TED Conversations

Amily shaw

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Can we think without any presumptions?

Questions arised from one of the conversation and a reminiscence of a old lady who said:"nobody is right but me."

Are we free of personal bias when we think?
how reliable it is for us ourselves to judge if we are free of personal bias or not ?

+6
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 23 2013: Thinking is highly overraited. The human mind is not as able as we think it is. It is cluttered with prgramming, pain and unresolved grudges. I would rather ask how can we reason with assumptions,which is really just another word for prejudgments. Fixed opinions close the mind to all but selective input and corrupt it's resoning.
    • thumb
      Feb 24 2013: "Thinking is highly overraited."

      David, I'd be the first to say that it sure appears that way given the kind of outcomes that are usually the result of our thinking.

      Nevertheless, it's not "thinking," the function of thinking that's at fault, but that we've forgotten the purpose of thinking. Thinking is for creating. As such, we're amazing, almost unstoppable, creation machines, creating continually our reality, and oftentimes not for the better but for the worse.

      "The human mind is not as able as we think it is."

      Granted, the "human mind" seems to let us down, especially when we need it most, often during moments of extreme stress, emotional confusion, and trying straits.

      When we need the steady hand of rational thinking and the imaginative power of hindsight and foresight to guide us, we often end up on the rocky shores of our disastrous thinking, and poor judgment.

      "Fixed opinions close the mind to all but selective input and corrupt it's resoning."

      Yes, it can "close the mind," which is why this seemingly unstoppable runaway train of our thinking processes must be brought to a screeching halt as often as is possible during the day, to stop the incessant creation that goes on in the name of thinking, so that we might create with the full potential of our intellect.

      This is why Transcendental Meditation, reducing thinking to one thought, a mantra, has effectively aided the thinking process, and has delivered some amazing results for those who practice it.

      Taking it a step further, others have applied brakes to their thinking altogether, not even focusing on a thought, or a mantra, but allowing themselves to be enveloped by the silence that comes with not thinking at all.

      It's a more difficult process, but the benefits are immeasurable: Greater tranquility and health; more insight into life's opaqueness; quicker learning of skills or difficult information; and wider access to an Inner Wisdom that's sure to guide both our actions and our behavior.
      • thumb
        Feb 24 2013: Dear Wilbert,
        I wholeheartedly agree that "we're amazing...creating continually our reality..." as you insightfully say.

        You then go on to say that the ""human mind" seems to let us down...when we need the steady hand of rational thinking and imaginative power...this seemingly unstoppable runaway train of our thinking processes must be brought to a screeching halt..."

        Although you say that we are amazing and continually creating our reality, which I totally agree with, you also say the mind lets us down? The unstoppable runaway train of our thinking process "must be brought to a screeching halt as often as is possible during the day"?

        It sounds like you are giving your mind/brain/rational thinking a "mind of it's own", so to speak, and perceiving it as something outside your "self"?

        I agree that meditation sometimes helps to calm the mind chatter, and I take full responsibility for MY mind chatter. I control the information that is streaming through my mind/brain/thought process, at any given time. I am continually creating my reality, and in doing that, I am mindfully aware of the thought process and how it is connected with other body/mind systems.

        When you say the ""human mind" seems to let us down...when we need the steady hand of rational thinking and imaginative power...this seemingly unstoppable runaway train of our thinking processes must be brought to a screeching halt..." perhaps you are refering to your "self" and how you connect with the thinking process. This is certainly NOT how everyone functions:>)

        It is not a difficult process to calm the mind chatter....it's a choice. As you say.....we continually create our reality. As long as we say this very natural process is difficult, that is the reality we create for ourselves. When folks recognize it as a natural process, that too is the reality we create. To " think without any presumptions" is simply another enjoyable process that we, as individuals control....when we are mindfully aware:>)
        • thumb
          Feb 24 2013: "[Y]ou also say the mind lets us down?"

          Actually, I said: "seems to let us down," when in fact it's operating according to its prime directive which is to create.

          "It sounds like you are giving your mind/brain/rational thinking a 'mind of it's own', so to speak, and perceiving it as something outside your 'self'?"

