The Grand Design: Beyond Thinking

e has two years to live he quickly responds with what about my brain. It is quite evident that thinking is for him a fundamental way of negotiating his life.

Iris and I watched the Steven Hawking movie  “The Theory of Everything”  last evening. During the film a deep realisation was triggered for me that was quite profound. How to put it into words is the challenge. The movie clearly presented  Hawking as  being mistrusting of  our human tendency to rely on religious belief. It seems to me as well that blind belief can interfere with clear thinking and seeing. It can at times be more closely connected to our thinking than we realize in that we embrace a concept that does not allow for the questioning of pre-established assumptions.  As Cheryl Hamilton says it is a passive process because we are not really open to examining it.

In our curiosity, when film ended we began reading Hawking`s book the “The Grand Design”. He writes that reality is unbounded and that it is more of a whole experience than can be understood from our reductionist thinking.  The use of a map is helpful as a flat map of the world helps us to understand the earth, with the  realisation that the map does not directly represent the land masses as they exist.  He indicates that a theory of everything is similar to this. The map is in an ongoing way refined  due to the fact that our conceptual and theoretical understanding is constantly changing and evolving. He adds that we will never reach a  point where our understanding through thinking will be ultimate, so the map is ever-changing and that our human perception is not as objective as we once believed it to be.There are many factors that influence our perception.

I find that in Hawkins writing despite these claims that he makes, he often makes assumptions periodically that are quite absolute. Maybe he knows something that the rest of the world doesn’t know or could it be that he himself is conditioned to return to a search fueled by the habit of thinking. Even in the deeper insights that he has made he seems to return to a reliance on thinking to fill in the gaps. At one point in the movie when he is informed that h

In my own contemplation I see that humans are conditioned to think our way through life, a consequence of this being  that we lose something of our wholeness in doing so. We habitually return to a very conditioned way to look for answers concerning what we have lost through our conditioning, (which is most of all a way of being). This in fact only serves to further perpetuate the separation that has occurred. That separation seems to be from our humanity and from our wholeness. A more authentic awareness of what we are in life comes from going beyond our concepts. The very awareness of what is, is itself a liberating process. So long as we are unaware of what we are and our way of trying to become something else and to look for something of what we are outside of our wholeness  so long will there be distortion and pain.

Thinking is useful in creating concepts and a map as Hawking writes as a tool that points back to what we have come to understand through awareness and as a tool to understand in a more relative way. But when we attempt to understand life and life events without having direct awareness of the whole than we are always returning to searching in a way that will leave our conclusions incomplete. Stephen Batchelor says that “in a world of constant flux, we cling to ideas of “truth”and “certainty” as though they’re solid. We need instead to learn to navigate the vagaries of this brief life with irony and care”.



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