Buddhism, Ideas, Life, spirituality, Zen
There’s that old New Age cliche ‘thinking outside the box.’ But as I’ve pointed out on this blog there’s no such thing as thinking outside the box, precisely because thinking is the box.
And since for us humans, as indeed all life on earth, this profound truth will have momentous ramifications as we move into the future, let me explain.
You ever look at your reflection in a mirror and wonder “Holy shite, where did that come from?” It could be the onset of facial hair if you’re young or maybe a grey hair or new wrinkle if you’re older. Either way the image staring back at you is not exactly the one you have stored away in your head with the sound workings and spelling of your name attached to it. The experience of reality impinging on the thought image or idea we’ve saved as a synaptic package in our brains can be mildly unsettling.
The cause of these occasional unnerving moments is actually very simple to understand, and yet the truth contained in it is of near infinite import.
Simply put, and think about this for a spell, the synaptic packages, our thoughts and ideas, images, even sensations once we’ve accumulated enough of them, as saved by our brains are discrete and static.
However, little in existence beyond the ideas we cling to in our minds is discrete and static. Everything is in movement, as well as in the process of change. Now, there’s inorganic change, what science specializes in focusing on, and then there’s organic change.
Which lies at the root of that moment of unease we get upon gazing into a mirror and seeing someone different from who we have discretely stored away in our heads. The person staring back at us only appears static and unchanging, but in reality he or she is in the process of flow, in a constant but to the naked eye imperceptible state of growth and change.
It just so happens that we live today in an advanced rationalistic age. That is, the accumulation of a stupendous number of more or less interrelated ideas and images begins for us a few moments after birth and then accelerates as we enter into our years upon years of education. By the time we enter into adulthood, though when that is is open to debate, our understanding of the world based on our accumulated storehouse of thought and idea is largely complete.
And yet, being alive we yearn to escape the static world, the box, we’ve erected around ourselves and find atonement (at-one-ment) with the world of flow we sometimes catch fleeting glimpses of or are subtly reminded of when looking in a mirror.
Call it enlightenment, Nirvana, whatever you like.
It’s an unthinking participation in the flow of life.
That’s why I say thinking IS the box.
Tree that one next time you’re doing Yoga….