Do — Contemplate

Last night just after I got in bed, this thought materialized.

It’s not a question of doing versus contemplation — but doing what should be done, and contemplating what should be contemplated.

In other words, don’t be tempted to make either doing or contemplating a general overarching principle, but let the situation show you which is necessary at the moment.

Doing can be very good — if the house is dirty and I clean it, if laundry is piling up and I wash and dry some, if a project gets my attention and I work on it, it not only accomplishes something but provides the sense of accomplishment. And it can be a reminder that I am not just my mind, but my body, too, and part of living is living in and through my body.

Contemplation can be very good — if emotions are troubling me and I reflect on them, if an issue is worrying me and I think through it, if I pray or read or watch or listen, if things are going well and I enjoy it with gratitude, it helps keep me grounded and centered and aware, not tossed about by every wave that comes over me.

Doing can be pathological when it becomes a means of trying to take control I don’t really have, trying to expiate guilt, trying to avoid a feeling or thought or experience that promises discomfort, etc.

Contemplation can be pathological when it becomes morbidly wandering through a maze of circles and spirals that give no insight or healing but only more confusion and fear and despair, when it becomes a way of avoiding prayer and faith or doing what needs to be done.



2 thoughts on “Do — Contemplate

  1. Interesting. It reminds me of Yin/Yang – the balance of all things. I’m not a big believer in astrology, but my sign is Libra. I read something one time saying that Libras are eternally trying to balance the scales that will never be truly balanced. Since reading that I have always been very aware of balance and the need for it. But, even with that, I struggle to maintain balance in all things. Thanks for posting this.

  2. I usually tell people I don’t have a sign — totally not into astrology — but I’m a Pisces. I’ve been noticing the importance of balance forever, it seems.

    The thing you read seems to have another important lesson — accepting the unchangeable reality that complete and lasting balance can’t be achieved, at least in this life. Puts a damper on perfectionism and willfulness (trying to will what can’t be willed).

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