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Thread: Very Few People Can Actually Think

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    United States Avalon Member Mike's Avatar
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    Default Very Few People Can Actually Think

    that was a quote i heard by a popular intellectual today: "very few people can actually think."

    and i wondered what exactly the man had meant by it. but within seconds i was drifting, thinking about my dwindling bank account, my fantasy basketball draft, my ex girlfriend, the groceries i desperately need, the oil change i need to get, the receptionist's sexy skirt, etc.

    i gave up on the quote. but then i came back to it. and the same thing happened, with my mind drifting off and so forth. i gave it up again. only later did i realize that i'd actually answered my question without even realizing it.

    what the man had meant was this: very few people can hold a thread long enough in their mind to have anything productive come of it. only seasoned intellectuals are capable, really.

    most people need to talk to sort out their thoughts. i write to sort mine out. but try just thinking next time - no talking and no writing. i bet you'll be shocked at just how much difficulty you have

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    This is a fascinating topic. I have often thought that most people go through life like a ball bouncing around inside a pinball machine. They simply move in the direction they have been sent. They never take the time to stop and think that they actually have the ability to take control of their life. They don't connect their thoughts enough to take ownership of their destiny.

    Right or wrong people are only thinking about themselves and the immediate things that matter most to them. That said if everyone would take a little time to think about constructive ways to make the world a better place we could change things in the blink of an eye.

    I think a more accurate statement would be that everyone can think but few people actually take the time to do it. It takes effort to get deep into your thoughts. Most people won't make the effort so they never bring forth the potential that lies within.

    It is my belief that the vast majority of people are looking for validation on a host of topics. What they fail to realize is that the answers to almost everything in life are within their own thoughts...

    Really when you 'think' about it thought is the most powerful tool in our arsenal.

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Quote Posted by rgray222 (here)
    It takes effort to get deep into your thoughts. Most people won't make the effort so they never bring forth the potential that lies within.
    A lot of people spend their entires lives running away from the moment they have to face their inner thoughts, some people know 'their monster' is sleeping there and they don't want to face it

    I don't need a reward system for what i do, i'm not a puppy :P

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Society is built to keep your mind busy with "stuff" so that we are slow to build up our perceptive and psychic mind.

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Serendipitously, this week I listened to four episodes of an old Canadian radio series called "Ideas" which discussed ideas about thinking and thought. The four episodes were titled "Modes of Thought" and they were recorded and broadcast in 1995 by David Cayley.

    I'll link all four episodes below as well as the introduction given by David Cayley on his website.

    Particularly relevant for this discussion is a segment of the programme interviewing Deanna Kuhn on a study on people's abilities in rational argument. This study was published in a book called "The Skills of Argument":

    Quote The Skills of Argument presents a comprehensive, empirical study of informal reasoning as argument, involving subjects across the life span. Professor Kuhn asked her subjects questions that people have occasion to think and talk about in everyday life, such as "What causes prisoners to return to crime after they are released?" "What causes unemployment?" "What causes children to fail in school?" Subjects were asked to offer their own theories regarding the cause of the phenomenon and then asked to provide supporting evidence for their theories. This is the first major study of how people reason in everyday life, and it highlights the importance of argumentative reasoning in everyday thought.
    The discussion with Deanna Kuhn is in the third part of "Modes of Thought" and starts at approximately 42:30 in the track: http://static1.squarespace.com/stati...1+Track+01.mp3

    ~~~~

    Here is more information about the four episodes:

    Quote Modes of Thought



    In 1988 I broadcast a series of programs called “Literacy: The Medium and the Message”which I have already posted on this site. The series explored the latest scholarship on a theme first broached at the University of Toronto by Harold Innis: how the techniques by which we communicate shape the way we think about the world. It was recorded at a conference organized by two University of Toronto professors, David Olson and Derrick de Kerckhove, and held at the University of Toronto in 1987. Five years later David Olson organized a two-day workshop which posed the topic of modes of thought, or mentalities, in more general terms - looking not just at the cognitive implications of orality and literacy but at all the ways in which our styles and habits of thought are formed. He assembled psychologists, anthropologists, historians and philosopher interested in this question, and, knowing of my continuing interest in the subject, he again invited me to observe and report on the proceeedings. The result was a book called Modes of Thought, edited by David and Nancy Torrance, which was published by Cambridge in 1996, and a series of four radio programs, also called “Modes of Thought” which I broadcast in 1995. Their theme, to say the least, remains current. The participants are as follows:

