What is Thinking?

Thinking is the act of awakening from the waking dream state brought about by conceptualization.

The mind conceptualizes how something “is going to work” as a source of vision and coherence, and as a basis for choice, but it’s not that it goes to sleep afterwards, the process of conceptualization is sleep itself, virtually no different from dream. Thinking is the disruptive force, the dissonance without which our conceptualizations march onward, ruling us just as a dream does that we can’t awaken from.

As the doorway to evoking conceptualization, language is the ultimate lullaby. It is almost magical in its ability to evoke the waking dream state. Thinking is therefore not a linguistic but a prelinguistic operation, though we lack an alternative tool to communicate our thinking. Thinking is also difficult to communicate for the very reason that language evokes conceptualization rather than thought.

Two words in particular have evoked a kind of ongoing dream state in our contemporary society. These words are “pandemic” and “vaccine.” The word “pandemic” evokes a dream state producing the vision and coherence necessary for collective understanding and action during a potential threat to public health. The word helps us interpret the events proceeding around us, and forms the basis for choice and action. The word helps us conceptualize the precautionary process that will limit the spread of a pathogen in order to safeguard the health of ourselves and our fellows. Since this conceptualization offers us the coherence and vision necessary to recommend action, it is useful, but it still remains a dream.

The word “vaccine” evokes a parallel dream state. The word “vaccine” provides us a conceptualization of collective health through precautionary medicine. A vaccine is something which offers us protection from the effects of disease, and which helps prevent us from giving it to others. This may also be a useful conceptualization, but it nevertheless amounts to dream.

Outside the bounds of these conceptualizations, our governments are instituting strict controls, limiting travel, controlling the economy, locking down societies, criminalizing protest, and proposing both the forced delivery of something into our bodies, as well as the documentation necessary to limit our participation in society should we refuse. Thus the words pandemic and vaccine have both helped evoke a dream state from which we must soon awaken.

Generally then, we err as human beings because we conceptualize something proceeding in a certain way without actualizing the dissonance of thinking, and this is why humanity is responsible both individually and collectively for the horrors we visit upon ourselves and each other. We are responsible both individually and collectively for being slaves to our partial or mistaken conceptualizations, even as they lead us to harm by the criminal actions of others. Trying to avoid the horrors of human torpidity might be superficially framed from both an individual or collective perspective, but the difference lies in the fact that only the individual can actualize the dissonance of thinking that will free us, the collective can not.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s