Thursday, June 19, 2008


Have you ever thought about your thoughts? About why you think? How you think? About how your thoughts aren't the same as everyone else's?... In my psychology classes they told us that's called "metacognition," and that it's a sign a kid is growing up when he starts to be able to do that. Several of the books I'm reading touch on this topic-- one on how our thoughts & feelings must so often be images rather than only words, and how they are nearly incommunicable at times; another on how our thoughts remind us that there is a God who can hear them; another on how they reveal our true selves. So here are some thoughts about thoughts...

"I had a sudden memory of how difficult it was to describe the feelings I had on Midsummer's Eve, and of how I wrote of the day as a cathedral-like avenue. The images that came into my mind then have been linked with that day and with Simon ever since. Yet I could never explain how the image and the reality merge, and how they somehow extend and beautify each other."
~ "Cassandra" Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle, Chapter XVI

"When you think to yourself -- and most of our waking life is taken up thinking to oneself-- you have that feeling that your thoughts aren't entirely wasted, that in some sense they are being heard. I think it's this sensation of silently being listened to with total comprehension that represents our innate belief in a supreme being, an all-comprehending intelligence."
~ "Charlie" Whit Stillman, Metropolitan (1990); quoted in Tim Keller's Reason for God

"Our inner life must ultimately be recognized as the authentic life. It cannot lie or dessemble. It cannot be groomed as one's face and hair, nor dismissed in clothing that conceals."
~ Walter Wangerin, Jr., Miz Lil and the Chronicles of Grace, An Afterword

At first I wondered if we weren't being a little presumptuous, assuming that the deepest parts of life go on in our own heads... now I remember that we think because God thinks. We are made in His Image. Let us then aim to conform our thoughts to His thoughts; to know Him so well that we are more likely to guess His desires when they seem uncertain, and to trust His goodness when His plan is downright inscrutable.
~ my journal

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

"And do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is; His good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

"In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul." Psalm 94:19

It was common in earlier days for people to keep "collects;" sort of journals where they copied down quotes and thoughts of others, sometimes commenting on them themselves, other times letting the words mesh and chronicle their thoughts for them. Especially lately my journal has become a collect. This summer is wonderfully free in some sense, allowing me to do a lot of reading and thinking; writing and planning for next year certainly, but plenty of reading and thinking for the sake of reading and thinking. I shouldn't say that; it's not just so I can exersise my mind per se, but more that I can exersise the mind given me by the One who hears my thoughts-- Elohim shema... "God hears" as He reminded Hagar (Gen 21:17). I want to spend my days remembering that our God is Yahweh El Roi --the Living One who Sees Me-- as Hagar called Him. (Gen 16:13)

"Search me and know my heart, O God; try me and know my thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24


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