We went for a walk on Thursday, my friend and I. Not the Kind Stranger, you’ll be interested to know – though he was probably somewhere around too, but a friend I’ve known for about thirty years. My friend is a highly skilled trainer.
We got to talk about our work and he mentioned a training he had attended where the guy had a ‘new take’ on Thinking out of the Box. You know the theory: Don’t just go for the same old-old. Be creative! Dream new ideas. Come up with something different. Think out of the box – in a different dimension!
As we stood leaning over the five-bar gate admiring the vistas of the South Downs National Park, I said, “J, there is no box. It’s just a concept.”
I’ve thought a lot about that since. The box is an illusion and always has been. We cannot actually think inside it or outside it, because the reality has never existed and never will. The illusion is merely the creation of people who would have us perceive ourselves in boxes. Who first decided that we are all in boxes? Who was it lumbered us with thinking from inside them? And what purpose did the concept of boxes serve? Perhaps it allowed that person to exhibit his superiority by calling us to think outside his phantom creation?
The concept of boxes make us feel secure. It enables us to enjoy the illusion that we can take control of our lives. Or each others’. In the natural world there are no sealed boundaries, but everything flows subtly into everything else – and you’re part of that natural world. The universe is not insular. Ask any quantum physicist. Even I, as I write this blog, am changing the brain patterns in your head. Though we may seem to be separated by space and even time it is not true. We’re not separated, are we? You just read this. There is no box.
Living without the pseudo-security of an illusory box out of which we are supposed to think can challenge our very roots. We are tempted to ask questions. How old was I when I began to accept being ‘boxed’? Where did I learn that limiting skill? What were the motives of my teacher? What has this done to me, to us?
In a world that is a wide open space (not filled with wide open spaces – that supposes natural boundaries again! It’s deeply ingrained, isn’t it?) it is a joy to know that nothing can separate us from each other, except the belief that we are in different boxes. If we choose to abandon our belief in boxes, all is revealed. We are part of the whole, and the gap between you and me is gone.
Like Neo in The Matrix, I seem to have swallowed the red pill. Ah well…