Thursday, November 09, 2017

On Thinking Deeply

Re-reading The One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka, I realize that I am not nearly as deep thinking as I need to be.

"A person can analyze and investigate a butterfly all he likes, but he cannot make a butterfly."

"If you hit the mark on the wrong target, you have missed."

"The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings."

"I probably know more about what can go wrong growing agricultural crops than anyone else in Japan."

Why can I not think like this on a more regular basis?

Two factors, I believe:  Lack of contemplation and lack of purpose.

My days - almost from the time I get up to the time I go to bed - are filled with activity, both mental and physical.  Work has become (literally) a cyclone of activity where I do not seem to have five minutes to contemplate anything, let alone an hour.  But deep thoughts only grow out of the soil of thinking deeply and having the ability to do so (silence plays an incredibly important role here as well).  A constant stream of information flow and decision making, both internal and external, prevents this.

Deep thinking also occurs about something - we thinking deeply about farming or life or love or the nature of rabbits.  Such thinking does not occur in a vacuum.  Without a purpose - in our life or in our thinking beyond the day to day activities we undertake - we do not provide grist for the thought mill.  Bills and documents and pulling the trash out to the curb on Fridays scarcely has the power to generate the sorts of thoughts that change lives (or maybe they do - if your gift is thinking about the very hum drum nature of existence).

Do I have an answer?  Not one that I can readily apply.  Yes, I can perhaps create a little more space in my life for the thoughts to occur?  But on what?  And more importantly, how do I increase that amount of space to think deeply?

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