One of my followers on this blog, and a personal friend, shed interesting light on this notion of “thinking outside of the box.”
“It seems likely to me that thinking outside the box is impossible without then thinking from inside a larger box which contains that previous box. So what we encounter is a collection of telescoping boxes. The most we can hope for is that with each escape from a box that holds us captive, we are then held captive in a more liberating box.”
This gentleman’s observation and the subject matter I’ve put on the table here brought to my mind the Christian notion of “the fall” and the resulting fate of being able to only “see through a glass darkly.” For, this “fall”, if one deigns to approach it from a metaphorical/mythical dimension, was our expulsion from the blissful of unity with all things, i.e. the Garden of Eden, into the realm of symbolic form. That Divine spark with which we are born, that “Christ child,” needs to enter into the world of form so that we can experience the joy, and the frustration, of the human enterprise. Aesychlus, thousands of years ago, referred to this event as “having been banished thought-ward” as he began his heroic journey.
But becoming a “thinking human being” is both a joy and a curse. We can have the joy of human consciousness as we revel in the incredible mystery of our brief sojourn through this time-space continuum. But the “curse” is always a temptation, that mistake of taking our thoughts too seriously and falling into the delusion that with them we have captured reality. This makes me think of a bumper sticker I saw recently, “Don’t believe everything you are thinking.”
My reader is very astute. We never can escape “the box” but with awareness of our confinement to human form for this brief moment we can allow our reality to be more fluid and can be less obnoxious about our view point. And, alas and alack, this even applies to me as I discourse here and even, occasionally in real time!
This makes me think of a verse from W. H. Auden:
In the desert of my heart,
Let the healing fountain start.
In this prison of my days,
Teach this poor man how to praise.