How do you think?

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posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 04:15 PM
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How do you think?





"why should we not calmly and patiently review our own thoughts, and thoroughly examine and see what these appearances in us really are?"

Plato The Theaetetus



[font=Script MT Bold][size=10]I[/font] am of the firm belief that what was great in the spiritual teachings of our prophets, sages and philosophers was not what they thought but rather how they thought.

Their teachings, though insightful, are, in truth, only relevant to themselves and their position in space-time. We cannot hope or logically conclude that their ideas are somehow above and transcended our own. Like everyone else, they were human.

The true magic is found in the manner through which they guided their thought, their thought process, and how they dipped in to that constant torrent of thinking, so to say, and pulled from it ideas and concepts and notions. This thinking, their way of thinking, would be applied to their life and how they conducted themselves through it—a process which is universal and a mandatory right of all who possess a human brain.

Thinking is an overflowing inkwell, where every idea, memory and word is generated and made available to the thinker. Fueled by experience, the quill often dips in to to write out one’s life-work, a masterpiece they can be proud of and remembered for, as they scribble their lives into something tangible for everyone else to see, hear, touch and react to. Once thinking is applied to the act of living, it becomes art and true spirituality—one’s very own way of life.

* * *


“How do I think?” is one of the most difficult questions I’ve asked myself, and my knee-jerk reaction was to go study thought processes and other people’s descriptions of them. But while absorbing the ideas of others I neglected my own, and was reminded that it would be best if I did like any artist and instead meditated on myself and my own ideas to see what I can create.

Before I write my observations I ask you, dear reader, to ask yourself:

“How do I think?”

How do you formulate and evaluate your ideas? Where in you do they come from? Where from do you receive them? What is it you wish to build with them?

If you can answer, or wish to share any insights you may have about thinking, please do. You of course may skip the next part if time is bearing its constant and unforgiving pressure.

Thank you for reading,

LesMis
edit on 9-2-2013 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 04:16 PM
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Because I find thinking more of a dance than a laborious task, I never want to limit it. It is in my opinion that when one seeks to silence his mind, he does a disfavor to his own mental evolution and shows a will to retreat from himself and life. Self-discovery isn’t found by silencing oneself, but by allowing oneself to overflow so that the contents can be examined and refined. Therefore, I will not resort to silencing the mind, but aggravating it

In a moment of silence and the senses keenly aware, my thought lashes out to anything it supposes needs my attention. My senses notice the sound of a horn outside and I immediately contemplate it. As quickly as it came the thought is gone. I realize it will have no bearing on my current situation. I assume that my memory regards it as insignificant. But as I contemplate on my memory, and the connection it has with that insignificant horn, the horn paradoxically becomes more significant the longer I focus on it. Realizing this, I evaluate my contemplation of this horn and I deem it unnecessary, and once again attempt to set my thoughts back to my thinking.

It seems as though thought comes when it wants to and not when I want it. It arrives as a torrential river and a chaotic melody of memory and sensual experience. Only through focus can I recognize myself in it, and attempt to fish from it certain ideas.

This focusing is when I formulate an idea, encapsulating, circumscribing and giving form to that which is chaotic. What I do with those ideas is evaluate, contemplate and criticize them until I have decided if they are exalted enough to be manifested and applied to life. Those that I find inapplicable or in no way connected to myself are stored as reminders.

Being in solitude allows me to focus more on ideas, experiencing them in place of what I would be sensually. But out in the world, where not focusing on the goings on around me may bring dire consequence, I am thinking more rapidly, and I engage in a sort of harmony between my thought and my senses. Here there is connection and a constant remembering, a place where I can apply my exalted thoughts outwardly and expressively, creating the art I may or may not be remembered for.

Becoming satisfied with thinking about thinking, I choose to go outside and experience some more, in order to stimulate the growth and environment of my mind, thus ending the dance for now.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 04:21 PM
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You may be overthinking this a bit.

I spend a lot of time thinking, comparing what I research with what I know. Sometimes the best things are simple though and I overthink them a bit. I am trying to find the fundamentals of things to see where and when society was led astray. It started way back thousands of years ago. To get to the truth takes a lot of thought.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 04:42 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 

which is thinking, my soil or my soul ! or both of them.
I think the last is true. when I am glad I can think when I am healthy I can think.
I just want to be alone to think. in your loneliness you can discover yourself. especially nights.
thinking of metaphysics has a different feel of thinking to solve math.
some part of your brain is just for floating point and bool operations !!!
but there is another thinking. a deep thinking. beyond math, which I call it wisdom. it is really wisdom.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


I completely agree that how they thought is what is really valuable; Plato's system of government and Aristotle's contributions to science are largely irrelevant to our current understanding of our world. However, their ability to carefully and logically question the world they live in led us in a path of philosophical and scientific discovery that has led us to where we are today.

