I love books. They help me understand life. I consider them best friends. In college, in free time, I’d wander the library stacks, randomly plucking a book (or three or four) to suck out its marrow. One delectable I never forgot was Discourse on Method by a 17th century French mathematician/scientist/philosopher, René Descartes, who, in searching for a statement about reality that could not be doubted, came to the conclusion “I think therefore I am” (though, of course, he wrote it in French, je pense, donc je suis; then, in Latin, Cogito, ergo sum). He realized that our senses sometimes deceive us, and concluded they and the objects they present, like dreams, could not indicate reality. But mind or consciousness could. He found that thinking could not be doubted, that no ground of doubt could shake this truth he’d discovered, a foundational truth which granted him the reputation as “the father of modern philosophy”.
Thought, mind, consciousness, has been valued from earliest times. 6oo years before Christ Jesus, the Buddha taught:
“The thought manifests the word;
The word manifests the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let them spring forth from love
Born out of compassion for all beings.
As the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become.”
————-Buddha, The Dhammapada
Words matter. As do the thoughts that create them. They lead to our becoming. They launch our experience.
I printed these words on a card, placed the card on my kitchen window sill, to remind me to think about them often: “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thought” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy, p. 261:4).
We bring into our experience whatever we hold in thought. What we think is what we get. What are you thinking right now? Thoughts good, kind, honest, loving? Or thoughts with bits of anger, hate, pride, and fear? I know those unpleasant bits invade my thinking at times. During Covid they try to frequent everyone’s thought. But we must try all the more to hold tight to the good. And throw the rest away. The real part of you or me or anyone is being God’s child. Yes, even when you see, hear, taste, smell and feel dark images–like the recent mass shootings–keep holding yourself, and those you think of, in God’s care. Remember our Creator is Good. Terror is not part of God. Evil is not God’s reality. How can Good know evil? When our good thoughts lead to good deeds, then good habits, and finally good character, our living rises to the Good and ideas come to us as to how to spread the good and irradicate the evil. The love you’ve held tight to throughout every challenge will find expression. Your human experience aligns to God and we see ourselves and everyone in His/Her image, an image not supported by material senses but by Spirit.
It all begins with thought.
Asian Fusion, mixed media, custom framed, 39 1/2″ x 31 1/2″, $1,275
Non-objective abstract art comes like music; it is a creation of thought, feelings, emotions, impressions, and spiritual intuition rather than from what is physically seen, yet it becomes what is seen by the coordination of shapes, lines, colors, etc. It grows and teaches over time and is one of my favorite and most intense ways of working.