Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Thinking About…

Originally posted on November 22, 2017

I discern several levels of consciousness: 1. Thinking, 2, thinking about thinking, 3,thinking about those processes, and 4. meditating on those levels.

The first is straight thinking, calculating. Example: "He’s heading off that way, so I’ll cut him off." Leopards do this.

The second level is more human: Thinking about thinking. Because of their developed brain, their neo-cortex. Humans are capable of this. For example, one might say, "If I expected that he’d move there, then I’d move here." Notice the "if"—the subjunctive tense. It’s called “hypothetical thinking.”

Some minority of people think about thinking about thinking. These people look at the aforementioned and note that it is vulnerable to illusion. Such folks, I suggest, engage in a variety of activities that analyze thought, such as philosophy, seman-tics, logical analysis (including propaganda analysis and rhetoric), psychology, psychiatry, illusions that appear one way but really are another, delusions, faulty thinking.

Beyond that, at what I consider the fourth level of mind, there is illumination, spiritual insight, and the weaving in of deep attitudes of love or, alternatively, one-up-man-ship, which includes hate. There a passage in the New Testament, beginning Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, about love (or charity) that critiques cleverness. Loving kindness  trumps the illusion of the entitlement that comes with being "right."

It might be argued that these are all thinking, but I the last one is more mind and what call “heart,” though it’s more an attitude than an anatomical description. I find it useful to differentiate these as levels of thinking that reflect dimensions of being.

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