Periphroneó

The word periphroneó means to “examine from all sides.” It also means “to despise.” Those two definitions, taken together, warn us against overthinking, something to which I am prone.

When I would get into my overthinking overdrive, my late friend Ted used to laugh, “You sure do think a lot.” Indeed. Eckhart Tolle tells us that “thinking has become a disease” and warns us that we don’t use our mind as much as it uses us.

Although René Descartes suggested that “I think; therefore, I am,” I live the opposite — I am; therefore I think.

Many of the questions I ponder here are ways for me to frame my experience of the world. Certainly life might be easier if I just lived it like rocks skipping across the water, barely disturbing the surface. The challenge is to drop below the surface and ‘live the question,’ as Rilke says, without drowning.

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