Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Of dynamic systems and walking

OK, so this is just one of those thoughts that keeps sticking in my head and I just can't seem to get past it. I find myself enamored by this notion of self as not some distinct "thing," but as process, as something that is actively constructed and constantly in flux.

It makes me think of Buddhism, actually, and discussions of things like breathing meditation or walking meditation. They have this notion that mindfulness to such simple actions brings peace, nurtures compassion, and deepens our insight into how all things are inter-dependent.

Which somehow fits, I think, with this notion of self as actively constructed, as emerging out of relationships with other people and our world. If we walk slowly and mindfully, peacefully, then perhaps we are relating to the world in a way that builds peace within us. If we are mindful of our interconnectedness, perhaps we grow in our awareness and appreciation for this fact.

If, on the other hand, we walk hastily, impatiently, demandingly...what then are the ways we are shaping ourselves to become?

It is a small thing to walk. But perhaps it is in doing these small things with regularity, purpose, and mindfulness that we grow most meaningfully.


Magdalene6127 said...

Steve, this is powerful stuff. I love the image of self as process, rather than finite and fixed. This is such a hard nut to crack, in terms of our western influences. But it is so much more scriptural, for one thing-- much more likely to be in relationship/ community.

Thanks so much for your thoughts!



PS I didn't really think you took offense to the post on M's M's... just want you to know your spirit-filled approach is appreciated!

steve westby said...

Thank you, Mags, for your kind words and taking the time to comment. I agree, this idea of "self" really is more scriptural. I like how it points to the importance of relationships, including our relationship with God.