching the world of thought with a sense that it might be a significant creative force in all our lives might be a strange way of looking at life, but, if it’s truly how things work, maybe it’s wise not to ignore it.

Which, coming back to my reflections on this writing project, reaches this point of wondering what exactly we’re doing here: how we’re using our powers for thought; how much we understand of life; and how well it’s working out in terms of the patterns emerging within modern society. If we believe it all matters, might that not make a considerable difference?

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