At the beginning of August 2019, I decided to try writing aphorisms. It might not work for me. But that’s OK. I’ve failed in lots of endeavors before. And, in fact, I believe that failure is a very, very good thing.
It helps steer you in the direction you should be going.
There may be nothing more unfortunate than succeeding at things you don’t truly love, or perhaps even dislike, intensely. Because if you persist, you end up wasting much of your life.
An aphorism is a single thought or observation that is stated in as few words as possible. A well-known example is Nietzsche’s, “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
Many, many writers over the centuries have used this aphoristic style. Some claim Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, was the best at it. Others disagree. And there are also a number of greats who preceded Bacon. Burchard of Worms and Juan Manuel are two excellent examples.
My favourite aphorists, however, are Nietzsche and Leonardo da Vinci.
And it’s quite liberating for me that Leonardo says in Volume 1 of his Notebooks that he’s just going to write down his thoughts as they occur to him, in no particular order, but perhaps later on he might try to arrange them by subject.
And he further adds that he’s not going to worry about repeating himself or contradicting himself. That’s inevitable over time, he says.
So here’s my first:
190809 – Our Unconscious Self
What if Nietzsche is right when he says that almost all of who you are is located deep down in your unconscious mind? And that the activities of that Self, your true Self, are unfelt, and unknown, and unknowable?
And what if he’s right when he says that who you think you are, at the conscious level, has been carefully determined by your socialization?
That you’ve been brought up to accept and to internalize the values of the herd?
And what if who you are at the conscious level is not even close to who you really are deep down in your unconscious?
What then? Is there any way to reconcile those two selves, to get them more in sync with each other?
Ω≈Ω≈Ω Ω≈Ω≈Ω Ω≈Ω≈Ω
And my second:
190816 – The Zone
What if there is no clear-cut line dividing my unconscious mind from my conscious mind? What if there’s a continuum, instead, that runs from my purely unconscious to my purely conscious? Would that mean that there’s an overlap zone?
And if there is, . . ..
Ω≈Ω≈Ω Ω≈Ω≈Ω Ω≈Ω≈Ω
And my third:
190823 – The Little Kid
And if there is an overlap zone, and if my true Self really does live deep down in my unconscious, wouldn’t it make sense for me to live in that zone as much as possible? As close to my true Self as much as possible?
And what if my most precious ideas and inspirations come from that Self, not from a spirit such as a daimonion, or a genie, or a muse, as the ancients thought?
If so, then I need to spend more time being still, and quietening my conscious mind, and waiting.
Think of it this way:
A little kid comes running up out of my unconscious with a note for me. But he doesn’t see me, and he’s come as far as he dares.
Finally, he turns and goes back.
I was reading, perhaps, or visiting with someone, or listening to music, or working on my budget for the month. I was mostly in my conscious mind.
If I had been in the overlap zone, though, he could have given me that note.
But I failed him. And I failed myself.
My job, as I see it, if I’m going to bring my conscious self and my unconscious Self closer together, is to spend less time around noisy distractions: malls, traffic, newspapers, magazines, emails, the radio, the television, most music, my iPhone, and on and on, ad infinitum.
Otherwise, if I’m never in that overlap zone, quiet, and waiting, I’ll end up missing the little kid with all his notes. And eventually, he’ll give up on me. And eventually, I’ll forget that I ever knew anything about him or about my true Self. And I’ll be reduced to nothing but a mindless member of the herd leading what Aristotle describes as a bovine existence.
Ω≈Ω≈Ω Ω≈Ω≈Ω Ω≈Ω≈Ω
And my, etc:
190830 – Bonhoeffer
What if Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German theologian who was hanged by Hitler, is saying the same thing when he says that we cannot go to God with our prayers?
We cannot initiate the exchange, he says.
But God, through grace, can speak to us.
Mostly, however, God only does that when we are quietly meditating on something such as a single verse of Scripture, which is what Bonhoeffer had his students do.
In other words, what if Bonhoeffer had his students prepare themselves to hear God speak by becoming still, and by quietening their conscious minds, and by waiting?
Waiting in that overlap zone, perhaps, as close to the unconscious as possible?
Ω≈Ω≈Ω Ω≈Ω≈Ω Ω≈Ω≈Ω
190906 – Pure Energy
What if you were able to go deep, deep down into your unconscious mind, and you found that that is where mystical oneness lies?
And what if, when you got to the very end of your unconscious mind, you found that there is no end?
What if you found, instead, an infinite, pure energy, which some call God? And others, the white light of the universe? And others, the zero-point energy field?
And if you did find an energy like that, would it help you understand what Luke meant when he said that the kingdom of God is within you (17:21)?
(© 2019 Glenn Christianson. All rights reserved.)
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