A strange thing…not being able to remember a word.
You rack your brain for a few minutes, and then give up.
In the middle of the night you wake up and it hits you.
Somehow active thinking creates a passive process – like running a search on your desktop.
And then it returns to the forefront.
“The words are like an acorn from which an oak tree can grow.” – Wittgenstein.
Imagine the power of recall employed in other arenas of thought. This is a subtle, everyday application of active philosophy.
This is illustrated in the following quote from James Allen in As A Man Thinketh – one of my favorites.
“The aphorism, ‘As a man thinketh in his heart so is he,’ not only embraces the whole of a man’s being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those acts called ‘spontaneous’ and ‘unpremeditated’ as to those which are deliberately executed.
Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits; thus does a man garner in the sweet and bitter fruitage of his own husbandry.
Thought in the mind hath made us. What we are
By thought we wrought and built. If a man’s mind
Hath evil thoughts, pain comes on him as comes
The wheel the ox behind . . . If one endure in purity
of thought joy follows him as his own shadow – sure.”
– James Allen