Or Am I?
I think, therefore I am. Descartes, 1637
Thinking has been written about for a long time; before and after we studied the brain, the unconscious mind, cognitive biases and the influence of technology. For example:
There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Shakespeare Thinking is the grand originator of our experience. William James We don’t think the way we think we think. Duncan Watts All that is, is the result of what we have thought. Buddha
And I have also participated more recently in my blogs. Thinking about thinking is a complex skill, using all your mindsight and full mind. H B Blog 2014
If I don’t think, am I not what I am? Would a life without thinking be without good and bad? Is it possible not to think? I believe thinking is like breathing; it is something we do every day and we put it on auto pilot and don’t pay attention to it. And yet, paying attention to our thinking has been recommended many years ago. Be the witness of your thoughts, Buddha. This blog is to remind you and me to think about our thinking.
I wonder how many of us think the way we think we think? My guess is that most people don’t often think about their thinking. As I think about it, I realize I have been speaking and writing about thinking since 1989, Positive Uncertainty. Believing is a synonym for thinking and a big part of my writing. Thoughts and beliefs have consequences, even if I don’t think about them. They are the originator of my experience.
People know others by what they do, not by what they think. But to know why others do what they do, we need to know what others think. That is why I have focused on the complex skill of thinking about thinking for years. I believe that thinking is one of the most important things I do, along with the synonym believing. I have often proposed that “believing is seeing is doing”. Beliefs and thoughts become behavior; that’s important! It could be argued that the positives and negatives of the world’s history were caused by human thinking and believing. Has my thinking been an asset or a liability?
I have spent the most part of my adult life thinking about my thinking, and encouraging others to think about their thinking. I am not sure how successful I have been in either case. Others before me have been thinking and writing about thinking. How successful have they been? So, are you successfully thinking about your thinking?
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. William James Thinking is the greatest torture in the world for most people. Unknown