Original Thinking: A Radical Revisioning of Time, Humanity and Nature by Glen Parry, seeks to address the disconnectedness in Western-dominated thinking by reconnecting with earlier indigenous and Eastern conceptions of interdependence with the world around us, while emphasizing new discoveries, especially in the field of Quantum Mechanics, that give credence to many of the ancient ways of thinking.
This thinking is not new, but rather thinking that connects us with our point of origin, challenges us to see the world beyond the social constructs we experience, by seeking a fresh encounter with four essential questions that help us understand meaning:
Is it possible to come up with an original thought?
What does it mean to be human?
Has our thinking created the world today and what is now emerging?
Can education promote the renewal of original thinking?
These are good questions, worthy of thought, and differing perspectives are welcome. Seeing things with new eyes is an overarching purpose of education, growth, religion, and ultimately redefinition. And challenges to an increasingly globalized, dissonant way of thinking is appreciated. So I enjoyed Parry’s work on a superficial level, and his commitment to challenge current ways of thinking and experiencing reality have caused me to consider my own approach to life.
However, I believe that Parry makes the same mistake many do, when seeking to rebuild human frameworks from “point of origin.” He’s reading, writing, and understanding this point of origin seeking to separate from today’s Zeitgeist (spirit of the age, spirit of this time) without first recognizing that many of his assumptions about revisioning time, humanity, and nature are in fact a product of the spirit of this time. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but in my opinion, one’s failure to comprehend their “place of origin” or “time of origin,” while seeking to return to the thinking of humanity’s “point of origin” ultimately leads to neither original (as in origin) thinking or original (as in unique, fresh, innovative) thinking.
Each of us must first recognize that we are a product of our age, before we seek to understand the wisdom of a previous age. Failure to do this results in a lack of deep thought, a failure to synthesize the wisdom of the previous age. Instead, we simply paste that wisdom onto the framework of our own preselected suppositions. That’s precisely how Parry’s thinking comes across to the reader. He’s not challenging our thinking with origin or innovation. He’s simply creating a curious amalgam of thought that is neither twenty-first century philosophy or science, nor original thinking from the ancients.
Instead, Parry has left us with a twenty-first century mysticism all too prevalent in our current age, that refuses to adequately address the deeper questions of today’s world. It is simply a panacea that soothes our conscience without challenging us to work toward the needed change that will ultimately improve our world.