There are so many things on my mind today after a long and busy week. The lack of reflection time has backed up my thoughts like Friday afternoon traffic in Southern California. I’ve been on autopilot the last seven days, my thinking dominated mostly by bossy task masters -I just do their bidding. Now I need to know more about them, to reevaluate and investigate the intent and purpose of these cerebral residents that claim to speak for me and that also speak at me.
The idea is to sift through the tangled overgrowth of thoughts to find myself –I know I’m in there somewhere. I’m railroaded by these thoughts because I allow it. But thoughts are not me. They are stand-ins. If I don’t take ownership of my thoughts they will take ownership of me! They quickly get out of control and conspire a hostile takeover if not closely monitored.
I can’t say I can actively reign them in, because the word “active” implies I am creating more thoughts: how can you reduce thoughts by creating more thoughts, or by putting one thought in charge with the authority to corral and tame all the others? There is something insidiously wrong with that line of reasoning. Thoughts are the problem! So “active” by itself is incorrect. Passively active is a better way to say it.
Now I know that has Zen, Taoist or Pantheistic implications, but if it’s true it doesn’t belong to any of these world views. In fact, the majority of world views get something right, however just because they get something right doesn’t mean they get everything right. Sometimes they identify and describe the truth that’s out there accurately.
Anyway, I’m digressing. Being passively active merely means being aware. Not thinking about being aware; just being aware. Allowing yourself to be aware. In real time. Now.
Isn’t that the essence of so-called mediation? Or should be? I know there are popular methods of “meditation”, (which will remain unnamed) that instruct the victim, err… practitioner, to sit quietly somewhere and repeat over and over in their head a secret, magical word. That word should be “fraud, fraud, fraud, fraauuud…”
Repeating a word over and over again makes you stupid, not enlightened! And I didn’t need a guru to tell me that!
Ah, but isn’t that the way of the world, knowingly or unknowingly people think they have “the way” which they market to others for various forms of compensation –money, power, authority or fame? Knowingly marketing what you know in your heart is wrong is a moral step-down in behavior. Of course if the purpose of your life is to deliberately prey upon your fellow man then it would be more apropos to call it a step-up, a promotion in the hierarchy of evil.
There are rewards and consequences to any behavior and we all have the choice to partake or not partake in those behaviors on both sides of the equation: as buyers or sellers. Oh! The dilemma of the power of choice! We are not good with that power! Mostly because we don’t and won’t take responsibility for our choices. What did Adam say? “That woman you put here with me…”!
Did I digress again?! Being passively active is merely a way to describe awareness. It isn’t an instruction. It’s YOU paying attention! That’s it! The marketers of “enlightenment” make it so much more complicated! It’s making the deliberate and conscious choice to look at everything going on in your mind and heart. Just look at it. See it for what it is. Observe it.
What does this have to do with Apologetics? It starts with us, with what is inside our own minds and hearts. We have to know ourselves first and sometimes we lose track of that in the busy business of life. We have to keep coming back to who and what we are, to see ourselves accurately, to look at “what is”, like it or not. Who am I? What have I become? What am I becoming? A reality check. A continual honest evaluation of ourselves keeps the weeds down, keeps us humble and engenders our goal of an unobstructed communion with God’s Word. Without that communion, without humility and without intellectual honesty our minds become hijacked by a crooked heart with an axe to grind that corrupts the clarity essential for us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks [us] to give a reason for the hope that [we] have” in Christ.