Short idea (10): In every conversation there are things unstated and un-statable. In every thought process there is something unthinkable. There are things we aren't grasping, can't grasp, and never will be able to grasp — no matter how confident and optimistic we are feeling at any particular moment.
Short idea (84): If we make an analogy between the Imagination, Sensation, Need, and Thinking on the one hand and four rivers on the other, then there is a place where the rivers merge with each other and eventually form an ocean. Or, we can start with the idea of an ocean and picture the Imagination, Sensation, Need, and Thinking as four rivers that separate and flow out of it. — Without the ocean and its rivers we would all be dead. On the other hand, people often get swept away and drown in one of them. It's naive to forget the dangers of the rivers and the ocean and equally naive (and even fanatically suicidal) to try to get rid of them.
Short idea (87): If you cut off the head of a worm, the body goes on for a long time. It's pretty much the same with people. If you cut out our ability to think (maybe by some violent emotion), we can still eat and drink — and vote.
Short idea (98): In colleges in the U.S. we are trained to see Imagination and the Intellect as inherently at war. I think it is more useful, and probably more accurate, to focus on the possibility of them cooperating and on what they have in common. After all, they are part of the same organism and probably developed with the same goal, that is, the adaptation of the organism. I think they have a common source, and images are part of thinking. The two are like two gangling beasts who are married and who are constantly stumbling over each other and who often get into conflicts but who, deep down, still love each other, or, at least, should learn to get along.
Short idea (113): From a developmental point of view, I think that Sensation must have been the first adaptive psychological function to appear (every living cell senses — as do human infants). Imagination assumes Sensation and builds on it, and I think it must have been the second function to appear (dogs dream). Thinking assumes Imagination and Sensation and integrates them into itself, and, I think, it must have been the third of the functions to appear (language is needed for thinking; infants don't yet have language). Reflection, Evaluating, Moral and Ethical Reflection, and Planning integrate Sensation, Imagination, and Thinking, and I think it is the fourth function to arise and probably does not arise in everyone. Wisdom couldn't develop without being able to build on the previous four functions and there would also have to be character traits present such as courage. And, if there is any psychological function further along than Wisdom, perhaps some Unifying function, it would develop, if at all, only after everything else was in place and functioning.
Short idea (130): "2 plus 2 = 4" may express an eternal truth, but adding 2 plus 2 is a mental operation that takes place in particular people at particular places and times. Thinking is an activity that uses up time, and it always occurs in a particular place. Thinking can be done out-loud or to oneself, with others or alone, while awake or while dreaming. Like all other activities, we think for reasons, and these reasons can be more or less conscious. And we can think too much or too little, and in a useful way or in a way that causes trouble for ourselves and/or others.
Short idea (131): To a vast degree, the world is not what we think or imagine or perceive or expect or want it to be.
Errors, Illusions, Hallucinations, Delusions:
A simple error or a mistake isn't always an illusion or hallucination or delusion. You can be tired and adding a series of numbers and make a mistake. Or you can hear it will rain today and believe it and be wrong.
Short idea (152): An introspective exercise I did made me think that thinking is a branch of the imagination and that reason is a branch of thinking. However, it is just as possible that thinking and fantasy are offspring of the same parent (maybe the need to grasp the future). Or that they both come from the same root or need. Or that they are two forms of the same thing.
(Psychological Paradoxes & Puzzles — 8)
A Paradox regarding Consciousness
(Psychological Paradoxes & Puzzles — 9)
A Paradox regarding Thinking, Depression, & Cheerfulness
Short idea (175): Anger is a way of holding things at arm's length, of isolating oneself from what you are angry at. We know the negative sides of this distancing for oneself and for others, but a positive function is that it seems to be a necessary step in thinking; it is pre-condition of observing and analyzing.
Short idea (176): If you are the type of person who is devoted to thinking, it is probable that you are not the type of person who continually tries to balance your feeling state in order to feel as good as you can feel. And vice versa: If you are constantly monitoring your feelings and sensations to adjust them to their optimal state, it will be almost possible for you to be what is called "a thinker." All your thought and energy will be devoted to adjusting your feelings.
Short idea (188): It seems to me that there is a third option when confronted with an unpleasant situation besides Fight or Flight. There is also Assessment. Assessment includes Stopping, Waiting, Observation, Feeling, Thinking, and Imagining.
Thinking, Truth, and Reality
I separate Thinking (which is an activity), Truth (which can be the result of Thinking, and Reality.
Using spatial metaphors, thinking can be used to make a point or a series of points. It can be a series of unrelated points, or it can proceed in a line from one point to the next. This can be done in a step by step manner that obeys the rules of logic, or in a more random and, perhaps, intuitive manner. Logical thinking involves work and is active. It can be sharp and clear and clean or fuzzy and muddy and confused. Thinking can arrive at the truth or hit on the truth or lead us to truths.
All Thinking is Real and part of Reality. Truth is Real and part of Reality. Thinking can help us deal with Reality, but it Thinking does not give or take us to Reality. Thinking is one dimensional (points) or two dimensional (lines of thought), but any Reality is multi-dimensional. Though thinking is part of reality, a piece of reality, it can also be a veil that keeps a thinker away from other parts of reality. It can be a buffer between a person and reality. Thinking is about something: Reality, on the whole, isn't about anything — it just is. Thinking is an activity (passive or active) done by someone and felt to be going on now; Reality, on the whole is not done by anyone and is not felt by anyone to be anything or at any time.
Thinking is one or two dimensional, but there can be different lines of thoughts about the same topic. So it is possible to have a whole web of thought, as it were, and this web can be thought of as three dimensional. In so far a thought process or series of thought processes take place over time, thinking can be thought of having a fourth dimension, the dimension of time. But each line of thought (qua line of thought) can be thought of as represented by a series of positive real numbers. Reality is thick with Reality, as it were. Continuing with the mathematical metaphor, it has more than four dimensions, and many (or all) can not be represented with real numbers. The dimensions of Reality would be represented by irrational numbers.
Thinking, at best, gives the Truth, but the corresponding Reality is always bigger than the thought or the truth about it. Thinking never gives Reality. At best it gives Truth. In a parallel manner, it can lead to Falsehood but not Unreality.
There is such a thing as the Set of all Thoughts of all human beings. There is no Set of all Real Things.
No matter how logical a person's thinking, no matter how true his or her conclusion, this does not mean the person has fathomed or grasped the Reality about which he or she is thinking. Reality always escapes thought. Reality is not a series of Truths; it is bigger and deeper and thicker and richer, to use another series of metaphors.
Finding a Truth can be dangerous for a thinker in that, it can lead to an incorrect feeling of security that one has mastered the corresponding Reality. Thinking about war and arriving at Truths about war is not the Reality of war. Truths about sex and thinking about sex are not sex.