How I think... you seem to be asking two questions with one question, so I just want to clarify, are you asking
1) the systematic process by which I think
or
2) the fundamental cause that leads to an effect called thought

The first question can be answered with acute self-awareness and careful introspection of one's thoughts.

The second question, I don't think we can definitively answer, but we can try to answer it through psychology and philosophical speculation.
edit on 9-2-2013 by Wang Tang because: secret



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by Wang Tang
 


Yes the question is ambiguous. I realized this from the start and I almost gave up this thread. Oh well. Product of a sunny afternoon I guess.

I suppose it would be best to introspect upon our methodology of thinking. What avenues of thought do you approach and which do you avoid approaching. Basically attempt to define the thought process when approaching a subject. With this in mind, I think it necessary that one also attempts to articulate, or at least think about, the cause of thinking or why one thinks. I know this is very difficult and the answer always leads to abstraction, but it may offer some insight into one's own thought process.

The trouble though is articulating that process, because it involves the difficult task of thinking about thinking, and analyzing ones own bias, credulity and intellectual dishonesty to arrive at some answers. When I observed my own thinking, I had a difficult time painting that picture for myself and forming an idea of it.

This leads me to believe that thought itself is an abstraction and a non-entity, something not deserving of being treated like a thing, but some practical idea akin to gravity, or energy, an epiphenomenon of many different processes and a result of the actions of many different things.

So I still can't quite grasp what I'm grasping at. It's on the tip of my tongue but I can't give it form. Yet it's so easy to see how someone else thinks, whether they embrace logic, faith, heuristics, probability, agnosticism, common sense, doubt, skepticism, generalizations, intuition, persuasion, indoctrination etc. etc. etc. It seems what they think gives light to how they think.

I don't know where I'm going with this but I'm glad you chimed in WangTang. There's not many people who take philosophy seriously in the ol' philosophy forum. Your insight is valuable.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by rickymouse
 





You may be overthinking this a bit.

Obviously.



I am trying to find the fundamentals of things to see where and when society was led astray. It started way back thousands of years ago. To get to the truth takes a lot of thought.


I know the answer. 2500 years of platonic and Aristotelean thought is what led society astray. Their ideas influence us until this day.

Thanks for sharing.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 08:45 PM
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I do not think the inkwell is naturally overflowing. the boundaries of the thoughtspace must be explored and the valuable elements curated and looked after.

once you have a pool of associativity large enough, new thoughts will free themselves from the black box without much effort. it is a geometric space which seems to spin about wildly. there is "nothing" behind it. for some reason there is always a song there which I cannot seem to stop.

so then, once you get a flow going, its a bit like poetry. there is a meter and a rhyme scheme which you can choose to follow, or not.

weird topic.
edit on 9-2-2013 by tgidkp because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 09:03 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

I know the answer. 2500 years of platonic and Aristotelean thought is what led society astray. Their ideas influence us until this day.




The biggest problem has been the clear separation between mind and body that they "invented", which has led us to the clear separation between hard science and "non-hard science", aka social sciences. On one hand we have hard sciences which are dynamic and are updated very frequently, and on the other hand we have social sciences, like economics, politics, education and such, which are updated very slowly or not even at all. That is why our species is able to send a robot on planet Mars, with all the correct predictions that the feat implies, while at the same time we use outdated social systems that are based on archaic and harmful values.(competition, money, survival, influence, religion, war, etc.). And with the current trend which is more and more specialisation, you see a lot of very smart people in their field, but with a lack of a general vision. I find it amazing when I see a very smart scientist who is also a man of religion and I ask myself "how can this man be so smart and so able to manage complexity in his field of work, while at the same time able to give into simplistic and outdated views like religion?". But I already have the answer, it's the clear separation of the mind and the body, the separation between what is seen as terrestrial, measurable, and what is seen as out-of-this-world, as divine and eternal.

I think all the visionary people through the ages had one point in common, it's that they were aware of their ignorance(seeing thru the BS of their time), and they also had a general vision.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 09:21 PM
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I had a chance to think about this (no pun intended) when someone asked me how I was able to answer so many random questions about what I did for a living. (I was a tax accountant) I have a great mind for trivia, but larger thought seems to overwhelm me. But, I was able to describe my thought process when recalling a fact or explaining a concept.

Imagine an infinitely large table full of Rolodex files. As I search for the particular answer I'm looking for, the table shifts and the Rolodex files shuffle. Remembering a section of a textbook takes me to the particular area of tax law I'm seeking. That leads me to a paragraph of a publication I read. That takes me to a snippet of lecture I attended which sends me to the section of code I need. This information tells me exactly where I can pull my reference guide and show the questioner the answer.

