Life & Meaning

The Thinking Process

The Thinking Process

The thinking process happens in the brain and much is still unknown about it. Paul King, a Computational Neuroscientist describes the brain as a multi-layered ecosystem of hierarchically organized neurons, circuits, networks, and brain areas. The neurons emit pulses called spikes that last about 1 millisecond. Each neuron fires (emits a spike) on the order of 10 times per second. He goes on to offer a dramatic simplification of what is actually occurring based on some theories and models:

Decision-making appears to be a winner take all process in which many different neuron clusters representing alternate action choices compete by inhibiting each other. Evidence supporting each action choice increases the spiking activity of the neurons representing that choice. These neurons inhibit the neurons representing other choices, leading to a multi-way competition among neuron clusters. Eventually the evidence supporting one choice as optimal overtakes all the others and succeeds in supporting the alternatives, becoming the clear winner.

Once one hypothesis or choice begins to overtake others, the activated neuron cluster (called a cell assembly sets into motion the process of action and motor control that produces a behavior of some sort, such as announcing a decision or acting.

The Thinking Process

Going by this explanation, we can see that there is a competition among neuron clusters, a competition by inhibition. The winner of the competition wins by having more evidence which increased the spiking activity. Had another neuron cluster been supported with more evidence, it would have ended up inhibiting others and winning. Thought is not necessarily reality.

Thinking is a top mental activity demonstrated by man and it has played no small role in human accomplishments and advancement. Civilization, science, and technology will testify to this (creativity though was also at play). Through thinking we come to a conclusion. To notice how you work mentally, try to become aware of the process of your thinking. This is a step in realizing that you are not your thought. If you can observe the process, you can see the patterns of your thought which can be based on fear, jealousy, or competition. You are likely not to know this because you have embedded yourself in your mind such that you believe your thought.

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Allow the process of thinking when you have to but identifying yourself with your thinking is what you really do not want. When you identify with thinking, the thinking takes place but you are not there, you are absent, hence, you are powerless. Your mental patterns take over you. Come out of it and see the process. Wake up out of your mental patterns. Doing this enables you to reclaim your power which you lost when you identified with thinking.

When you identify with thinking, you become possessed. You are possessed by your thought. Though forms can not only possess an individual, it can possess a people. How do you think Communism spread in Russia? Millions of people were thinking the same thing. They lost their power. Can you prove they were not possessed by a thought?

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