Friday, 11 June 2010

Bumping into the be-known....

Sometimes strange things happen. We see someone we used to know, from school or work or somewhere, or recognise someone but just cannot work out from where. Does anyone else experience this inner questioning when this happens, where do I know that person from? Why have I bumped into that person three times in a year in different places, in different countries even? Why do I keep bumping into people who keep mentioning things that trigger past memories or future hopes?

People and collisions with strange-be-known folk continues to fascinate me. For instance I went to a Snow Patrol concert last weekend in my hometown, Bangor (Norn Ironand), and as I went through the turnstiles I saw a girl I recognised from London. I knew she lived in the same area of south London that I used to live in as I recognised her from getting on the same tube train several times. Even then I knew I recognised her from somewhere. I notice these types of people collisions more and more these days.

My question is what do they mean in the greater scheme of things, does it matter, is it important? How do these collisions and conversations we encounter in our lives impact our thoughts, our memories or our directions. Should they affect anything.

I think understanding how we think about the encounters we experience can help us know who we are. My own thoughts are that we are be-known to a very observant and interested creator who sees our every movement, knows our every thought and is interested in every detail of our lives. I think this is happening to each one of us at all times, though we may rarely stop to ponder it. And each people collision in our lives is be-known to him, is within his view and may even have a purpose be-known to him but unknown to us. Have you ever thought about any of these things, about bumping into people unexpectedly, about being be-known? If so I would be interested in your thoughts.

Until next time...

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Expulsion of Compulsions

It is exam season here at college and today I sat my first one. I am very thankful that it is over and that I was able to say something, lets hope it was worthwhile. I trust there will be something useful in it. I must admit I struggle to remember quotes well, my mind just doesn't seem to be designed to remember long sentences. Number, places, faces, silly ideas but long sentences or verses.... doh there seems to be a lack of oil in that part of the engine. I pray that more oil will flow in that part of my engine.

One of the books I read for today's exam is called The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen. He was a Dutch catholic priest who led a fairly colourful, varied life and had deep interest in psychology and God. I must say he's one of the more enjoyable writers I've read this year. He said something very profound in this book, "compulsive is the best adjective to describe false self". This really struck me. Can any of you identify to being compulsive in anyway?

I know I can and have been in many ways. I compulsively want to eat chocolates when I see them on my parents' coffee table, I compulsively want to daydream when I should be working and I have compulsively looked at pretty girls when I should be doing something a bit more productive. That's not to say there is anything wrong with any of these things in their own right but when they become objects of compulsive behaviour then we are driving into this cul-de-sac of false self that Nouwen identifies.

So if compulsive behaviour leads to false self, what leads to true self? That is perhaps a more difficult question.... I will ponder that some more..

Until next time..