Larger issues such as "why am I here", "is there a God", "what is the meaning of existence" tend to get worked out while I talk to myself in the car. No clue where I'm accessing those ideas.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 10:18 PM
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The more I try to think the harder it is to think.
When I try not to think I end up thinking.
Our desires are our thoughts.
A wholistic education.
We grasp a concept and try to put it into words.
Something is wrong.

This is a thought experiment I tried for 10 minutes, I sat back and tried to clear my mind and focus on how I think. What I got are simple, one line phrases at most. I could not hold anything more in my mind without losing the idea to nothingness.

So here is what I think is my thought process. Our mind grasps abstract concepts, and quickly tries to attribute words to that concept, a few words at most. By attributing words to a concept, we are simply identifying the concept so we can refer back to it later. What I did was I wrote down the simple phrases that I attributed to each concept. I fully understand what each phrase is referring to, but you do not. For you to understand, I have to put these phrases into the proper context, and rationally expound upon them.

I will show you what I mean by expounding upon the short phrases I have listed above.

"The more I try to think the harder it is to think.
When I try not to think I end up thinking."
The first 2 lines tell me there is an inverse relationship between trying to think and being able to think. This signifies that thinking is not a voluntary action, but an involuntary action that we have partial control over, similar to breathing. I often feel like I will understand an abstract concept with minimal effort, but then as I think about it more I cannot put it into words. Then, when I start thinking about something completely unrelated, the thought will come back to me clearly and I can put it clearly into words.

"Our desires are our thoughts."
My mind clearly identifies things that I want and need. These are things that are clear to me, whether I have words for them or not. When I am required to I can put my desires into words. When I want to achieve my desires with the help of other people, I have to put it into words, otherwise I do not have to.

"A wholistic education."
My mind was drifting off to what gosseyn said in his post about mind-body separation, and I was thinking about how our educational system has trained us to separate the two things, yet some us still manage to see the connection between them. I truly desire a wholistic education, even if I have to seek it out and not have it given to me. Then I realize that the reason why I was thinking about wholistic education in the first place is because it is a desire, and desires are thoughts.

"We grasp a concept and put it into words."
I started to identify the process by which our thoughts turn into paragraphs of words.

"Something is wrong."
Our mind alerts us with thoughts if it senses something is wrong. What "wrong" means to everyone is different, but nevertheless each mind has its own conception of what is right and wrong.

After doing this I feel like my previous conception of what "thoughts" was off. We throw the word "thought" around a lot, but at least my level of understanding of the word is almost nonexistent. It is certainly a difficult and mysterious process, what goes on in our heads. Hopefully what I did sheds some light on the process, but I am still baffled by my inability to grasp what exactly a thought is. We use the word in everyday language like we know what it means, yet it seems we don't.

And for someone to say you are overthinking now seems like a misnomer. I think a more accurate term would be over-rationalizing. None of us can know how much you actually "thought" in coming up with this thread.



posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 10:44 PM
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Their teachings, though insightful, are, in truth, only relevant to themselves and their position in space-time. We cannot hope or logically conclude that their ideas are somehow above and transcended our own. Like everyone else, they were human.
Good point. But, their insights can also be used as good examples.

If you're doing a task, and it's taking you forever to do...then, you watch a video...describing an easier way to do it...are you going to keep doing it your way, or try doing it the proven, easier way? Someone's "space-time"...can save you time and energy.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 02:21 AM
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I reckon you will have the answer to your question, if it truly matters to you. For if 1 individual could think of it, then so could another 1.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 03:26 AM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 




“How do I think?”


When my thoughts are purposeful (focused on work, chatting with others, worrying about family, my bills...) I think in a straight line. 1. Problem, 2. Think on what I need to do to arrive at a solution, and 3. Think on what the solution would mean to all concerned.

However, when my mind is free of the concerns of reality, I am of two minds. I involuntarily daydream scenarios where I'm the bad guy, then suddenly switch to being the hero. Hopefully this simply means that I'm human. I imagine a drop-dead-gorgeous woman that I ache to know intimately, yet know that she would have nothing to do with me. So, I kidnap her, and just as I'm about to partake of her, my mind clicks over to the good guy, and the bad guy becomes someone else. Then I save her in a way that is nothing short of heroic.

Other times I'm flying a futuristic plane that sprays a deadly poison that only kills humans. I do this in order to reduce the population, and then I'm frantically handing out the antidote in order to save as many as I can.

