Change and growth are essential to life. The vitality of the spiritual life is to be open. Openness is the ability to be receptive to new possibilities without prejudging them. The contrast to openness is narrow-mindedness and a paralyzing rigidity. To be frozen in position and refuse to open ourselves to other possibilities no matter what the situation or evidence may present is to choose intellectual and spiritual stagnation. Reflect on the Gospel stories. How many times do you see Jesus chastising others who are judgmental, rigid and lacking in openness to his message?
Today if I hear God’s voice, may I not harden my heart.
How flexible am I? Do I usually think I already know all the answers? Am I open to other perspectives? How do I react to new ideas?
They who have ears to hear, let them hear!
Even today there is a dictatorship of a narrow line of thought which kills people’s freedom, their freedom of conscience. This is the drama of the closed heart, the drama of the closed mind, and when the heart is closed, this heart closes the mind, and when the heart and mind are closed there is no place for God.
We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.
It is not an easy task, this openness to the Spirit. It demands that we let go of our own ideas to make way for new manifestations of the presence of God in time. It is not a comfortable call, this invitation of God to a dark walk toward a distant future, but it is the ultimate manifestation of response to the Spirit.
Openness is a receptivity to everyone and everything. It is quite fundamentally an other-centeredness, a disposition of availability to others.
The open-minded see the truth in different things: the narrow-minded see only the differences.
We are at times too ready to believe that the present is the only possible state of things.
Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
George Bernard Shaw
Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.
Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
One’s opinion should only be as strong as one’s knowledge on the matter.”
Never stop learning and adapting. The world will always be changing. If you limit yourself to what you knew and what you were comfortable with earlier in your life, you will grow increasingly frustrated with your surroundings as you age.
Only an open mind still has room for new knowledge. What is outgrown and used up must be discarded to make room for what is yet to be learned. And much of the best thinking is done alone–in deserts, on beaches, in bed, behind closed doors. It is why we say we need to get away–to escape from clutter and busyness–to hear ourselves think.