          I'm not saying that, but it is a topic worthy of discussion--just how much are we consciously in control of our psyche--but a topic outside the parameters of this discussion, as is a discussion of the Id, ego and super-ego, as well as the conscious, subconscious, superconscious and supraconscious.

          "I am continually creating my reality, and in doing that, I am mindfully aware of the thought process and how it is connected with other body/mind systems."

          Monitoring our thoughts allows us to "create" intentionally, rather than in the usual, unmonitored, haphazard manner by which we often create. So yes, this kind of thinking puts us at the helm so to speak, so that we steer our thoughts in directions of our choosing rather than allow the currents of previous thoughts about a thing, preconceptions, and unfiltered biases to take us away, but, instead, create our reality and experiences in the moment, and in a way of our conscious choosing.

          "[P]erhaps you are refering to your 'self' and how you connect with the thinking process. This is certainly NOT how everyone functions:>)"

          Clearly not. In our midst are Masters of the Mind and of the many attributes of the psyche, those who can create at one or many levels, the level of the body, the level of the conscious mind, the level of the superconscious, and the level of the supraconscious, where thought becomes intention and intention reality, as though they're one, and at a level of immediacy that the distinction between the two are blurred, and rendered indistinguishable.

          What I'm advocating is this: Rather than we spending so much time in our mind, we opt to be out of our mind as much as we're humanly able.
      • thumb
        Feb 24 2013: Wilbert,
        Each person, may be "in control" at different levels, and it is a matter of being mindfully aware, which is very much connected to this topic...."Can we think without any presumptions". If we do not know what thoughts are presumptions, we probably do not have control regarding our thoughts and/or presumptions.

        It is with awareness that we begin to consciously choose. One does not have to be "Masters of the Mind" to experience this very natural process. Again....it is a matter of awareness, and as thinking, feeling, intelligent, multi sensory, multi dimensional human beings, it is possible for all of us. All humans have the ability to create at many different levels. We have evolved beyond the concept that only "Masters of the Mind" can function in this natural way.

        If you choose to be out of your mind as much as humanly able, so be it. I prefer, and I encourage others, to be totally connected with all parts of "self":>)
        • thumb
          Feb 25 2013: Hello Colleen;
          The viewpoint I am attempting to communicate is the idea of man getting out of the way and letting the intelligence that is all consciuosness, use us. It's about us getting free of Me, Myself and I and recognising that we are a part of the one life and we need each other to survive. The time for world peace is Now. The world is connected and the means are at hand. All poeple are the same inside
          Peace is in every heart. Every soldier wants to go home. The world management system needs to change.
        • thumb
          Feb 25 2013: "If you choose to be out of your mind as much as humanly able, so be it. I prefer, and I encourage others, to be totally connected with all parts of "self":>)"

          And that's the rub: You can't be "connected with all parts of "self'" while connected exclusively to the one we call the conscious mind. It's only when we're willing to let go, to be out of this mind, that we're able to connect to all the others, those that reside in the Totality of the Self, the fullness of our Mind.

          We're all potentially "Masters" of the Self, but few there be that actually integrate all aspects of the Self, and the Mind. Were we so collectively adept, much of the disastrous thinking that is now threatening to destroy our world and all life on this planet would be unknown, and effete.

          Our thinking, and the creative force behind it, has brought humankind to the brink of self-annihilation.

          And who will save us: The Wise Ones among us, those whose minds aren't differentiated but act as One, as they truly are. In this world of relativity, where one thing is defined by another, we have divided our mind, somewhat discretely, just as we have divided the self into male and female, and things into up and down, hot and cold, hard and soft, and acts into good and evil, and a host of other dyads, when in fact All Things are One Thing, inclusive of mind.

          "All humans have the ability to create at many different levels. We have evolved beyond the concept that only "Masters of the Mind" can function in this natural way."

          At some level, we're all Masters of the Mind, but we can't experience being more, if we can't imagine being more, that is, knowing ourselves as more--hence the necessity of escaping that part of the Self that seems to suggest and reinforce limitations, albeit for a time--to know the Total Self, the totality of who we are.

