On Reflection

As a somewhat unplanned sequel to an earlier entry Consuming vs Producing, I’ve come to discover an extremely crucial but largely invisible process called reflection.

Just over the weekend, I had the privilege of sitting in on a discussion about how the Christian biblical text is still relevant to the modern day human being. Putting aside all religious and moral connotations, what struck me most is the way engaging the text opens up a fertile space for personal reflection. The speaker stated it far more poetically – “finding yourself in the text”.

While I wouldn’t be so brash to claim that the biblical text is the sole and ultimate text for personal reflection, such a thought has open my eyes to this process of reflection that sits squarely between consumption and production. Input and output if you will.

Within the bounds of reflection lies our truest most present state; and by existing between in and out, it stands to bear the full brunt of everything that passes through. Think of reflection as a footbridge that spans two divides: all the good and evil that we’re impressed by, and all the things that we express.

The really tricky thing about reflection is how unassuming it is. Perhaps by nature, or more likely because we’ve learned to squelch this very potent process. If you’re anything like me, you’d have guard houses set up on both sides of the bridge. On the “in” side, sifting through events and ideas that we allow to pass, depositing their footprints; on the “out” end, filtering the things that we expose to the external world.

So why the big deal about such an ethereal concept?

Because these is the arena where good and evil duels. It is in this place that the human condition triumphs or topples over in shameful defeat. I might even go so far as to claim that reflection is the portal through which inspiration enters the tangible world as we know it.