It’s better to be observant and aware than to be oblivious. It’s better to understand and be able to interpret what you observe than to just observe.
Here is a new concept for me: Ascribing new meaning to things in the past that I’ve already given meaning to.
I didn’t realize that was an option. I thought after I had passed through an experience and thoughtfully reflected on it, I could arrive at a conclusion, deciding what it was I was meant to learn or gain from said experience…then write about it in my journal and move on. Only revisiting it to draw added light to help me understand present or future experiences. It never occurred to me that I could reevaluate it all together and discover a different meaning than the one I had initially found.
I read The Chosen right when I got home from Russia. One of my favorite quotes is something Danny’s father says to him, “At the moment when there seems to be no meaning in life, at that moment a person must try to find NEW meaning.” (emphasis added) I guess until you come across a contradiction that challenges the meaning you’ve already found, you don’t have any reason to go out in search of new meaning.
I remember coming home and looking at my book shelf and thinking “What shall I read first?” (I often talk to myself in first person biblical english.) I feel like there must have been a divine hand that grasped mine, lifted it, and, in answer, placed it on that book. In fact I remember buying it at a thrift store, and now that I think of it, there must have been a divine hand in leading me to buy it in the first place. That isn’t the point though, just interesting to me, I mean, how things work out.
Ultimately, meaning is decided on. It’s a matter of perspective, not a matter of fact. The facts are boring observations, and, in and of themselves, worthless. Facts cannot be decided on, they just are. Meaning and perspective, on the other hand, are a matter of choice and are a manifestation of the source. They say a lot about who you are.
Sometimes I have an aversion to how I see things. I’m bothered by what it says about me or the unfavorable light it sheds on someone else. The only way to change the way you interpret things (without lying and just pretending to feel or think a certain way) Is to change yourself. Gospel plug, that after all, is the object of the atonement and repentance.
My problem lately is that I assess new situations in light of the past and quickly assign meaning to them, only to realize, not much later, that I did not give the new situation time to reveal itself to me and be new and different from the past, so I have to go back and rethink everything. I’m always having to fight my propensity to make life into a formula.
(Theory modified as needed)