Reflect in Writing

Certain people only reflect in writing. To reflect was a manual activity for him.*
Amin Maalouf: Les désorientés

Recently I discovered the author Amin Maalouf, and I can only recommend him for a really good read. (Unfortunately the book “Les désorientés”, where I found above quote that so directly talked to me, has not yet been translated into English.)
Of course, I also reflect by thinking, but it’s a much less thorough and complete procedure. When thinking, my mind goes back and forth and it’s difficult to grasp a deep thought properly. Our “monkey mind”, as the Buddhists call it, always jumps around between different possibilities, rarely following a red thread.
It’s quite another thing when I sit down with pen and paper. When I reflect in writing there’s a deeper concentration, and when I read what came out of my hand there’s like a second round of reflection. A good “side effect” is also that if I come to a conclusion that sounds true and important, I can return to it as long as I keep my notes.
When something is turning around in my head and I cannot immediately put it down on paper I try to let it go and keep the issue for later, when I can sit down in peace and quiet. This approach also frees my mind for its most important task: to live in the Here and Now.

Reflecting in writing instead of thinking frees my mind

Reflecting in writing instead of thinking frees my mind


*Certaines personnes ne réfléchissent qu’en écrivant. – Réfléchir était pour lui une activité manuelle.
Amin Maalouf: Les désorientés

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