    Part One: David Olson, Brian Stock, and Myron Tuman
    http://static1.squarespace.com/stati...1+Track+01.mp3

    Part Two: Jerome Bruner, Carole Feldman, and Keith Oatley
    http://static1.squarespace.com/stati...1+Track+01.mp3

    Part Three: Geoffrey Lloyd, Paul Thagard, and Deanna Kuhn
    http://static1.squarespace.com/stati...1+Track+01.mp3

    Part Four: Scott Attran and Ian Hacking
    http://static1.squarespace.com/stati...1+Track+01.mp3
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Quote Posted by Patient (here)
    Society is built to keep your mind busy with "stuff" so that we are slow to build up our perceptive and psychic mind.
    This is maybe hinting at the "no mind" approach. We have no control over thinking in the usual way. Thoughts think us. Thoughts come and go and persist and can be a constant voice inside the head. Once "no mind" (meaning no thoughts whatsoever) is achieved then in the space where no thinking happens there is incredible focus and the choice to think or not. This is also called Being Now.
    Trisher

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    most people need to talk to sort out their thoughts. i write to sort mine out. but try just thinking next time - no talking and no writing. i bet you'll be shocked at just how much difficulty you have
    Hi Mike,
    I agree with this, even though it's insinuating most of us are idiots who can't even think properly ;-)
    I've thought about this already. You know you're going down a weird path when you start thinking about your thoughts (ha ha)

    I think in WORDS, and if I didn't know English, I doubt I'd be able to think of much at all!

    There was one point where I believed my "train of thought" was broken, and the basis of that was pretty much all of the sensory input I was getting was distracting me. I joke that one of these days, "Hey look, it's a bird!" is going to kill me... ;-)

    It's worth thinking about too, how MUCH of our actual memory we are able to 'keep at the forefront'. We have a LOT of memories over the course of our lifetime, but it's impossible to recollect it all at once - we can only do it a bit at a time.

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Mike, I’m not sure if this fits the OP. Here are some examples of how ideas and thought processes work for me:

    I’m absorbed for hours and hours on the things I’m passionate about.

    If I get something in my head, I stay with it until it’s finished. One example was I decided to sew a three piece suit, i.e. jacket, vest and skirt to wear it to work the next day.

    It was time to begin a new life. The first place I called was exactly what I needed. In less than 24 hours, everything was moved in, unpacked, cupboards stacked and pictures and curtains hung.

    I stay on a project until it’s done because my concern is if I stop, I won’t complete it. (There are upsides and downsides to it.)

    One of my practices is not to think. My goal is to ask a question and the answer comes before I’ve finished asking. Pictures and ideas pop-in to fill out the rest.

    Last edited by RunningDeer; 16th October 2019 at 22:46.

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    I think --I think!!

    thoughts just arrive--I haven't instigated them,
    Some are useful some not.
    I think I can sort the helpful from the not so helpful.
    I don't own them.
    They are not mine until I think I authored them
    They are just tools.
    I don't have to listen to them.
    If I instigate a thought process, that's different--I think.
    Just having a little fun
    Chris

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    RunningDeer said: "My goal is to ask a question and the answer comes before I’ve finished asking." Bingo.

    I do the same thing and it works every time.

    You will always get an answer to any question you ask yourself. To get the answer you want or need, the trick is to ask yourself empowering and useful questions, not dis-empowering and harmful questions.

    For instance if you ask yourself "Why am I such a loser and why do I fail?" you will get an answer. But the answer will not empower you. It will in fact support your loser/failure attitude and state of mind. If on the other hand, you ask yourself "What tools and information do I need to be successful and happy?, you will get an answer that will empower you and be useful. Then from the answer you get, you develop more empowering questions to ask yourself one after the other as you move along towards acting on what your mind is telling you with the answers it gives you.

    We should always strive to keep our minds on the things we do or should want and need, and off the things we should not or do not want and need.

