I probably wouldn’t call myself a contemplative, but I do contemplate things… will that work?
It’s going to have to because that is what you get when you get me.
I have been thinking about what it means to be a contemplative versus. a contemplator… I know, riveting, however, it is important to me. It is important because so much of our world lives in the “distracted state”, that is, we are constantly having our attention drawn somewhere other than where we are.
To be a “contemplative” is to be someone who engages is prayer and deep thought for prolonged periods of time ranging from days to years. In ancient times we would see these types as monks who would spend much time in a monastery far away from the noise of the mainstream world. In modern times we see these types as scholars or maybe hermits. Contemplatives are not always monks, however, they did in fact spend lots of time away from the world in order to hear from God clearly and know themselves deeply. To know thyself, and God, is to go on the journey that leads you into the clarity God has to offer.
To be a “contemplator” is to be someone who engages in prayer and deep thought for specific periods of time ranging from minutes to days. In ancient times these types also looked like scholars and those who pondered the spiritual and academic truths we see in our world. Today, these types look the similar. Pastors, teachers, doctors, scientists and so on. Contemplators are also on the journey of self and spiritual discovery. They seek to know the world as it is, as we see it from our mainstream view, and as we can see it from a different point of view.
What is uniquely different about the two, at least in my opinion, is the length of time they sit in the pondering of things. The contemplative is quite comfortable in the prolonged state of contemplation whereas the contemplator spends less time pondering these things. One is not above the other, one is not more valuable than the other, in fact they complement each other.
Our world is full of a variety of people, all on a different journey, a varied path. It is interesting and eye opening to walk around our world considering, contemplating the realities of life, how we think of them and interact with the truths we discover.
If being a contemplative and contemplator are two different kinds of methods of discovery… what kind of discoverer are you? These things are important to me because people are important to me, you are important to me. Go on the journey with me. Figure out how you think of the world. It may be as a contemplative… a contemplator… or something radically different altogether.
I have written on what it means to be a contemplative and a contemplator. These are my thoughts, feel free to comment, prove me wrong or support my ideas.