Thinking fragments reality — it cuts it up into conceptual bits and pieces. The thinking mind is a useful and powerful tool, but it is also very limiting when it takes over your life completely, when you don’t realize that it is only a small aspect of the consciousness that you are.
Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks, Kindle. Loc. 124.
A good friend recommended this book to me not long ago. I have learned that when Wendy speaks I listen; and I downloaded the book. One evening this past week, after having written my review of the day, I came upon the lines above: They brought me a moment of healing.
In the course of my life, I have accumulated experiences and memories. Hangups as well, tendencies which I would like to get rid off, which come from I don’t know where, which are real pains in the neck, but which tenaciously hang in there.
On that evening then, I recorded an incident which brought back old bile, memories, people, automatic negative reactions which always surprise me with their pugnacity and vigor, when I expected them to be long outgrown.
The Tolle quote brought my thinking into perspective. My right brain created an image where thinking was a small colorful figure in a much larger one. Those thoughts that burn my heart if looked at from another angle, through a different experience, time, or personality, would not bear any resemblance with the ones I had.
My mind likes to categorize events and people in good and bad and, in doing so, freezes them instead of releasing them. It gets into predictable patterns that lead me to a good, or bad, place.
I realize that many of us live off our thinking processes, that for most of us they are the beginning and end of all. Isn’t stopping the mind one of the most arduous tasks to tackle? Doesn’t my mind know how to mesmerize me with delightful or scary thoughts? And though, as Eckhart Tolle says, it is just a small aspect of the consciousness that I am. There is more to me than my thoughts or emotions, more than my “liberty, memories, understanding and entire will”, to quote Ignatius.
Thinking fragments reality, the way Cubism does as in the painting above. It makes life interesting, but it cannot grasp it in its entirety. It explains events one way, but it could do it in many other ways as well.
Art: The man with a guitar, Georges Braque