          We can't do that in our conscious mind: This mind doesn't represent our Real Mind, and neither can it save itself from itself.
      • thumb
        Feb 25 2013: Wilbert,
        We CAN be connected to everything. If you choose not to be, it's ok. It seems kind of silly to have a mind, and encourage being "out of this mind"! We all have the ability to integrate all aspects of the self and the mind, which is simply one aspect of "self".

        ABSOLUTELY....you write..."in fact All Things are One Thing, inclusive of mind". Honestly Wilbert, I perceive your comments as contradicting yourself.

        If you cannot do whatever you say you cannot do....it's ok.....and....if you think something cannot "save itself from itself".....so be it. Sounds pretty confused!
        • thumb
          Feb 25 2013: In the end, we may have to agree to disagree, as words are severe limiters of communication. On one hand, I speak from the Absolute, and then again from the relative, in the hope that I can bridge the two with a proper transition.

          In this world, we experience two truths: A relative truth, and an Absolute truth. We generally accept that we're relative beings, but not relative beings with an Absolute existence. So to your statement that "We CAN be connected to everything," I answer, yes, we "can be," but the Greater Truth is, we're already "connected to everything," where All Things are One Thing, as indeed they are.

          It's how we arrive at this Greater Truth where we may be at odds, not that we disagree with the possibility or the potentiality. Because the conscious mind--and consciousness--are, in our collective belief, highly associated with the physical, it's near impossible to achieve the integration of the Self, and the Mind, when we're not in our Right Mind, hence the necessity of being out of our mind.

          Biblically, it's stated this way. "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God [Mind]: for it is not subject to the law of God [Mind], neither indeed can be."

          The mind that has its basis in the physical cannot save itself from itself. There are more than one way to be out of our physically-derived mind--by shutting it down altogether (not thinking), spiritualizing it (by loving), or imbuing it with Truth, the Absolute knowing of what is, and what is not (the illusion), or doing all three in sequence.

          From the perspective of Home, the Absolute, and not the Far Country, the Illusions of the Relative realm, there's nothing we need know, nothing we need do, and nothing we need have. There's nothing outside of us, as we're all that is. There's nothing we need, as we're sufficient unto ourselves, forever complete, and forever fulfilled.
      • thumb
        Feb 25 2013: Wilbert,
        In my humble perception, words are not "severe limiters of communication". Sometimes, however, too many words simply muddy the water of understanding:>)

        In my humble perception....yes.....all things are connected. Are you preaching?
    • thumb
      Feb 24 2013: Same goes with consciousness. Daniel Danette has very compelling argument that our consciousness is in large part physical and since it is self reflecting it is self edifying too.
      • thumb
        Feb 24 2013: I think DD has a limited understanding of consciousness as he uses it exclusively as what I would call self-consciousness which indeed is that edifice you talk about. Consciousness expands as it becomes oblivious of self like as you are captured by a beautiful piece of music or a story told then you're just the observer and participate in a shared consciousness of imagination.
        The moment you remember yourself or any thought enters your mind the magic is broken and the stream of consciousness too.
        • thumb
          Feb 24 2013: I can only say that self-consciousness is important because if you remove it there is no debate about supra consciousness.
      • thumb
        Feb 24 2013: How can it be physical when it has no physical characteristics?
        • thumb
          Feb 24 2013: Physical things can have non physical characteristics. It just has to be complex enough and we need to examine it in integrative levels. Emergence for example.
    • thumb
      Feb 25 2013: David,
      I totally agree....the time for world peace is NOW:>)
    • thumb
      Feb 25 2013: A man after my own heart.

      For example, I despise ideologies (the "isms"), they all lead to dogma and create mental imprisonment.

      Classic example is politics where someone cannot execute the obvious solution because it goes against their ideology. "Left wing" or "right wing", how did ornithology invade politics?!?!?

      No wonder politics is full of the absurd!

      So, the collective thinking is as bad, or maybe worse than what occurs in individuals

      Judges, who are professionally required to practice impartiality, are often able to be characterized by the history of their cases. No one can think without presumption.

      Past experience will always colour current thought, no matter how hard to try to prevent it, as that very effort will create influence of its own.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.