Thinking of how, as humans, we tend to approach the world through thought, deciding what we’ll do on that basis, it can’t be said the ideas we have in mind don’t actively shape the reality around us. Isn’t everything we’re thinking almost always seeping out there, tacitly or implicitly, as our sense of what it all means and how much of it matters? All our actions speaking volumes about our ideas, beliefs and values.
As much as we might effectively “see” the world through thought, it must be that almost all that we do stems from it too – all the unchallenged patterns of behaviour we might’ve accepted from the past; examples we take up from those around us; or independent decisions we may make in the face of such external influences. As if we’re forever accepting or rejecting whatever suggestions are offered. (Notes One)
Isn’t it that, as individuals or societies, we’re essentially mapping the world around us in thought? Filling our minds with ideas as to what each thing signifies, where it sits in the bigger picture and how to be thinking about it. This world of ideas sitting slightly behind reality, telling us what it all means and how we should act in relation to it. A place full of knowledge, understanding and value judgements.
Almost as if reality is surrounded by our thoughts about it – the sense humans have made of it all and ideas we’ve strung together to explain things and help people chart wise courses through their decisions. How we each, in our heads, have pictures of what life “is” from which we’re confidently living our lives and assessing whatever’s crossing our path. (Notes Two)
Where do such ideas come from? In the past, there may’ve been single bodies of thought which almost everyone agreed to abide by – offering a fairly coherent sense of how to live and interpret life – but that seems to have rapidly fallen away. In its place, aren’t we generally making up our own minds? Deciding for ourselves how we’ll define things, judge them and string those thoughts into our own personal conclusions.
How are we to navigate such a world? Can we ever hope to find a coherent worldview we all agree upon? One where each thing holds the same meaning in all eyes, related to everything else in exactly the same manner. A single body of thought that might explain what everything means, why it matters and how we should relate ourselves to it. Isn’t it what we seem to seek? The right answer.
Yet, in this modern world, our separately developed ideas on life now merge into one new global reality – a place without the convenience of simply retelling stories from our own perspective and justifying them in terms of our own thinking. Almost as if we’re being asked to expand our perspective to include countless others, seeing and feeling life through their eyes too. (Notes Three)
Can it all still be integrated into a meaningful, purposeful whole?
Notes and References:
Note 1: Where do we get our ideas from?
Note 1: Can our thinking match realities?
Note 1: The battlegrounds of our minds
Note 1: Education as a breaking away?
Note 1: Everything’s interconnected
Note 2: Do we live in different worlds?
Note 2: The sense of having a worldview
Note 2: Being trusted to use our discernment…
Note 2: Education as an understanding of life
Note 2: Responsibility for the bigger picture
Note 3: Bringing things into awareness
Note 3: Seeing where others are coming from
Note 3: Sensitivity & the place for feeling
Note 3: World, heading for a breakdown?
Note 3: How fast can it all unravel?