Reflection and Learning

The philosopher Socrates spoke about living reflectively. It got him into trouble. It’s easier to go with the flow and make no waves. However, without reflection, we don’t grow. Ignatius of Loyola proposes reflection as a way of life. Learning from experience was essential for him, but applying that learning was even more important. Without reflection there’s no way forward. We get stuck in a rut. We get trapped in a rigid world-view both personally and communally, which inspires poor decisions that impact negatively on ourselves and our world. Sooner or later we get stuck in our ways, unable to adapt to change. Ignatius has given us helpful strategies for structured reflection to cover all areas of life. For Ignatius, the Cartesian slogan ‘I think, therefore I am’ could be better adapted to ‘I learn, therefore I am’.

Excerpted from Reimagining Religion: A Jesuit Vision by Jim Maher SJ (p.12)