Thinking

There is thinking and thinking

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You think too much, they said to me when I was little, but why did they keep saying things you just had to think about? And moreover, what else could you do? One of those things:

At that time people in my circles said a ‘unfortunate child’ when they meant a child with the Down-syndrome. So, when I walked the streets with my mother and saw a lady with a down syndrome child, I said ‘Aw’, feeling sorry for the child.

I was six at the time. My mother answered: ‘No honey, you don’t have to feel sorry for her. Those children don’t know that they are unfortunate. They are often very happy.’

Well, well! That was really something to think about! She in fact said: you could be called unfortunate, but still be very happy, and the most important thing: apparently you could be something without knowing it yourself. But then it was really strange that other people seemed to know things about you that you yourself didn’t know. In that case there was a chance that I was an unfortunate child myself, because I wouldn’t know that myself and I was often very happy too.

Nobody understood, when – much later – I told them about this. Nobody seemed to understand that this was a real issue and – by the way – the whole of life was an issue, a mystery. It cost me decades to find out that indeed it is possible to be something that is obvious to other people except to oneself (and also that some people wrongly think that you are something that they know and you don’t).

It also occurred that people carelessly showed you something, which was very intriguing and full of wonder. When the drawing teacher let a colour wheel turn, for instance, and it became white! How could that be? If you would mix all those colours yourself, you certainly would not get white. This stunning operation was admittedly demonstrated with a you-never-imaged-this-face, but that was it. Life went on. You wonder: what if you would mix all the people, or something like it, would that create a saint? It must mean something! On top of that the physics teacher came with a piece of prismatic glass, showing how light could break into seven colours… Even if they hadn’t told me anything else for the rest of my childhood, this would have been lifelong food for thought.

And then there were all those things that many children wonder about, because what is said in the Bible often contradicts the opinions of the believers, and even completely differs from what is said at other places in that same Bible. And then there were other people, who believed other things, being just as convinced of those things as the people around you telling you what they believed. How could you know what was right? Riddles and mysteries to be answered by mature, right-thinking people. But ‘right-thinking’ people didn’t want you to think about anything. Did this mean that they were in fact non-thinking people? Getting mad about honest questions… yet another mystery.

People who ask questions are all too often considered troublemakers, falling short in faith. There are, however, lots of people trying their utmost to find solutions for the riddles, naturally based on brainwork. Many explanations are created for utterly enigmatic stories in the Bible or events from the past, that you could use for closing the gap of mysteries. But for some reason or another they don’t help out. As if a layer is spread over the opening, while the gap keeps gaping.

An essential question would thus seem to be: does it help to pose questions? Not if it makes people angry, of course, and perhaps posing questions to others is not even necessary. The impulse to be concerned comes from within, from your own centre, the heart, that keeps knocking at your door. That is also the place to find the answer, even if it sometimes seems to come from outside. Suddenly there is a book, containing that one sentence you have been long been waiting for, or someone suddenly says something which makes your inner world ‘click’.

They say that if your heart is full of something, you will one day speak about it. Posing questions will eventually put you into contact with people with the same way of thinking. And that must be the conclusion: there are two ways of thinking. There is a concrete, practical way of thinking, meant to settle and organize things. This thinking serves our earthly existence and is not fit to ponder on questions about life essentials. And there is a way of thinking that has nothing to do with earthly logic. That is the fountain within us, ever impelling us upwards, powerful and disturbing, until we start looking for the source.

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