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Pause and Reflect

Updated on May 2, 2010

Sapere Aude: Think for yourself!

One's perception is intuitive, heart centered and emotional in nature. One's perspective relies on experience, logic and thought. Gleaned from years of conditioning, either one can be the main focus of a person's ideas about life and manifest in the way they reflect on things.

We tend to spend more time in our minds than we do in our hearts. There is a kind of dismissal evident when people say they "feel" instead of they "think". It seems inconsistent in the Western World to "think" from the heart, while in the Eastern World it is espoused in the Tao te Ching and other Eastern works.

At times I feel as though my existence in the world is either in a time period too early, or too late. Many times I have been ahead of the curve about my ideas, and other times I have found myself reflecting upon the wisdom of the ages for my own unique perspective on life. Having read so many books and considered so many differing views on religion, spirituality, philosophy, history, and great literature, I find myself feeling alienated from the current paradigm. It is difficult to exist in a world so diametrically opposed to my own worldview.

Most of the time I am uncomfortable existing in a world were people articulate their religious ideals but do not walk the path they espouse. Judgment, anger and bigotry appear to loom around each and every corner, and violence in the name of one of the greatest teachers mankind has known has been waged. Taking a tip from the Buddhists, I see that beliefs can be lived through acts of love and compassion. Watching kind and loving gestures and silent reverie echo the spiritual system these pilgrims admonish.

Reflecting upon the perceptions people have about others and their inability to listen to the perspectives others have means we remain stuck in old thinking and do not allow ourselves to reflect upon our own beliefs. We are born with the social and religious systems our parents have embraced and echo their choices in everything, from the type of toilet paper we buy to the way we vote for political candidates. Unless we choose to investigate any other way of doing things, we become clones of our parents and teachers thoughts an preferences. Why? Because the influence has been ingrained into our very psyches.

There is nothing wrong with becoming like our parents, teachers and religious leaders if we consciously choose to be such. But it is incumbent upon us all to ask ourselves how we really feel about things, and to examine other sides of the issue in order to get a clear picture of our position on things. To merely remain in a belief system because it is easier to be told what to think and do is to allow our own precious perspective to be sullied. After all, if we do not consider why we think the way we do, or do the things we do, we are just pawns in the hands of our destiny. There will not be an opportunity to live any other life than that which we have ended up with.

People often say they choose security over freedom in life. The truth is there is no such thing as security. We admittedly think security is something we can attain, or that we have, but life can rip any part of that away at any time. We can lose people, jobs, homes money, looks and even our minds through no fault of our own. Freedom is also something we do not really have as well, for as long as we must remain tied to material things, we are fettered by encumbrances that are, by nature, a heavy load.

Of course we can shed those encumbrances, and choose to lose that which tie us down. Great thinkers have written many works, great soldiers have laid down their lives for freedom over tyranny, but true freedom is but an illusion. My perception is we only borrow everything we "own" in our lives. It is for us to use while we inhabit our earthly vessels. When we die, someone else borrows it for a time as well, but we all know no one can take it with them.The fear we perceive keeps us from living our lives fully. To change ones perspective is risky. We would rather stay in familiar situations than risk a new way of living, changing our way of seeing and doing things differently in life. Change seems like a dirty word. It means we have to be uncomfortable...go into ourselves and do inner work, or make a shift in our perception.

To reflect has been given a bad rap. It is only though pain that we realize when we are happy. It is only through opening our closed minds that we can see the light and choose whether we want to know more, or remain in the dark. It is only through love that we can become who we were truly meant to be. Fear be gone. Let the light penetrate your core and know the truth will always reveal itself in the end.

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    • Aley Martin profile image
      Author

      Alice Lee Martin 8 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Thanks for coming by parrster!

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 8 years ago from Australia

      Well thought out and delivered. Thought provoking stuff.

    • Aley Martin profile image
      Author

      Alice Lee Martin 8 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Agreed.

    • Sierra Greer profile image

      Sierra Greer 8 years ago

      Aley

      Another insightful hub!

      If it's any relief, however, know that there are hypocrites, who don't walk the walk, in all aspects of life. They are hurting, injured, seeking souls who need our guidance, love, and support. That's the difficult part.

      Sierra Greer

    • Aley Martin profile image
      Author

      Alice Lee Martin 8 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Thanks so much Nellianna...how wonderful to meet you here..!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 8 years ago from TEXAS

      Aley - I can but say - kindred spirits know no ages. I sense your spirit as well as your quandaries. You've accomplished much in your life and I predict there are many more mountains you will crest! Glad I found you on De Greek's most recent hub!

    • Aley Martin profile image
      Author

      Alice Lee Martin 8 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Jan...to pause and reflect is not meant to be "you snooze, you lose" it is meant to take the time to ask yourself how you feel about something.And no, I have not been told I do not have a "Real job"...in fact many think teaching is underpaid and underrated....but then again, some may get this hurled at them, but not me..thanks for commenting..!

      Lorlie...I love spending time in my mind, but would really like to spend more time in my heart...

      Best,

      Aley

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Reflection is a natural way of life for some. And it can become burdensome, as you point out. But it is far preferable to the alternative.

      Thank you, Aley.

    • profile image

      Jan Hauck 8 years ago

      Well...there is a point. I have done most of my learning and reading before I was 15. Then life got in the way and here we are. Pause and reflect means "you snooze, you lose" in this dog eat dog capitalism. You have dreams when you're young, adults look at you and smile thinking "you will grow up and lose all this fancy feeling". And so it is.

      I've been reading up a lot of the concept of wage slavery. Wikipedia is a good way to start it off. But basically it means that the current society works in a way that one must sell their time, body or skill over and over everyday and if it doesn't happen, poverty and starvation are imminent. Most people simply don't have the time and the peace to reflect, nor do they have much to do with literature at all.

      It all comes down to this money driven no-rules society. If you don't play the game, you suffer the consequences. Governments have stopped ruling the planet, this is the age of financial speculations and few people owning everything. In the last 150 years we have come to accept it as the only possible and "strong" concept (after all it has "defeated" communism). One bubble pops, we have a recession, people lose their jobs...but the system won't change.

      PS: Aley, do they frown upon you sometimes for not having a "real job" and getting paid for wasting all that time "thinking"? Not my opinion but I've come across a lot of prejudice in that department over the years.

    • Aley Martin profile image
      Author

      Alice Lee Martin 8 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Amen brother.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 8 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Arrogance is a sin that escapes ones concience only because it takes the truest form of intuition to realise,accept, and rectify..

    • Aley Martin profile image
      Author

      Alice Lee Martin 8 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      We do choose happiness, or not...I so agree...thanks both for coming by

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 8 years ago

      Aley Martin

      what i feel is, finding happiness is like finding yourself. you don’t find happiness, you make happiness. you choose happiness.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      This Hub is really meaningful to me. So much that we take for granted is illusion. Reflecting in a disciplined way is the only way to learn.

      Thanks for this. Bookmarked!

      Love and peace

      Tony

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