Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Image & file uploads are now fixed. Thanks for your patience.
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Thinking styles

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

I’ve been considering for a few days the value of thinking styles. It began when I heard a saying by Osho that “logic is the great coward — all courageous people eventually move beyond logic.” This seems to me an interesting point, and it led to an insight that logic was a limited base for one’s mind and life. It moves in chains from A to B to C and then it stops, and thus it tends to be useful but ultimately a bit shortsighted.

So what is there besides logic? There is associative thinking, creative thinking, chaotic thinking, intuitive thinking, emotional thinking... these are all styles on which you can base your mind’s activity. Associative is probably the lowest energy and the easiest, while creative thinking does things like synthesis and inspiration. Emotional thinking is something we all do sometimes, perhaps we might like a coat because we “like” the feel of it’s fabric.

Of course they have problems too. The reason why logical thinking is popular is because it is reliable once trained. Something like associative thinking led to the ideas of ‘humours’ around the body, which is a concept of medieval medicine, where different humours were associated with different bodily fluids and elements that made up the body. Which is where I feel skilful means comes in. If you can use these alternative thinking styles skilfully, then it should lead to a richer and more capable inner life.

One thinking style will probably end up being dominant. For me up until now that has been logic — I had long training in school in mathematics and studied engineering, and worked in IT, all eminently logical pursuits. But it doesn’t have to stay that way, I feel. One can make an effort to bring other aspects to the fore, spending more time thinking creatively or intuitively.

lobster

Comments

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    What is there besides logic?
    Being. Just Being.
    That is what meditation cultivates.

    It is essentially experiential/right-brain, as opposed to logic/cognitive/ego-based left-brain.
    Research has found that right-brain function increases during meditation, and the the brains of long-time meditators (older monks) have increased right-brain function even when not meditating.

    I find Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor's book on her left-brain stroke experience to be fascinating .. despite the fact that her experience was ONLY right-brain function with no left-brain function. She summarizes her book in this 20 minute video. Despite the length of the video, I don't find the video to FEEL like a long video, given my training in cognitie psychology (but you might find it too long, for which I apologize):

    lobsterShoshin
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    So what is there besides logic?

    Prajna wisdom, or insight, or non-discriminating knowledge, or whatever you want to call it. =)

    lobsterShoshinKerome
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited May 3

    Thinking styles

    It has come to my attention I no longer give thinking much thought......just going with the flow of the style of thinking which presents itself at the time, but always on the look out for the charming nature of thought patterns and knowing when to nip them in the bud should they come a cross as being too good to be true)...

    I guess I free think...I think ;)

    Bearing in mind ...“Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya” (nothing whatsoever should be clung to....including thought patterns/styles ) ...

    They have a habit of getting us into all kinds of strife....

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    There's an interesting model that posits 8 different types of intelligence that maybe helps flesh out your idea some more.

    https://www.verywellmind.com/gardners-theory-of-multiple-intelligences-2795161

    This also brought to mind a thread I made last year about the way our rational minds are really mostly just post hoc laywers that make up arguments in support of our much more dominant intuitive sense.

    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/25762/lipstick-on-a-pig

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited May 4

    @Shoshin said:
    It has come to my attention I no longer give thinking much thought......just going with the flow of the style of thinking which presents itself at the time

    I reckon women naturally have an easier time of it, since they seem to find it easier to think emotionally or intuitively. Not all women of course, I know some who are very logical. But most. There are definitely a few lessons to be learned.

    Bearing in mind ...“Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya” (nothing whatsoever should be clung to....including thought patterns/styles ) ...

    You are very right, but that’s why I wrote the post, to help people not cling to logic.

    Shoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @person said:
    This also brought to mind a thread I made last year about the way our rational minds are really mostly just post hoc laywers that make up arguments in support of our much more dominant intuitive sense.

    It’s an interesting thing, what is a rational mind and what is not. Some people are extremely rational, other people are more emotional but they still make sense. Then you have people in psychosis, who no longer make sense but still think in a way, and get very attached to certain ideas, as if the reasonable overseer of the mind’s processes had given way to something that allowed just any old thought.

    You’re probably right that many people don’t have much oversight of their thought process, and tend to apply much after the fact rationalisation. I’m minded of my father, who used to teach mathematics and information technology at a business school, but didn’t have much of a head for finance and investment and made a mix of good and bad decisions in his life, mostly through not thinking very rationally.

    Still, Osho in a lecture I was listening to this morning said that the dominant way of thinking is tied to who we see as being foremost in a society, and these days it’s very much business and finance that dominate the western mind. It used to be the aristocrats who sustained the value of culture and refinement, at least in Europe.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited May 5

    In meditation what came up today was “what worldliness”, and on examining this deeper I found that in the past I had been very much minded to be ‘worldly’. I thought there was not much that people did that might shock me, and my tool for exploring this was the rational mind. I looked at finance and at the news, at homelessness and crime.

    These days I try to leave worldliness behind me, because in a way you become what you examine. You learn to expect to see certain things, and your expectations shape your inner world. So it’s not healthy to keep broadening your horizons.

    Instead it is better to focus on learning about how your emotions arise, to live in simplicity and clarity. I look at my 82 year old stepfather, who suffers from significant memory loss, and who has flashes of strong emotion.

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    The type of logic you described (a to b to c) is not the only logic. Just the most common.

    Kundo
  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    Logic and wisdom are intertwined, you cannot separate one from another, well you cant separate them using logic.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    On observance: Place banana in your ear.
    Observe that there are no alligators around.
    Conclude: Bananas placed in ears keep alligators away

    loosely based on this, by Buddha, from the Kalama Sutta

    Quote:
    Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @ZenSam said:
    Logic and wisdom are intertwined, you cannot separate one from another, well you cant separate them using logic.

    The attempt to define wisdom is useful, it is worth meditating on it. Perhaps it can be found in a good balance of thinking styles and the right experiences to base ones life on.

    And perhaps there is such a thing as a clarity of mind, a transcendant wisdom that manifests at a certain stage of the path to enlightenment. Ehipassiko, I have not experienced it, but it leaves its traces in the writings of various people.

    lobster
  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Veteran
    edited May 16

    Intuition is almost like not thinking because it's already there, free flowing. A lot of people don't listen to their intuition and fall back upon logic instead. Trust in yourself is important if to get through such blocks. Ofc course logic is important too and i'm not biased ;)

    Jeffrey
Sign In or Register to comment.