picture of a coaster

The coaster of thought

I’m guilty m’lud of taking the world around me for granted. I look at the wonders of creation and barely give them a second thought. Of course that tree is growing, my dog wants me to pat him, a friend says hello. All of these things feel commonplace, ordinary, unexceptional. But, when I stopped ‘looking’ and started ‘seeing’, I realised that they are none of these things.

Let me take a step back a moment and begin at the beginning where all the best stories start and ask you a question too. Do you really ‘see’ or think about the world around you and why things are the way they are? It’s something I’ve been doing a lot of recently for one reason or another and it follows on from a regular conversation Stevie and I have that goes a little like.

‘Any idea why a flock of geese fly in formation?’ whilst looking up at the sky watching the birds overhead.
‘None whatsoever sweetie’,
‘Mmmmm, let’s just add that to the long list of things we don’t understand then eh!’
‘OK, let’s do that’.

Now you may be able to give me the science behind the gosling formation flying team, but I suspect you won’t be able to tell me ‘why’ they do it, how they knew to do it, how it came to be a good idea, or which goose had the idea first and he/she communicated it to the others.

Perhaps it was a conversation that went a little like this;

‘Hey guys, I’ve got this great idea, if we fly in a V shape we’d all benefit from the drag created by the one in front making it easier to fly long distances’,
‘What d’yer mean Henry? ‘What about the one in front, that means they’re doing all the work, so who goes up front?,
‘Well, we could take it in turns to be up front’,
‘Oooo I’m not sure Jimmy the Flap would like that, he’s the boss y’know’.

And when you think about it our whole world is made up of questions just like that. Why does a seed grow into an Oak and not an Ash, why do ecological systems fail when you remove or add a species to it and how did we come to have all the ‘stuff’ around us that we do?

I was pondering this whilst sat in bed the other night and my eye fell on the coaster on my bedside cabinet and it occured to me that this was a perfect example of what I’m thinking of. I look at it on an almost daily basis, but I didn’t really ‘see’ it until I started thinking about the idea of it, not the idea for the picture or slogan, but the idea of the coaster itself.

That coaster is a perfect example of ‘thought’ in action, not the little thoughts that flit through our head, but the BIG THOUGHTS that create the reality we see around us. For example, who had the original thought of a coaster? What circumstance made it a good idea to put a ‘thing’ underneath another ‘thing’? And who had the original thought about using cork, where did that originally come from – not in relation to the coaster, but in relation to someone picking some cork up and wondering what it did?

Perhaps they tried eating it first so what happened to show them cork had particular heat retention properties that would eventually lead to someone else thinking it would be good for the based of a coaster? Then there’s the shape of this particular coaster, the slogan and the image, the thickness of it and the laminating. Not to mention the ‘thought’ about selling it in a fancy goods gift store. All of these are thoughts, each one was ‘original’ at some point in the past – we just don’t know what that past is or how to access it to understand.

What I’m trying to say in a very roundabout and garbled way is that, in the words of David Bohm (quantum physicist and friend of Einstein) ‘thought made the world and then said I didn’t do it’.

We may think the world around us is real, and at a five senses level it is; but it’s also all made up of thought. Thought drives every single thing in and of our world whether we can see it or not. From the glorious divine thought that allows geese to suddenly decide to fly in formation, to the seemingly mundane thought about a coaster. EVERY SINGLE THING IN OUR REALITY was once an original thought that sprang from somewhere!

And, as I was musing on the coaster another thought occured to me that it and I are made of the same basic ‘stuff’ at a sub-molecular level. So what is it that forces a coaster to hold its form and not become a human like me, and what is it about me that holds a human form and not become a coaster like it? And in some way where do I end and the coaster begin?

Perhaps it’s the concept of the coaster, something that collectively the world has agreed looks and acts like a coaster is the very thing that holds it all together. Perhaps it’s this collective consciousness that keeps everything in the world the way it is, and just perhaps if we were to change that collective consciousness the world would change even for the better.

It is this same universal thought that tells my body how to repair itself when there is a problem. The Haynes Human Body Repair Manual is part of our in-built intelligence, intelligence we don’t access on a day to day basis because it is just there, something working in the background we don’t think about or ‘see’. I’m beginning to see that this same universal, built-in intelligence is the same as the universal thought which allows the concept of a coaster to arise in someone, after the concept of cork as a heat trap arose in someone earlier. And that same intelligence allowed those two concepts to come together to create something I just look at but don’t ‘see’ and which I took for granted for the longest time, until now!

What might you look at today and ‘see’ for what it truly is? Comments are open and I’d love to hear what you think about the world around you too.

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