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We Thinking

February 2, 2014       Cutting Edge

We Thinking

As intelligent beings, we create symbols in our minds to represent how we figure out the world around us and what we should be doing in the next hour.  Thoughts are a variety of processes depending on who you ask:  A psychologist deciphers intentions.   A philosopher explains abstractions.  A neuroscientist says certain areas in your brain will register electromagnetic activity based off a scan. 

What is thought and why do we think? 

Thinking: Mind or Soul?

There was a time when the act of thinking was believed to be such a noble attribute that explaining it as some rudimentary mechanical process was passed over by the powers that be who preferred the idea that any entity capable of thought REQUIRED A SOUL or a non-physical medium.

Scientists have since rebuked this fallacy propose that thoughts involve only physical processes with good reasons for making this a better argument:

A man thinks because there are events around him that make him respond internally to what he encounters and senses in his environment.   And most events in the world are the cause of thoughts of men brought to action as an individual or as a group of people.  So we can readily explain ways of thinking and even a process of why events happen based on actions pushed by thoughts—a cause and effect scientific evaluation. 

What seems to separate animal and human thought processes is language—animals think in raw emotions—anger or fear or bodily sensations or environmental stimuli, but humans have symbols decoded in their mind by a verbal and written language.  Range and sophistication of human thought is only limited by the ability of his language to express what he has in mind.  The human brain can solve problems whose level of complexity and abstraction would confuse even the smartest animals—no land bound animal can think of a way to fly using a machine. 

Language also allows human thought to thrive in other important ways.  Language enables us to allow each other to critically evaluate our own thoughts.


The Thinking Process

Thought can be a geometrically unique or a divinely quantum phenomenon unique to humans.

We bring to mind anything from objects, peoples, places, relationships, abstract concepts, the past, the future, real things imaginary things, and even think about nothing.  Thoughts function like an equation or like a grammar, precise at times or as expressive as we wish.    One  can associate thoughts with each other to form an interpretation.  Thoughts may come in isolation but it is more common for them to come in trains.  Thoughts empower humans when putting them together for figuring something out is based on evidence and logic—creating value out of looking at a sequence to find what comes next and if that something next provides a strong evidence that an idea works. 

Musing and Recognition

Thoughts occur as a person brings something to mind.  Different from perceiving experiences or body sensations.   Thought as a mental activity differs because one must sense while with thoughts you can ‘perceive’ in your mind without the need to sense a thing or object.  We can think about things that are far removed from us in time and space, past, future, abstract or concrete, what exists or what does not exist….such that it outstrips the capacity of perception.  Problems that come into mind sometimes get resolved outright or after letting the problem stand and letting the thought about the solution come naturally like sleeping on it until the morning.

Thinking Involves...

Is thinking something that we switch on at will with focused control or is it a passive process?   

When posed a question, the human mind first considers options for answers, then lets the solution coalesce or form---sometimes delivering a satisfactory answer, and sometimes not at all.  Either way there is no rote method or fixed rule that the mind follows in order to come up with an idea or a thought.  Also thought is not an automatic idea formed like clockwork equations.  The human mind wanders during rest or routine chores.  Random thoughts go through one’s mind as one lives out the day.

What stern teachers called daydreaming, woolgathering or unfocused thought used to be seen as a wasteful part of our mental faculties.  But research has proven it may even be essential, normal and necessary aspect of thought. 

A paradox for scientists because the most productive thought , getting best thinking done.  we have is when our mind is wandering—same as in creative thinking. 

Thoughts as Energy

Everything is energy. Even a thought.  This according to people who have considered quantum science as a veritable proof of the divine.

What is a fleeting instance or imagery in our minds, is made up of energy. As such, a thought vibrates at a certain frequency. Depending on what the thought is about and what kind of emotion is going on at the back of the thought, it will vibrate at one frequency or another.

There is the idea put forward by those who believe in the Law of Attraction, that whatever one desires, and thinks of with passion—whether fear or optimism, it is that thing that the person will attract in life.  If one lets thoughts guide work and achievement to achieve a goal and driven by your passion, one will be able to get what one wishes for.

The Limit Break

A human mind has conscious control over the direction of the thoughts it generates.  Thoughts are not limited by our physical and perceptual limitations.  Maybe our biology can inhibit the extent  of human thinking in the same way other species may have a limited process of thinking based on their own limits as a species.  Blind spots might be there.   Lacking a language will seriously set back a mind’s ability to think. 

When man started to realize that he could figure things out and how they worked and that he could make life better by putting things together in his mind, life went from a test of endurance to what we have now,  despite even bad decisions and misunderstandings.   Our future as a species depends entirely on how are thoughts lead us—dystopia or transcendence.


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