Short idea (27): Some psychologists such as James and Jung have distinguished between Active Thinking and Passive Thinking. Active Thinking is work, because it requires an expenditure of energy over time. And, like any work, it can exhaust.
Short idea (172): Linear (or active) Thinking is a chain or line of thought in which we use thoughts to solve a problem. Associative (or passive) Thinking is a line or chain or thoughts linked together by previous associations. Both Linear and Associative are step by step processes with each link in the chain, each point on the line, connected to the previous one by an understandable connection. There is another type of thought that we might call Archetypal in which an idea "pops into ones head," and it seems completely unconnected with any previous thought. It "came out of no where," as it were, "out of the blue." If, on examining a new archetypal thought, it does seem connected with ones previous thoughts at all, it seems more as if it is an observation or commentary or insight about the line of thought that came before. It may seem as if it came from outside oneself, almost as if it was the point of view of another, often more intelligent and wiser, person.
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.