A concept is idea that has been turned, examined, polished and delivered again. It means something more than the original thought, having been burnished and tooled like fine pottery. And just like the pottery, the idea is stronger and carries some resiliency later. The shine is there, the meaning is deeper somehow, after processing.
Concepts are to be shared, some are political, some spiritual, and some very mechanical. A concept is considered complex and convoluted. There should be open cavities at either end to allow room for the next persons thoughts. Concepts are private, sometimes public and most often fluid in a society that always seems to be changing its collective mind about things.
Some examples of a political concepts are ethics, honesty, crime and punishment. Social strata are a collective rule of behavior for all to follow and be judged against. Religious concepts lead followers into and out of daily deep emotional needs. Personal sacrifice means to be something more than just an animal on this earth. Intellectualizing with either, and sometimes both causes the weak to fall short and the strong to be elevated, nearer to that which is considered the "top".
A mechanical concept is something which we count on, like gravity, the planetary movements, climatic changes that can be measured and gears that can turn. The great industrial revolution was a flourish of mechanical concepts and development in how things work and what machines could do to improve our lives. Today we are involved in the technology that will take us soaring further, and again- upwards toward the "top".
Public concepts that are shared, advertised and politicized are our new churches. We support concepts and icons and become followers of economy or progress. To balance, we need private concepts, keen and deep. In allowing ourselves as ruler of the thought, we become king of the private concept. Our personal concepts torture us to near emotional turmoil, causing physical distress and symptoms. Our thoughts are sometimes obsessions and strange, unspoken order in our lives. In this way it is in the private concept that we can easily slip and fall behind, sliding further from the "top" and sometimes hitting "bottom".
Successful people stay "up", they always seem to float and carry others. They have learned the reward of giving, sharing, teaching, sacrifice and conceptually know that their needs will be taken care of. The idea of becoming a spiritual being, outside your physical needs doesn't appeal to everyone. I contend that there is a host of private thoughts that resides in each of us, as the vessel of pottery holds a precious liquid, or fruitful grain. The vessel itself is porous for the purpose of exchanging ideas and remaining open in creativity and usefulness of these private concepts. Many live their beliefs, wholly and strongly and I would sooner migrate toward this kind. A criminal finds success in tearing apart and in taking away. Millions buy into distress and dysfunction and desire. Money is to be made on these activities, sex sells.
How healthy is the fruit that ripens if cared for and cured with sun and wet roots? Can a pear grow with money machines and plastic cards? Are we a society growing towards or away from an individual spirituality? Ask a friend or coworker to describe a personal concept. If a subject comes up in conversation, such as those that surround us at the office "water cooler", don't accept the first of the cursory and seemingly innocuous statements as a passing phrase. Ask questions, be interested, make good listening skills count for this passive moment and take the opportunity to learn.
Learn to develop a "personal concept", a rolling and passing fancy, a collection of ideas that you polish and grow. Make these things positive and a healthy choice. God, family, friends, community, elders, children are great meditative choices. To exercise our minds on the concepts that surround us as people living together can never be wasted.
Enjoy nature and learn from the flight of birds, the green of the trees, the insects that carry life with them to the hive. Do these creatures stress over monetary success? They can die from an environment which we pollute, unable to avoid the product of our mechanical conceptualizing.
Take an idea of yours and "own it", develop this and train yourself to let go of what others expect of you, consider less of what you thought you needed to do and more of what God made plans for you to perform. "I don't know what he wants of me", or "He hasn't shown me the way" are easy feelings to possess. Let loose of your emotional, physical, political, social and mechanical concepts and meditate on nature. God is there in every platform and on every level, he sees through your eyes and hears the lilt in your voice as you sing.