Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Free-range Contemplation

Folks don't take time anymore for contemplation. In our guilt-driven culture, you're not supposed to take time out to mull life. You know--where you're going? Where you've been. What you're goals in life are? No...mostly we do life on the fly, hoping we don't make too many mistakes.

That is why I knit. Knitting (painting, crocheting, carving, beading), really almost any handwork project allows for some free-range contemplation. Reading doesn't work because your mind is engaged with the story. For some folks--like me--music irritates and annoys. Electronic interfacing such as television, computer, gaming all take up too much of the mind for true contemplation.

Back in the day, I used to do a lot of contemplating while ironing. That was a perfect occupation for contemplation. You were 'chained' to the ironing board so you couldn't pursue too many distractions and let's face it--ironing is boring. Sooooo boring, your mind naturally wanders.

With the advent of new technologies, we have less of the mindless work we used to do. So, less gardening, less weeding, less ironing, less handwork and more time spent engaged with electronics. In the past, the telephone was a tool for communication, seldom used unless you had a job that required it. Otherwise, it sat on the desk or hung on the wall, silent for most of the time. Now, too many people, young and old, spend hours in fascinated interaction with their phones. I confess, I have no idea why. What is the attraction?

Perhaps, just perhaps, it's a way to escape contemplation. Who knows what thoughts might occur if we allowed them to form? Is that it? The ultimate escape from self-knowledge and awareness? What drives us to flee from peaceful contemplation? And what would change if we pursued it?

Maybe...we would embrace less rage, less judgment, less greed, and find more joy, more peace, more love.

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