A new definition of intelligence

So perhaps instead of defining intelligence by the number and brilliance of the thoughts that occur to us, we should instead look to the brain that can quieten its own thoughts; that can know their value and their place and keep them in check? This is a mind that never loses perspective and can learn from experience without being enslaved by it.

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Observing thoughts

But how can the brain select between thoughts without relying on some past criteria? Any greater intelligence cannot use a selection process, for this is nothing more than one thought measuring another in its cage of space and time. Therefore intelligence cannot select, it can only observe. And this is what we can do to leave the ‘I’ behind and experience freedom from our thoughts. We should become a keen observer and student of the process of thought. Only that way can the brain be shown the fallacy and limitations of thought.

Next: a new definition of intelligence

A question that cannot be answered

Yet the idea of leaving the past and our old selves behind, of living in the moment where life is fresh and new and original, is one that won’t go away. This becomes like a question that cannot be answered. Such questions disturb and unbalance the brain because they perpetuate thought – thought that without a greater intelligence cannot answer the question because they are just memories. They never have quite enough information until after the event. To solve the problem the brain must be able to dismiss such thoughts until at last a thought occurs that can advance things by allowing a new question to be formed.

Next: Observing thoughts

No way beyond thought with thought

And yet thought cannot go beyond thought. We cannot put ‘I’ away, for that would be nothing more than one thought saying ‘shoo’ to another. This just creates more division in the mind, where we think ‘I must do this’, ‘I must not do that’. This has led to the world we live in today, with country against country, and ethnic, religious and political groups all opposed to one another on the basis of nothing more than an idea made with thought.

Next: A question that cannot be answered.

More than thought

Yet the fact that we can be aware of our thought and not be absorbed entirely into it proves that we are not thought, we are more than thought. Then, when we become wearied by the weight and repetition of our incessant thoughts, we seek a way to quieten them, a way to go beyond them. This is the spiritual quest.

Next: no way beyond thought with thought.

A basis for thought

Thought operates based on a framework of space – the reference ‘I’ implying the existence of others, and time, the brain’s store of past events. Both of these reinforce one another. For example memories build a picture of ‘I based on relationships with others, whilst each recollection of the past strengthens subsequent recall. This mutual reinforcement makes it very easy to become completely occupied by thought, and believe that thought is the basis of what we are.

Next: more than thought.

Thoughts and the Thinker

When every thought pulls and pushes at the thinker –
Also a thought,
The brain cannot operate correctly.
Only when the thinker is dropped,
Can the process of thought work as it should.

New Year

New year, another chance
To turn it all around,
To have the life you’ve always wanted,
Or just make a simple change –
Putting that first foot
On the mountain.

(C) Copyright Mark B Williams 2014
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