This is an
astounding ability. All animals REACT according to the
dictates of instinct and conditioning. They experience
something and make an immediate choice. Their lives are
basically stimuli followed by reaction. That’s it. They
go from one experience to another; they do not think
about it, wonder about it. They just do it. But you, you
lucky sod, you can STOP and contemplate what you
experienced. Not only that, you can at any later date
recall any experience and contemplate it … again and
again. You have a limitless capacity to consider
possibilities and to APPRECIATE all you encounter.
Amazing! To be able to pause your reacting mechanism,
reflect, ponder and ENJOY what flies through your mind.
What a trip!
Swimming in the river you approach a large rock blocking
your way. You think of various ways to deal with it:
Squeeze ‘round it, dislodge it, obliterate it. You will
figure something out. As you come closer you are quite
taken by the rock’s speckled colors. They shimmer. The
surface is jagged but smooth in places. You contemplate
it. What is it made of? How did it form? How long has it
been there? Something is growing in a crevice. How does
this wavering, silky green survive? For how long? You
want to know.
You probably take
this type of observing for granted. Big deal. Wondering
opens up worlds of questions, practical and mundane: Can
you eat it? Weave it? Crush it for a dye? However, you
often just gaze at an object entranced by its
uniqueness. For no apparent reason. You enjoy
contemplating it. You watch leaves vibrate, clouds
changing shapes. Animals are especially appealing. You
gaze often at pictures of bears and cats and dogs.
Fascinating. And doesn’t that trash look interesting
sitting there? What nice colors and look at the
beautiful designs painted on the container. Maybe you
should take pictures of it. Frame them. You are an
artist. You’re daft!
Think about it. Unlike animals that react to the world
around them in their determined way, you can contemplate
things … for hours if you wish. With only this one
uniqueness you are experiencing far beyond what nature
demands. You are REFLECTING AND WONDERING. You are
considering aspects that have nothing to do with
survival or pleasure. You are bringing into
consciousness a seemingly unbounded awe. There is no
limit to this ability. You are boundless … and never
more so than in your sense of BEAUTY.
close your eyes
empty your mind
think about one object
contemplate every aspect of it
perhaps a rug … its design, its colors, what type of
material it is, how and where it was made, how old it
is, how much it cost, what is it worth now, how did it
get where it is, what kind of condition is it in, what
lives in it, on it, what is it covering, what have
others thought about it, what uses can you make of it
when you cut it up, what would grandma think of this
desecration, how much does it weigh …
You are being spiritual
when you Wonder,
When you contemplate
When you ponder the necessity for gravity.
When you gaze at the Grand Canyon and feel elated.
When the rain on your window screen stirs your senses.
When you wonder why there is so much variety in the world.
When you become excited about 3-D images on your monitor.
When laughing spontaneously and reveling in this experience
When clown faces and summersault feats by acrobats in the
visiting circus enthrall you.
When you gasp with delight while discovering … grasping
‘new’ knowledge and insight.
When your ‘toes tap’ … fingers rap … to a captivating tune …
when music is ‘stirring’ your soul.
captivated by what you encounter … use all your senses … once
you get into the habit of doing this there is so much that will
enrich your life … there is nothing that does not hold
fascination … from microbes to nebula … they all await your
enthusiastic scrutiny … understand them … be ‘entranced’ by them
… simple structures, vast complexities, natural or man-made …
they can be overwhelming
DEFINITIONS AND ESSAYS
©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and definingyourworld.com. All or
part of only one topic, including all definitions and essay,
may be used without written permission. Please see full
copyright notice on home page.