Phrontistery is defined as a thinking-place; place for study or reflection.
A place to think!? Imagine that!
A place to think would have the following characteristics for it to fully serve its purpose:
- It would be a place where no one would disturb or interrupt you. Solitude is the tinder that initiates the fire of thought.
- The place would be free of sudden/ noisy distractions. Silence is the kindling that catches hold of the fire.
- The place would be imbued with energy and the ability to fill you with it; to energize you. This energy is the fuel with which a sustained blaze can be created.
In addition, you must enter the place knowing that you have all the time you need to think things through. This state of relaxation will be the air which will feed the fire for as long as you need it.
Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Your Phrontistery can be the bank of a river or the branches of a tree; it could be your hidey- hole in the garden or a corner of your terrace. It could be a room in your house or the top of the stairs. It could be a deserted bus- stop or a busy beach. It could be outdoors or indoors. It could merely be a mental state instead of being a physical one. But all those who are on their journey to their North Star, surely need a Phrontistery.
As you spend hours sitting still in introspection, you cover inner distances you need to traverse before you can travel physically. This is the place where you will lift your head from the yoke and study the road ahead. This is where you will evaluate your journey so far and identify the things that you must stop doing, start doing and continue doing.
The only journey is the one within.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
You will take you bearings again to make sure you have not strayed from the path. You will take a mental step back so you can see the forest, not just the trees. This is the place where you will celebrate your successes and reward yourself for the milestones you’ve reached and the mini- victories you have won.
Your Phrontistery is the place where you will stoke the fire in your soul. This is where you will clear out the ash and dust away the soot. You will lay a fresh fire if need be and recommit yourself to your North Star. This is where you will lick your wounds and tend to your bruises. This is where you will nurture your spirit.
Your place to think is the most essential weapon in your arsenal as your travel towards your North Star.
Do you have a Phrontistery? How often do you visit it?
The inertia of the mind urges it to slide down the easy slope of imagination, rather than to climb the steep slope of introspection.
~ Marcel Proust
If the whole universe can be found in our own body and mind, this is where we need to make our inquires. We all have the answers within ourselves, we just have not got in touch with them yet. The potential of finding the truth within requires faith in ourselves.
~ Ayya Khema
A creature that hides and “withdraws into its shell,” is preparing a “way out.” This is true of the entire scale of metaphors, from the resurrection of a man in his grave, to the sudden outburst of one who has long been silent. If we remain at the heart of the image under consideration, we have the impression that, by staying in the motionlessness of its shell, the creature is preparing temporal explosions, not to say whirlwinds, of being.
~ Gaston Bachelard