Some thoughts on Thinking Naughty Thoughts

on Wednesday, 05 June 2013. Posted in Blog Archives

It is here, FINALLY.

 

Following months of mind-wandering procrastination from my side as well as a few incidents outside of my control that I had not anticipated which delayed the publication of this book, I am glad to announce that my second book, Thinking Naughty Thoughts: On church, and why I think we need to change, is finally ready for distribution!

 

The Inner Journey

on Monday, 25 March 2013. Posted in Blog Archives

I should be happy.

 

The days leading up to these words have been beautiful and desirable on all accounts. It's been preceded by a three week road trip through South Africa that has spanned just over 4000 kilometres already, and as it stands I am only about halfway into my journey.

 

As I write these words, I am sitting in a coffee shop just off the promenade in Cape Town, and the very fact that it is Monday morning and I am not at work like most people I know makes me realise all the more that I am indeed privileged.

 

The other side of me

on Wednesday, 13 February 2013. Posted in Blog Archives

I admire the kind of people who can simply show up and fashion something out of thin air, as if creativity and inspiration are theirs for the taking at any given moment in time. Do you know the type? It's as if their creative capacities are so well practiced that they hardly need any initiation or encouragement to get their creative juices flowing. You cut them and it bleeds: music, words, ideas, images, whatever.

 

I like to think of myself as a person who is in touch with my creative right brain self, but I would be lying if I said that I dwelled there continually. I need to be deliberate in my attempt to access that place where I feel most at home. I need to slow down in order to enter into the silence, and even after years of this knowledge I still find myself resisting this pull, kicking and screaming until finally it is exhaustion rather than wisdom that leads me to a place of rest.

 

Solidarity

on Friday, 18 January 2013. Posted in Blog Archives

When we dare to become individuals through the risk of entering into the silence where the voice of God speaks, something beautiful happens: we awake to our identity as a member of the human race. This might sound commonplace and ignorant, as if discovering our human identity should come as a surprise to us. But when we examine our lives and the forces that shape our existence, we may soon discover that we are often defined and driven by influences that are in fact de-humanizing.

 

Think about it. Being or becoming fully human is often something that is frowned upon, as if it is a state that we ought to escape. Here's one example. Have you ever heard someone say something along the following lines: 'I made a mistake, I am just human.'? Maybe you have used such words yourself. But think about the implication of such a simple phrase: 'I messed up ... because I am human.' Now, I have no quibble with the suggestion that we all mess up and make mistakes, but what I marvel at is the reason we so often give for being fallible: because we are human. But this is to mistake the human identity altogether. Maybe it is better to say that I mess up exactly because I am not fully human yet. I relapse because I am still in recovery; I don't relapse because I'm bound by fate to be a drunk.

 

Silence

on Wednesday, 09 January 2013. Posted in Blog Archives

One cannot really explore solitude without also entering into silence. As far the spiritual disciplines goes, I have always considered silence and solitude as part of the same practice, like two hands washing each other. As such, if I am to recover from my SDD - my solitude deficit disorder - I will also have to reclaim my right to silence.

 

So then, silence.

 

Maybe the best way to emphasize the need for silence in our lives is to consider the alternative, a life which Merton identifies as 'an uninterrupted flow of words which is finally silenced by death.' Elsewhere, he says the following: 'If our life is poured out in useless words, we will never hear anything, will never become anything, and in the end, because we have said everything before we had anything to say we shall be left speechless at the moment of our great decision.’

 

I suffer from SDD - how about you?

on Thursday, 03 January 2013. Posted in Blog Archives

A day or two after Christmas I arrived home drained and exhausted. You know how it goes: food, family and festivities. Our small family didn't exactly have a great big festive splash, but my Christmas day was preceded by a week of deadlines and duties 'to keep the pot cooking' as they say, and prior to that I was toiling in the garden and fixing up all the broken bits and bobs of the new house I moved into at the beginning of December.

 

I arrived back home on the 26th or the 27th and informed my neighbours that they won't be seeing me for the night, as I needed some time alone. We usually eat together - it's one of those 'my house is your house and your house is my house' kind of arrangements.

 

To See

on Wednesday, 02 January 2013. Posted in Blog Archives

The last few weeks I have been wrestling with this thing within me that seeks to explain, analyse and understand every conceivable experience and concept that in some form or another enters into my life. In the words of my friend Cindy, I have been over-thinking about over-thinking again. The trouble with this kind of over-thinking, of course, is that you end up either over-explaining or being totally inarticulate. I guess it's better than the overly articulate individual who doesn't care to explain anything at all, but even so it is not an entirely desirable state.

 

In my life reason, which is really nothing more than the ability to think about things clearly and critically, has served me well. It has helped me question and ultimately transcend many of the boundaries that I have been born into: be it economical, social or religious boundaries. The ability to deconstruct systems and then re-invent a way of life for myself with which I feel more at home with is one of the many benefits of living an 'examined life' as the ancient Greek philosophers called it. As such I will continue to cherish and nourish it, for not to think is simply unthinkable to me.

 

Awareness

on Saturday, 22 December 2012. Posted in Blog Archives

I am a complicated individual. I don't think I consciously choose to be - I just am. I over-think and over-analyse everything: even my tendency to over-think and over-analyse everything. I cannot help but see the flip side of the coin, the counter-argument, the validity of another perspective. I am slow and even reluctant to give definite answers or propose watertight solutions, and as such I often find myself floating about indecisively, even aimlessly.

 

I am also a very sensitive individual. Whether or not it is 'right' or 'commendable' I don't know, but I am deeply moved by the words people direct at me. A couple of days ago, for instance, an atheist friend of mine who sometimes reads what I write sent me a straightforward text message: 'I am sorry, but I cannot relate to what you write about at all.' I don't know why that bothers me so much. I feel no compulsion to convince or convert her. She is an intelligent individual whose own journey in life has led her to currently conclude that there is nothing beyond the biological. I respect her point of view because I respect her human journey, and I think the feeling is mutual. But for some reason it still unsettles me that someone I care for find nothing of relevance in that which is of utmost importance to me.