Home Winsights
No. 54 (October 2001)

A Useful Contemplation
by Win Wenger, Ph.D.

Our Indo-European language, English, causes us to think and perceive mainly in terms of subject-predicate relations, simple one-way cause-and-effect, and of objects rather than processes. Our English language is a lot richer and more sensitive than most other languages, but even so, it lets us settle for a perception and perspective which is far short of reality.

I pick up the book... with no perception or thought of how the act of picking up that book is affecting me in turn (unless it's extremely heavy and requires a LOT of effort), of all the factors leading me TO pick up that book, and of the multiple consequences flowing FROM the act of my picking up that book. We get by with such a limited awareness, but sometimes it may be useful to awaken awareness beyond these very narrow constraints.

You might, right now, pick up a substantial book or some other object, and make a study of all that was going on in your body, physical and otherwise, that accompanied and was part of your act of picking up that object, of all the factors going on which decided you in fact TO pick up that object (or which decided you in fact NOT to pick up that object!), and some of the likely consequences flowing from that point of action or inaction....

It'd be worthwhile putting several minutes into such an attentive "mindful" study right now and, at its conclusion, to take several other similarly simple physical actions, just to get a taste of just how rich our existence really is, and possibly the beginnings of a sense how to subtly shape events and outcomes....


The part of this I really want to address, this time, is where we've been thinking and perceiving mainly in terms of objects, rather than of multi-ordinal ongoing confluences.

To think and perceive in closer approximation of the reality,

  • Think of a highway system getting resurfaced, and at places getting shored up or repaired.
  • Think of a house getting re-painted, re-roofed, its plumbing re-worked.
  • Think of a car getting repaired, receiving oil or transmission fluid, getting tuned up.
  • Think of a ship with sailors all over it repainting, cleaning, reworking its mechanisms.
Instead of objects, mere things, think of these as ongoing systems evolving, changing through time, needing to be sustained even as they sustain..... Flows of ongoing events within flows of ongoing events....

None of these are "objects" as our language trains us to think of such things — static, unchanging, "lifeless" in the broadest sense, absolute sets absolutely there for whatever interval of time.

These are streams of vectored events, ongoing ripples in the stream of existence for at least awhile, interacting with confluent and spreading/diverging flows of various other possible outcome events.

Think of yourself as a rather complex swirl of confluent possibilities, interacting with other streams of possibility amidst larger overall flow.

From there, as a complex swirling stream of vectored possibilities interacting with multiply complex other streams of possibilities....

Don't let this be just a poem or a word soup for you. Visualize — image/imagine by sight, sense of motion, sound, smell, taste, FEEL especially — being a rather involved eddy in a complexly swirling, turbulent river. Ride through some of that river as that eddy.......at least 2-3 minutes' worth of this multi-sensory contemplation, at least 2-3 minutes' worth starting now as you've just read these words.....


Now please take 2-3 minutes more each, to meditate on each of the following three sectors of your life while continuing that sense of being an involved, complex, multi-vectored eddy in a complexly swirling, turbulent and very broad river:
  1. View from there how you've positioned yourself and ARE positioning yourself, in work and career and in relation to what you've hoped to achieve.

  2. View from there your life style, especially as regards health and "preventive medicine."

  3. View from there the tending of those close personal relationships which mean the most to you.


Please take several more minutes to make notes on what you've observed. Freenoting for ten minutes might be even better. Freenoting is self-taught elsewhere on this website. Whatever from there is up to you.


Comments to:
Win Wenger

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