i’ve been having my mind stretched a lot lately. this is good, because i’d gotten a bit lazy in the depth of my thinking. to really think about something i have to do a lot of mental rooting and ruminating before i’m satisfied. that is good! but it takes time and energy, and it’s sooooooooo much easier to just not think.
so, inadvertent mind-stretchers, i thank you.
sometimes, though, this stretching wanders, through no fault of its own, over some pet idea or turf i’ve claimed for myself, and i wake up from my nap away from thinking, grumpy and mildly outraged at having to examine the situation all over again.
here’s a recent cause of consternation:
you don’t have a soul. you are a Soul. you have a body.
— c.s. lewis
now personally i find that beautiful — so beautiful i wrote a poem about it — but i found out yesterday, or the day before, perhaps, that not everyone agrees with it. well, really, i’m glad of that now more than anything, but i was a bit peeved about it yesterday because it made me think. harrumph! gasp! you mean you actually want me to not take something at face value because of the person who wrote it and actually examine the matter for myself? how shocking!
don’t you just love italics? they remind me of how silly i am.
anyway — so i thought. i thought all day, actually, about all kinds of things, including platonic forms, the trivium and quadrivium, the resurrection, world war ii, economics, saint george, lorum ipsum, and the swiss cheese-like state of my knowledge about history past and history present and the world at large … and about the soul and body and the nature of humanness.
i’m mildly surprised my mind didn’t explode from all that, because there’s some fascinating, weighty stuff there. i thought of all kinds of books i need to read or re-read now, in addition to the ones i already knew i needed to read.
when i don’t understand something, writing helps me keep track of my thoughts all in one place so i actually end up with a resolution of some kind after a while. so here are my rambling thoughts, such as they are, on the lewis quote and the discussion it inspired that made me get to thinking in the first place.
— — —
i have trouble containing this
the collision of mind and heart and body,
soul and spirit,
at once indelible and corruptible
the discontinuity of existence between
and beyond life and death
and the everlasting resurrection
in re-creation —
can i possibly understand this
in the present dimness of sight?
is my mind big enough to hold this idea fully formed —
is it strong enough to keep asking questions beyond
my expectations of understanding?
can i know in life
the finer points of how
God in His infinite wisdom
will parse and define me
is this thing i live in just my house,
or as intrinsic to my existence
as its animating genius?
there is something of earthy realism
— if you prick me, will i not bleed? —
that belies the platonic shadows
of unconscious disinterest
but the disambiguation
of things my own sooted
lamps cannot illumine
now i’m trying to be profound
to mask my own confundity.
yet, one day, this mystery
will explain itself
when i walk through it
from the lesser darkness
into greater light
and know the Answer
to every question
face to face