Where do our conceptions of time, of order, of belonging, and most importantly, of self come from? The principles that elicit these questions are at the heart of our existential conundrum. It is what the Germans call our weltanschauung — our attitude of mind, our world view, not the dictates of some ideology but rather an implicit belief in the provenance of all things and their eventual denouement. Though these intrinsic principles are neither singular nor the same in each of us, we tacitly believe that everything has a purpose, a teleology. Our time is limited and so we do not want to lose the hour or waste the day, and even at our most altruistic, we are working towards some aim or purpose. So we try to analyse and deconstruct, using the rigid mechanism of our semantic thought, anything new that we come across in the external world or even newfound knowledge about ourselves. Yet, time and again we realise that this very enthusiasm to dominate and “take charge”, prevents direct experience with the world; this getting is the paradoxical block in the work, getting us nowhere.
If the richness or poverty of thought is not limited by the influx of experiences, but by the ability of the mind to formulate conceptions as it meets those new experiences, then concepts and habits of interpretation are paramount in our dealings with the world. When we examine our rigid conceptual structures, we can begin to unloose them so that we stop acting through an ego-centric consciousness and put our trust in the unconscious, the undermined. Through the ancient triad of mind, body, and soul, the writings here attempt to explore the origins of our ideas, whether atavistic or contemporary, learned or innate, through to the actions that they engender through the realisation of some old but persistent thought which has been hatched through subconscious brooding.
According to Hermann Heesse, reading plays an essential role in our spiritual life, and the end of a book’s wisdom appears to us as merely the start of our own. Sign up to my weekly newsletter at Revue for stories that will soothe, ruffle, and challenge your unconscious mind.