    The mind/brain does not distinguish between truth and falsity. To know the difference between truth and falsity does, at a minimum, require thinking and discernment.

    And, finally, it is not what we know (or think) that matters, it is what we do with what we know (or think) that matters.

    PS I had to think to write this post.
    Last edited by Satori; 16th October 2019 at 22:02.

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    My thoughts are heavily skewed towards survival mode and anxieties associated with that. These are fairly well travelled neural pathways, my mind is worn down to the rim on them.
    I seem to be able to think by articulating through the written word alone. If I am speaking to someone about something fairly complex I often have to look away from them, so I can concentrate on what I want to say. It's hard to put together otherwise. If it's something that requires a very difficult verbal feat, I type it out in my head, using my fingers, (if that makes any sense) and then read it once its typed. As it fades from view fairly quickly, I have to speak/read it really fast!

    I cannot use voice recognition technology, for the reasons many people find it difficult. I find that communication for anything the least bit complicated, everything gets processed through my hands and fingers from my brain. Speech is secondary.

    Another thing I find is if someone tells me to write a short story about just...anything...I can't. If they ask me to write about something specific with all kinds of boundaries and parameters, I find it much easier.

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Quote Posted by rgray222 (here)
    This is a fascinating topic. I have often thought that most people go through life like a ball bouncing around inside a pinball machine. They simply move in the direction they have been sent. They never take the time to stop and think that they actually have the ability to take control of their life. They don't connect their thoughts enough to take ownership of their destiny.

    Right or wrong people are only thinking about themselves and the immediate things that matter most to them. That said if everyone would take a little time to think about constructive ways to make the world a better place we could change things in the blink of an eye.

    I think a more accurate statement would be that everyone can think but few people actually take the time to do it. It takes effort to get deep into your thoughts. Most people won't make the effort so they never bring forth the potential that lies within.

    It is my belief that the vast majority of people are looking for validation on a host of topics. What they fail to realize is that the answers to almost everything in life are within their own thoughts...

    Really when you 'think' about it thought is the most powerful tool in our arsenal.

    Many people who don't write and can't articulate well verbally, might have access to a richer realm of thought if they tried to write towards their intellectual potential.

    There's a lot of emphasis placed on journelling and writing out your feelings, nowadays. It might be more helpful if they were encouraged to write more within the realm of thought as opposed to pure emotion? If someone can't access that realm, they are unlikely to be able to form coherent and compelling strategies to make he world a better place.

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    9 Kinds of Smarts
    #7. Linguistic Intelligence (“Word Smart”)
     
    Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings.  Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language.  Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.


    Resources:
    1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)
     
    Designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations).  This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef.  It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like. 
     
    2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)
     
    Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone.  This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners.  Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves.  They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.

    3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (“Number/Reasoning Smart”)
     
    Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations.  It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.  Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives.  Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships.  They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.
     
    4. Existential Intelligence ("Life Smart")
     
    Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.
     
    5. Interpersonal Intelligence (“People Smart”)
     
    Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others.  It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives.  Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.
     
    6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)
     
    Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills.  This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union.  Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.
     
    7. Linguistic Intelligence (“Word Smart”)
     
    Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings.  Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language.  Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.
     
    8. Intra-personal Intelligence (“Self Smart”)
     
    Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life.  Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition.  It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers.  These young adults may be shy.  They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.
     
    9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)
     
    Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions.  Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination.  Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence.  Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.
     
    * From: Overview of the Multiple Intelligences Theory.  Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and Thomas Armstrong.com
    Last edited by RunningDeer; 18th October 2019 at 21:01.

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Quote Posted by Trisher (here)
    Quote Posted by Patient (here)
    Society is built to keep your mind busy with "stuff" so that we are slow to build up our perceptive and psychic mind.
    This is maybe hinting at the "no mind" approach. We have no control over thinking in the usual way. Thoughts think us. Thoughts come and go and persist and can be a constant voice inside the head. Once "no mind" (meaning no thoughts whatsoever) is achieved then in the space where no thinking happens there is incredible focus and the choice to think or not. This is also called Being Now.
    Trisher
    Fantastic post! This is often why folks get stuck in emotional issues. The mental back and forth is actually normal and will not change unless something is done about it. Once mindfulness is achieved it is unbelievably liberating.
    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints

