New thoughts can come from taking a new perspective on things. One way to do that is to challenge the assumptions that exist. For example, is love a feeling of desire or attachment? This is a common assumption, but what if we challenge this?
New Thoughts on Love
Desire and attachment can be strong feelings, and they are often called love in certain contexts. However, attachment can be for bad reasons too, right? Desire too can come from less than noble places. What is an alternative definition of love?
How about recognition of value? Seeing the inherent value in a person, like the beauty you see in a painting or hear in a melody. You do not need to be attached or even desirous of beauty to enjoy it. You just have to recognize it. The enjoyment that you take in another’s existence could be a definition of love. At least the emotion.
Love is more than an emotion though. How much love does a mother have for her children if she feels fond of them, but doesn’t feed them? Love in this context has to include action, doesn’t it?
This points up the real problem with defining concepts like love. There are seven or eight or perhaps a hundred things we want to communicate. They are each different, yet we have just one word for them. Maybe rather than re-defining love we need to create a dozen new words. Now there’s an area for some new thoughts.
Random New Thoughts
Another way to have new thoughts is to just look for new ideas to replace old ones. Then you expand on the new idea, to see what value you might find in it. Here are some examples of new thoughts, without expanding on them (help yourself).
– Why do we encourage uninformed people to vote? Maybe it’s better to encourage people NOT to vote unless they are willing to educate themselves on the issues.
– Is multitasking a sign of efficiency? Maybe the fact that we need to be so busy just to get what we want shows that our actions aren’t effective enough.
– Why can’t we pay less for a surgeon who kills more people on the operating table? Why not recognize that there are better and worse doctors, have that information available, and pay accordingly?
– How about wonder instead of faith? Faith is just believing without reason. Wonder is to marvel at the world and accept that we don’t have reasons or explanations for everything.
Finally, what if our level of creativity, and ability to have new thoughts isn’t just something that is set at birth. What if it is a systematic process, one that may not be recognized by those who use it, but can be identified and copied? All of us can train ourselves to have creative new thoughts.
The Magic Of Balance
Who has not watched intelligent, educated, good-hearted people unable to create the lives they desired, who eventually give up, consumed with despair and anger? They flail like gorillas on roller skates, with great strength, but no leverage at all.
Why does this happen? One possible answer is that they had theories, models for everything around them in life, but no way to check the accuracy of their ideas. They failed to grasp that EVERYONE deletes information from their conscious input. It is simply impossible to take in all the data that streams past our senses. Note the recent experiments proving that those self-identified with either the political Right or Left can see the flaws in the other party’s arguments, but not in their own. This is typical of religious or gender bias as well. Men and women, Christian and Moslem, Believer and Atheist…all are vulnerable to this tendency.
If we are to be successful in life, we must have a cosmology
Life Advice Looking Through A Window
Living in today’s metropolitan world of cellular phones, mobile computers and other high-tech gadgets is not just hectic but very impersonal. We make money and then invest our time and effort in making more money. Does it end? Not usually because we are never satisfied. How many times have we convinced ourselves that if only we had some more money, life would be so sweet? But then, after receiving a substantial raise, we realize that it wasn’t enough and that we need more?
What Should You Do?
I have read many books on life such as Robin Sharma’s Monk says this and the monk says that, and they all seem to say that money is not necessary. But it is. Can you do without cash and a lot of it? I know I can’t.
So, I went to the neighbourhood Rabbi and asked for advice that will help me find my true way in life.
The rabbi nodded and took me to the window. “What do you see?” he asked me.
Promptly, I answered, “I can see people walking to and fro and a blind man is begging for alms at the left corner.”
The Rabbi nodded and guided me to a big mirror. “Now look and tell me what you see?”
“I can see myself,” I man answered.
The Rabbi smiled. “Now you can’t see anyone else. The mirror and the window are both created from the same raw material: glass, but because on one of them they have applied a thin layer of silver when you look at it all you can see is your reflection.”
The Rabbi placed his arm on my shoulders. “Compare yourself to those two pieces of glass. Without the silver layer, you saw the other people and felt compassion for them. When you are covered with silver, you see only yourself.”
I looked at the Rabbi and stared. “I don’t understand.”
The Rabbi continued. “You will become someone only if have the courage to remove the silver covering over your eyes to again see and love others.” He patted me on my back and sent me on my way.
I have thought of what he said and conclude that he had a point. Yes. We need money and we should not aim to lead a moneyless existence; it’s pointless and will only cause us and our families many heartbreaks in the future.
Instead, I suggest that we should follow the advice the Rabbi gave me. When we approach life through a silver covering, all we can see is ourselves. But discard that covering, and you will be able to see and feel everyone else.
In life, we are allowed to and should be able to look at both kinds of mirrors, but we should remember that a mirror reflects only us; a window is a door to compassion, health and true wealth. In other words, seek wealth by all means, but don’t let it dissuade you from life, people, children and the poor and needy.