Thursday, December 13, 2012

How to Think

Hello, good morning, how are you?  To go along with our recent discussion about freedom, I thought I’d share this wonderful quote from David Foster Wallace, who, I think, knew a thing or two about freedom.

“Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that [this] cliché…is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think.  It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from your experience.  Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.” 

(David Foster Wallace, This is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life.  Speech delivered at Kenyon College’s commencement ceremony, 2005.  (I found the quote in a little book called All Things Shining by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly.))

It’s powerful stuff: become a shepherd of your own thoughts, knowing that ultimately, you are the most powerful influence on your experience of the world.  I started writing this series about freedom because I was annoyed at a TED talk and wanted to understand why my feathers were all ruffled, but the more I write and think about the topic, the more I want to keep writing about it.  So if it’s okay with you, I think I’ve got at least another pair of blog posts to write, including honesty in relationships and a spiritual practice as a way to find freedom.

Have a beautiful day, dear readers.

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