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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Some people think too much.
    Without realizing the consequence of their thoughts.
    EXample
    A conspiracy theorist who claimed that the Sandy Hook massacre did not happen, has been ordered to pay $450,000 (£351,000) to the father of one of the victims.
    Leonard Pozner, whose six-year-old son Noah was one of 26 killed in the massacre, was awarded the money by a jury in Wisconsin after successfully suing James Fetzer for defamation.
    The retired professor, who co-wrote the book Nobody Died at Sandy Hook with Mike Palacek, who agreed a settlement deal with Mr Pozner last month. Its terms have not been disclosed.
    A charity to help African Children become self sufficient. :attention:

    http://www.learningtoolsforselfdevelopment.co.uk/

    Be kind to all life, including your own, no matter what!!

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    UK Avalon Member Mike Gorman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Epistemology has always been my favorite branch of philosophy, I know this sounds a little pretentious, so I will call on your generosity and ask that you suspend your tendency to instantly judge people for a few moments.
    This branch of thought actually addresses the 'Meta' of knowledge itself.
    How do we know, what we know?
    What are the processes by which we can be certain of our understandings?
    When so much that is about knowledge is truly uncertain, and always shifting, changing from one era to the next, from one decade to the next-how can we invest so much surety and confidence in our knowledge?
    Science offers us a method of inquiry, but of course the political groups in our society have always sought to hijack the findings of science to support their intentions, to offer them a source of unquestioned authority!

    True scientists are never as certain as their funding sources are about the world.
    Critical thinking is I think what this fellow was referring to, much of how we think is determined by our social and economic status, but if we possess the means to question, and to defer our tendencies towards being Dogmatic, we can find ways to truly determine truth.
    So, in my view at least, Critical Thinking skills are the most valuable skills to build, we can overcome the deception of Ego, Politics and other biases if we can think critically.
    The World Wide Web is our global publishing house. If you seek to publish and develop your reach: https://www.webstruct.xyz

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    Canada Avalon Member
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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Quote Posted by greybeard (here)
    I think --I think!!

    thoughts just arrive--I haven't instigated them,
    Some are useful some not.
    I think I can sort the helpful from the not so helpful.
    I don't own them.
    They are not mine until I think I authored them
    They are just tools.
    I don't have to listen to them.
    If I instigate a thought process, that's different--I think.
    Just having a little fun
    Chris
    "If you're thinking you're stinking". "I think, therefore I am not."
    Actually, I believe this mostly applies to thinking in words. Real thought is too fast for words. In the 2nd grade I noticed I was thinking in words and thought there was something wrong with me until I learned everybody does. I believe people think as a buffer against their own feelings and intuition. If you stay in thinking, you don't have to feel, perceive, be. It's a form of disassociation.

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    Canada Avalon Member Ernie Nemeth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    I use a rubber band around my wrist to remind me not to get lost in wrong-thinking. It seems to work quite well...
    Forget about it

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    Ireland Avalon Member aoibhghaire's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    I remember attending a 10 week workshop called 'Lessons on Non Thinking' back in 1994.
    The workshop had a book to accompany the workshop. I had initiated to have this workshop because a friend of mine wrote the book but had never planned such a course/workshop. I organised to have about 10 participants in attendance during the whole period.
    The workshop required a substantial amount of non thinking exercises between lessons.

    The outcome for participants was very challenging and at times was bringing up arguments for both some participants and the facilitator.
    Some participants left in the second half of the workshop duration never to come back again.

    I personally was going through a transformation in my life so this workshop was timely in accelerating the process in a positive way.
    I was becoming more aware to my dormant psychic abilities and later I was developing inner empowerment.
    All this resulted in applying these new found abilities with evidence that I could substantiate.
    This later provided confidence in clearly applying a partnership with nature intelligence to progress my life in magical ways.

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    Scotland Avalon Member greybeard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very Few People Can Actually Think

    Do I Own My Idea? The Nature of Creative Manifestation


    A charity to help African Children become self sufficient. :attention:

    http://www.learningtoolsforselfdevelopment.co.uk/

    Be kind to all life, including your own, no matter what!!

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