If I were to really explore these thought patterns I should probably be concerned that my mind is even capable of letting me be the bad guy. But, since I have never done anything so evil, and seeing as I'm too old and ill to ever do them, I can enjoy them for what they are - daydreams.
edit on 2/10/2013 by jiggerj because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 05:05 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

How do you think?




"why should we not calmly and patiently review our own thoughts, and thoroughly examine and see what these appearances in us really are?"

Plato The Theaetetus



Plato says 'examine what these 'appearances' in us really are'.

You and most humans believe that it is them that is thinking - yet you have said;

Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
It seems as though thought comes when it wants to and not when I want it. It arrives as a torrential river and a chaotic melody of memory and sensual experience. Only through focus can I recognize myself in it, and attempt to fish from it certain ideas.


You say only through focus you can recognize 'yourself' in it. What is it that you find that is 'yourself'?

Thought is an 'appearance' that comes and goes, as you say - it comes when it wants. So how can you believe that it is you that is thinking?

The great 'thinkers' were those who allow thought to come and go. Thought is always popping up but if you are full of thought already there will be no space for an original thought (insight) to appear.
edit on 10-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 05:21 AM
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This is why my stepfather, a professor of philosophy, holds the position that learning to think philosophically is why such courses are beneficial for young people. It is not the content of the thoughts of past thinkers that is important to learn, but the skill of exploring thought structure, logic, reason......how to step out of one structure and build another, if even temporarily, to look through another perspective, anothers eyes.....

He also is a psychoanalyst, but worksupon his own method, which is using philosophy. We weave our philosophy as we create our individual view. Problems arise for us when it is not well built- when it has holes, when it is self-contradictory.....

Perhaps it was his influence that made my personal view so similar, though he only entered my life when I was 15, perhaps he made a big impact, I don't know. But my thought processes embrace systems. I like systems. I don't care whether one chooses this one or the other, this ideology or it's opposite, as long as you apply congruence, consistancy, integrity.

Seeing peoples thought systems be incongruent draws my attention in the same way I imagine a mechanic has his attention piqued by a motor with something broken. I spend great amounts of time tinkering with my own systems of thought, tuning them up, looking for adjustments needed, checking to make sure they are still appropriate to my current situation and goals.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 05:23 AM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

Self-discovery isn’t found by silencing oneself, but by allowing oneself to overflow so that the contents can be examined and refined. Therefore, I will not resort to silencing the mind, but aggravating it

In a moment of silence and the senses keenly aware.........


Do you believe you are the content of your mind? 'Mind' is really only the thought that is appearing presently - no one has ever experienced 'mind' - 'mind' is just a word that describes something no one has ever seen. A thought appears and moves and changes to another thought - in humans there is not much space between them.

In a moment of silence the senses are keenly aware. The moment of silence is the space between thought, a gap. Awareness is silently watching the appearances appear - the appearance can appear as a thought.
A thought is content. Awareness is the container. Thought is like a picture appearing on a screen - no thought/picture can appear without the screen of awareness being present. Underneath the picture/thought awareness is hiding (in the plain act of seeing (and knowing) - the truth is hidden in plain sight).

You cannot silence yourself. You are silence 'itself'. To discover 'self' all content must be seen as 'not me'.
Neti, neti - not this, not this. You are what never appears. You are the awareness of what is appearing.

You are awareness. You are the aware space in which all appearances appear - thought is just an appearance.
edit on 10-2-2013 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 05:55 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


The thing is, there are different types of thought patterns for each person. Some people have negative thought patterns, some have positive, some are always thinking of the future, some of the past, some of their lack, and some of their excitement, contentment, the present moment.

Are you saying that nothing should be done but to watch these thoughts? A suicidal person watching their thoughts will still be suicidal. What will change them is the focus and letting go of those thoughts and holding on to more positive ones, giving them hope to go on instead of quitting...



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 06:24 AM
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Originally posted by arpgme
reply to post by Itisnowagain
 



Are you saying that nothing should be done but to watch these thoughts? A suicidal person watching their thoughts will still be suicidal. What will change them is the focus and letting go of those thoughts and holding on to more positive ones, giving them hope to go on instead of quitting...


A postive thought always has a negative thought following.
Up and down.
Notice that a positive thought tries to calm a negative thought with a positive one but the cycle will not stop until you stop.



posted on Feb, 10 2013 @ 06:27 AM
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reply to post by Itisnowagain
 


I have been reading deeply the past few days about awareness and your post is timely……is awareness possibly the long lost "secret"…..it has been entertaining to consciously be aware of myself…..observing "me"…….it's a fun "exercise"…..reminding me of the soccer ball we're asked to imagine and once we do it's always there……

Hmmmmmmm





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