The Whimsy of Form
Watch a video of an octopus. Study enlarged photographs of insects. Look closely at leaves and flowers. Observe fish swim in an aquarium. Examine bird plumage. Turn anywhere in the natural world and you are fascinated by unexpected beauty. Beauty is the whimsy of universal energy taking form.
Now consider what passes through your mind. The inchoate energy of thinking puts forth forms, infinitely variable forms, from the horrifying to the inspired, from the silly to the profound, from the discouraging to the enlightening. Just as the earth is alive with the constant creation of endlessly variable forms, so every human being is alive with the constant generation of endlessly variable thoughts.
The journey from formless energy to form is whimsical, in every case. Who knows what wonder will emerge from the forest floor? Who knows what image will come to mind? Joy in creation arises not from the already created, but from the delight of knowing that creation is endless, every form is transitory, and there is always more. We do, indeed, live in a garden of delights.
We are born in curiosity and awe, ready to be entranced by the world of form we have entered. We have boundless imagination as children; nothing is impossible; everything is fresh and interesting. We never lose those qualities, but as we exercise our human free will to direct our thinking, we sometimes lose touch with them. We get so involved in the already thought thoughts on our mind that we jam up the flow of new thought that is our birthright. If we happen to stop in the midst of a flurry of negativity, or sadness, or unpleasant memories, or anger, our whole reality freeze-frames in bad feelings.
But that is, as Sydney Banks used to laugh, the “cosmic joke.” We can do that. We can focus on any thought, re-think anything again and again, any time, at will. The joke is that when we are doing it, we sometimes forget that we can stop doing that. We are the thinkers, participants in the universal dynamic of creation, using the capacity to think to make up our experience of what we are living. What we do with that creative gift is part of the gift — whatever occurs to us to do. We, are part of the whimsy of life. There is no limit to the vast array of things we can bring to mind.
When my grandson was young, he invented “worlds” — whole worlds full of fanciful beings that he drew, and plants and animals and stuff that he just pulled out of thin air and put to paper. It all had a logic to him — why that particular group of beings would ride in those particular trucks and eat certain kinds of foods. He loved doing that. He would prattle on endlessly, making up stories about what was going on in his fanciful worlds. It occurred to me, as he happily talked about it one day, that these worlds DID exist, for him. For me, they were representational. I could look at the pictures he drew, and listen to his tales, but they didn’t spring from my mind, so I had no idea what was coming next and I couldn’t contribute to the stories.
I told him that. I told him how cool it is that we can make up things from our own minds and create a whole narrative about them that makes sense to us, and no one but the maker-upper knows why it matters or how it all turns out. He cocked his head and gave me one of those quizzical little boy looks. “Isn’t that what everybody is always doing?” he asked.
Wow. Of course. We call it separate realities, everyone living in their own thought-world. Only we can know our own world, truly. But it all comes from our own thinking; it’s made up.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about half the time,” he said, “but it seems to make sense to you. It’s just not what I think about.”
That is the essence of how understanding the Principles erases disagreement and judgment from human interaction. We realize that everyone is creating their own world of experience with their own power to think. I had never told him that, though. He just KNEW that. Children are at ease with whimsy. As we grow older, we tend to take our thinking much more seriously, and forget it is nothing more than the arbitrary product of a gift of life: the ability to think anything and see our thinking as though it was real — to play in the worlds we create.
I asked my grandson what he did if he started not liking one of his worlds very much or got tired of it. “Silly! I just make up another one. It’s easy.”
The wisdom of the innocent speaks across the ages.