Origin: Late Middle English: from Old French considerer, from Latin considerare ‘examine’, perhaps based on sidus, sider- ‘star’.
‘You have to walk and breathe and give, and – voilà! – you’re in the flow.’*
There’s something really important about noticing what is already there. Erich Fromm wrote about requiring that a patient ‘acquires or has some idea of what his life ought to be or could be’.** I am a “patient” too.
To connect with the flow that life is – to one another, our world, ourselves, everything requires our deep consideration.
I found myself recently in an organisation’s conversation about its purpose. It felt very much that people would have to figure out how to fit in if they were to become part of it. I couldn’t help but reflect, rather than people having to do this why not help them to bring out and to bring what was already inside of them.^
I found myself continuing to consider this as I read some words from John O’Donohue, Alan Lightman, and Jacques Goldstyn’s young protagonist. I offer them in the order I read them:
‘The soul is always wiser than the mind, even though we are dependent on the mind to read the soul for us.’^^
‘Roughly speaking, the scientist tries to name things and the artist tries to avoid naming things […] Every electron is identical, but every love is different.’*^
‘To tell the truth, I have a feeling I’m not like other people. Not just because of the mittens.’^*
I found myself with more questions.
Is John O’Donohue’s “soul” a way of understanding how we understand ourselves and connect to the flow, for everyone, not just the religious? Maybe it’s about our unique way of “examining the stars”? A way of joining science and art? Getting to live all manner of weird and wonderful things with our identical electrons?
Chris Guillebeau writes about what he’d noticed people doing when they identified their “weirdly different” (my phrase):
‘It was as if they had chosen a particular kind of life and then changed other circumstances to accommodate it.’⁺
We’re each l capable of being considerers: noticing slowly and deeply, examining, exploring, wondering, wandering.
(*From Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell’s The Divine Dance.)
(**From Erich Fromm’s The Art of Listening).
(^ I couldn’t help but see Michelangelo’s unfinished sculptures which now reside in Florence – images that have become deeply influential for my work.)
(^^From John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes.)
(*^From Alan Lightman’s A Sense of the Mysterious.)
(^*From Jacques Goldstyn’s Bertolt.)
(⁺From Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit.)