Have you ever been struck by an author’s words to the point that it feels like they’ve spoken a truism that you need to sit with and unpack for a bit?
When was the last time that you gave yourself time to really take time to reflect on something an occult writer wrote and how it fits into your world view?
This morning I was listening to an autobiographical story and at a certain point, the narrator came to a point where all their ideas to that point came together to make a very insightful observation about human nature.
I caught myself thinking, “Wow, I really need to reflect on that. Do I think it’s true? What does it mean if it is?” And then, as the narrative moved on, I realized that I wasn’t ready for the rest of the story. I needed to sit with what had been said and try it out in my mind as a potential truism.
In our hustle bustle, time is money culture, we don’t do this nearly enough. We are taught to consume ideas, entertainment, literature, experiences, etc. We no longer allow ourselves to sit in contemplation of an idea or to analyze it for ourselves.
And I think, given the nature of the path we are exploring, be it spiritual or practice, this might be to our detriment. Ages ago, Leo Babauta wrote a post (can’t find it now!) about the usefulness of boredom (aka empty time or space) in its ability to give us space to dream and create. I would argue that that same space allows us to really develop an idea to its fullest.
So while some books are ones we’re going to skim to get a general sense of what they are exploring and others are more referential in nature (in that we go back to them over and over again for pieces of information); others need to be savored, unpacked, and decanted in order for us to fully reap the benefits of the text.