We become what we think about. Derek Lin
In his translation and commentary of the Tao Te Ching, Derek Lin frequently offers thoughtful insight into the inner world in which I devote much of my time.
The Impact of Language
For several reasons, I strongly agree, “We become what we think about.” Not only our thoughts but our modes of thinking impact what we believe and how we act. Ludwig Wittgenstein, whom several regard as the most influential philosopher of the 20th Century, claims that our entire world-view is limited by the language we use and the concepts upon which we concentrate. In other words, thinking and language are essential in the development of who we are as human beings.
Coming to Terms with Yourself
Wittgenstein writes so poignantly about the importance of thought in determining who we are as humans, “How can I be a philosopher before I am a human being? For the most important thing is coming to terms with myself!”
Is that not what much of thinking consists of? “Coming to terms with ourselves.” All of which includes a coming to terms with our situations and the people in our lives—a sometimes pleasurable and sometimes haunting exercise.
So enough philosophy, let’s get practical.
The Curse of a Cluttered Mind
I find that when my mind is cluttered with tension, misdoings, faults, and distrust then I am left with a cluttered and distracted self, unable to enjoy a personal narrative of love and tranquility. I am “coming to terms with myself.” Recently, disturbing situations in my life have distracted me from love and joy, leading me to a state of unrest in which I can no longer find the tranquility and love of self and others. Yesterday, I was a darkened man without a solid base upon which to stand against the trials of the world. Such is the haunting consequence of thinking.
The Three Encouragements
Derek Lin has helped immensely in my inner self today.
Derek Lin offers hope in his commentary on the Tao. He encourages us to employ three thoughtful practices:
- Use fewer words, for the more you talk about something the more prevalent it becomes in your psyche. Talking about it only leads to a tumultuous soul, one that can no longer sink itself into the waters of tranquility. Instead I can find myself in a state of disorder and disarray.
- Engage in quiet reflection. I fear this is quite abnormal in our hectic lives. We find no time—or place—for secluded times of reflection. And yet it is essential for a life of joy and peace. Time for pondering your life, your values, your families, your work, and the overall condition with your soul. Perhaps it is merely a matter of arising 30 minutes earlier in the mornings, find a quiet place to ponder and even journal.
- Consider your purpose and how you might serve that purpose. Today my purpose is closely aligned with Wells of Life and serving the wonderful people in rural Uganda. My overriding purpose is to bring love and peace in the space I hold.
When all three are done in a spirit of love, collaboration, and peace, my soul is satisfied.
Come to Terms with Yourself
Think About It!
Photo courtesy of Rawpixel at istockphoto