I think I don't know how to think.
Must thought be structured? I think it must. How would you define legitimate thought? I don't think I've mastered anything near it. In fact, I think I misunderstand it. I'd like to clarify the misunderstanding, but I'm not sure how to do so consistently and clearly, so that even I comprehend what I mean.
Do you ever look at your life from a very detached and old perspective, an intelligence larger than yours? I have flashes of this sometimes, and it's never a pleasant experience because everything I see is littered with mistakes, mostly mistakes in the assertions or opinions that I define as being thought, but which aren't thought. And then I hope to fix them, but I never quite do, and it's because I'm missing the underpinning, something fundamental, when it comes to how to see things.
I hope this makes sense, even to a small degree. My head is off doing somersaults without me, but they're the pointless kind. Energetic gymnastics mean nothing if they go nowhere, except that you are wasting energy.
So, let's identify the problem. The problem is that my "thinking," if we can call it that, is very large and clunky and stumbles around like an elephant and is impacted by whatever colorful emotions get in the way at the time. It's not a derivation of logical precepts that stand in their own right. It's very simplistic and divided. But how am I going to fix all this? I realize it's a problem and have been told so by not one, but numerous people, and now even I see it, but somehow just realizing it doesn't work. I need a regimen or something; isn't there something I can do, like read a thousand books or make a thousand paper cranes?
I'm only half-joking.
Or maybe the only way to learn really is to just keep on making mistakes. Keep on saying or writing things that you regret after further reflection, and that will clarify the next idea to you- maybe. But that's not a very pleasant way to learn. Then again, who said this would have to be pleasant?
So I'd like to learn, don't know how, and probably aren't at all ready to be taught, but it is worth learning how to think. Maybe a way to start would be to study different patterns of thought, or derivations of thought, different methods and methodologies, and maybe through that study I can come to a better grasp of the whole idea. Or maybe it would be better to leave it all alone, and I will simply come to learn through the process of growing up, that is, through experience.
Or maybe, and this is something I would have to consider also, I am simply not proper material for this venture and whether or not I try, I just can't grasp this and I can't learn how to think properly. But that would be very disheartening.
What do you think true thought is? And how do you think it is attained? And what course of study ought one to embark upon to attain it, or should one leave well enough alone?
I feel like I need to redefine everything; there are so many perceptions I've shed this year, and so many more I have yet to lose, but somehow it is both amusing and frightening that I have decided I need to redefine the very word "thought." At least I can laugh at myself about all this! I provide myself with very good entertainment. Laughter really is the saving grace, because without that, there would be so much to be sad about.
Incidentally, I find that every day I learn about a new facet of the meaning of humility. So much that I once took to be accomplishments, especially my accomplishments, are merely shadows; so much that I once thought I knew I simply have to unlearn. And there is so, so much more to learn and so very little I know in the scheme of things, that in fact everything is really overwhelming at times. I feel like I have spent more of the past year unlearning ideas than learning them, but it has been very useful to me.
I'm really lucky to have readers or people who are willing to take the time to help me unlearn my ideas, although I should tell you that it's generally best when you do this in a nicer way, as that makes it easier for me, though I have learned from the harsher comments as well and try to do so. In my case especially, unlearning is crucial. Much of what anyone tries to teach me is wasted on me unless I am willing to listen, and how can I listen if I am stubbornly clinging to my own idea and trying to defend it? I have to drop the preconceived notion or abandon what I was formerly taught in order to assimilate or at least understand the new information. This is not something that comes easily to me, but I realize now how much I need to try to do it. There is no gain without an effort, after all; "yagati u'matzati."
At least I have a place to start, the desire to want to know or figure out how to develop thoughts and ideas. Now I just have to figure out how to do it, or if it can even be taught.