When speaking about the process of thought, it could arise to mind that it is a closed, repetitive system. Indeed, the first aim of this post is just to show this aspect – the “non-art of thinking”. But why belittle the possibility of thinking, showing only the “negative” aspects of the same?
There is a huge difference between thinking and allowing the thoughts to arise in our mind, such as there’s a huge difference between recognizing these two aspects of the thinking process, or not.
Thought itself is not a closed and limited system; limited are our static, repetitive, obsessive opinions that don’t admit any new points of view, or the various little dogmas that make us blind and arrogant towards what doesn’t belong or resonate with our system of ideas and beliefs.
Thought itself is not exclusively conservative: it can allow us to write, to begin a conversation or an action, and helps to modify something.
The limitation of thought depends on the “keeper and producer of thoughts”, namely ourselves.
If we, as thinkers, are open-minded, we can accept new points of view, ideas, expand our points of view, allowing consciousness a glimpse at new possibilities.
This can’t be performed without a correct use of the mind.
And this brings, once more, the fact that it is not the phenomenon itself which is wrong (in this case the thought), but the observer of the phenomenon (who, in most cases, is absent as an observer).
A previous post on this blog has written: “The active use of mind can be a great skill in self development, independently from the “line of work” one follows. What is important is to learn to think in an active way as best as we can, so as to not allow, during the thinking process, the associative and conditioned thoughts to happen. Also, one should never forget that, during such thinking processes, something has been surely ignored, so we haven’t understood it completely.”
A thinker should avail himself of “the benefit of the doubt” about what he at the present time knows, to bring up to date his archive of information – the mind, and remain always open and attentive to the impressions acquired from the outside.
It’s true that doubt could bring an action to a standstill, indeed during an action there shouldn’t exist doubts, when one has to act, one must act. That’s all.
But before the action, there is a pondering, and during this phase, the doubt could be very useful in order to produce in us, to our conditioned belief system, a shock that could allow us to escape from the closed circle of mechanical opinions.
Consider the enneagram: who knows something about this symbol will also know that there it contains two systems: one closed that returns to the starting point and begins the same circle again and again, and one opened that interacts with various points of the closed system which provokes shocks, the well- known “leap of octave” that produces a harmonic expansion and development.
From this point of view it is essential to produce these “shocks”, namely to perform an intentional effort through accepting the comparison with the ideas of others, to truly listen to those who speak to us, without filtering anything.
Listening creates a space inside of us – a stillness, a silent space, holding back the impulse of expressing our opinion immediately, and allowing ourselves to “digest” and assimilate what we are hearing; otherwise, it would only be a clash of egos.
The process of thought is not designed to affirm ourselves and our opinions, as almost always happens, but to learn and understand a better way to live… without forgetting that there are also other means, close to thought which is only a part of our whole system.
Observe the way how the doubt arises inside of us and allow a doubt concerning these doubts to arise in us.