Reflection: its rationale

Oct 13th, 2022 | About Reflection | 0 comments

This virtual institute is about how the facility and ability, reflection, that each of us has to greater or lesser degree can be enhanced. It is to the advantage of one, and all.  Belief systems no less than public policies gain through clearer thinking. Much springs from the right attitude of mind.  It is to your advantage in private life, and that of society, to do it well, not just take it as ‘a given’.  

The view of the ‘collective’ – the people around us and those guiding us – starts with individuals. It affects the world around us. If your technique and habits of reflection can be formulated for better thinking and planning, the overall climate of opinion has more chance to adapt our world to the advantage of you, me and everyone.

People used to ‘meditate’, a respectable leisure pursuit, but the word of late has a specialised meaning. There are different ways of reflecting just as there are in Meditation. Reflection can colonise the area vacated by the new vogue for Meditation. It makes for spiritual and mental growth. There are practical advantages of reflecting.  Thinking constructively, quietly, on your own or in company is regarded as a traditional preserve of a poet or author but it is open to everyone. 

Reflection is a useful tool in your mental and emotional armoury. And there is a charm in it.  Reflection is an attitude of mind with a purpose. It is one of the ways in which we can become more tolerant and open-minded.

We should treat our minds as our temples as we are being invited to treat our bodies by nutritionists.

Why swallow wholesale the nostrums that peddled from rooftops and megaphones, starting up at every ‘alarum and excursion’ or following every fad of thought?  We can be sceptical – up to a point. We can coach ourselves to be more independent-minded and treat with ‘healthy disrespect’ what we are spoon-fed.  Society today has need of antidote to the pressing claims of instantaneous communication and an onslaught of  information that may be dubious but is couched with confidence.

‘Reflection’ helps vacate the space that has in large degree been vacated by the departure of the idea of ‘meditation’ into more esoteric regions.  Reflection is part of a valued Western tradition and is of more value when not taken as read and is assessed in its own right.

This website is not an exhaustive tour d’horizon but a starting point to suggest ways of further exploration.

Some purposes and manners of reflection are itemised below, springboards and signposts provided to help guide you on your personal journey via by-ways or the high road of reflection.

More about this subject

Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

Reflection as an academic subject

Reflection as an academic subject

Summary of Theory

Summary of Theory

The Theory

The Theory

Western Meditation

Western Meditation

Western vis-a-vis Eastern Meditation

Western vis-a-vis Eastern Meditation