con·tem·plate | ˈkän(t)əmˌplāt |
verb [with object]
look thoughtfully for a long time at: he sat on the carpet contemplating his image in the mirrors.
• think about: the results of a trade war are too horrifying to contemplate.
• [no object] think profoundly and at length; meditate: he sat morosely contemplating.
• have in mind as a probable though not certain intention: she was contemplating a gold mining venture
We enjoy hearing the sounds of language so much that we rarely have time to assimilate one set of ideas before another and different one engages our mind. What passes for learning is often entertainment—the nod of recognition and approval that we give to something we enjoy.
We are drowning in a sea of words! And the water is dirty, polluted and convoluted with slime.
Our intense preoccupation with communication skills has made us a race of people who often confuse words with facts. Reason and common sense seem daily to evaporate like steam in hot boiling water into the ethers.
Sometimes, I am convinced, we hear far too much.. The constant bombardment of media—social, television, gaming, news and the printed page has dulled the senses of most people. All the while creating an insatiable appetite for more.
The most addicted drug in the world is the spoken and written word.
This is especially deadly in religion. We have no time to deal with the reality of what we hear because we are far too busily engaged in hearing something else. We can become “collector” of words and enjoy their usage, but ignore the meanings and miss the realities.
How often do you really investigate for yourself the definitions and meanings of words? I do, most don’t. We therefore have people parroting verbiage in which there is little comprehension or astute awareness of the effects of such dialogue.
What you put in the mind is sent out in observable behavior. It becomes your theater of experience.
In some cases there is evidence that, because we value words so much, the Bible becomes worshipped and takes precedence over God, Himself.
Our religious life can be a “game of words.” We strive so hard to “say it right” that we lose touch with meaning. I have long been aware that “what the Bible says” is not nearly so critical and crucial as “what the Bible means.”
To become primarily concerned with the words of our faith is to become superficial; often judgmental, for words come the criteria for judgement.
In my opinion, we need more space for reflection, contemplation and assimilation. That is a key to growth, both mentally and spiritually. It affects our health, wellness and ability to process the constant rushing flow of words.
To hear and hear again in repetition what we only acknowledge but seldom incorporate is to become limited, dulled, and even obsessed. It takes longer to understand the meaning of words we hear or read than it does to hear them or see them. Why not give yourself some “thinking space?”
Well that’s the biggest challenge of the 21st Century, you need to be able to think and think critically. This does not mean judgmentally, but to investigate for yourself the validity of the information that is presented with values, reason and common sense. It is not a question of right or wrong, rather sense or non sense.
The 20th Century model that 93% of communication in non verbal is not necessarily as valid as one might presume. The words that comprise the 7% impact the whole lexicon of the process.
Did not Jesus say, “you shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Perhaps we could apply this wisdom in our daily experience as a practice.
If you’ve read this far, maybe you are one of the few who guards the temple of the mind and watches carefully what passes by and what you allow to enter, settle and manifest. I welcome you.
Words have the power to heal, steal or destroy the physical body and the soul. Be aware of what you’re sending out into the universe because it is a being reflected as you.
Referenced and contributions by Kenneth Haystead M.A. “It Seems To Me,” January 1988. Published by Peace for Today.
Genuine Recovery Art contributed August, 25, 2021. Martin Santos