“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
~1 Corinthians 13:11 NIV
Growth. It’s a word that is tossed around so much it rarely invades our consciousness. Whatever word you want to call it–growth, maturation, evolution–it ends up being a background process, and we take it for granted. Yet, somehow when we become adults and our bodies stop physically growing we tend to let that growth, in the deeper intellectual and spiritual sense, plateau. We stay because it’s comfortable, but is that plateau all there is?
I’d like to think that the first adult plateau is only the base of a much more majestic mountain, and it goes way above the clouds. Admittedly, growth is no longer something on autopilot, governed by nature and parental processes, rather it is now in our control. And sometimes to grow upward, the term I’ll use is transcend, you need to prune the plant that is your brain; it’s not a painless transformation.
As human beings we all have different experiences, and my journey is no one else’s journey; every person has a unique life. However, I think it is safe to say that we have experiences in common, similar categories for referring to our experiences. This is a good thing because it allows us to relate to others, to have their life penetrate our own in ways we understand. The categories we build and combine form our level of comprehension of the world around us; it was always this way even from the very beginning of our origins. Yet, I have an inkling that the constructions we have when we enter adulthood have been organized by countless agencies, none of whom had collaborated with each other when they educated or influenced us. What do we end up with if this is the case?
One word: confusion.
And I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way. I know because the poets are confused, and the poets are the heart of a people. I know because the philosophers are confused, and the philosophers are the mind of a people. I know because I am both of these. Doubt pervades us like the air we breathe, and yet, we have the audacity to ostracize others for their questions and observations, to criticize them for having the same bewilderment at life that in our solitude we, too, are faced with? This should not be. Dismissing doubt is not just a problem in any one community; we can see this everywhere as a means of protecting the system, the over-culture, the prevailing zeitgeist.
Doubt is a shock to the entranced system, a warning that something isn’t right. We should never dismiss that doubt without first asking, “is it true?”
The one who dismisses all doubts has stopped living, and they might as well dig their grave because they certainly aren’t going to grow anymore.
So, then, in order to unravel the confusion that is our constructions, the structures of our mind that govern our interaction with all things and the world system that often fools us into believing it is reality rather than overlay on the true reality, I propose doubt as a means of deconstructing false structures, corrupt frameworks, vestigial boxes that must be razed before we can see a way forward. To doubt is to question, to question is to think, to think is to imagine new creation.
Boxes are the playground of the child, but to the adult they constrict and make us stumble.
Let us live again
Let us transcend together
Let us love once more