#065 What is thinking?

What IS thinking!

This question could keep a room full of philosophers happy for a hundred years. But in the School of Thinking we are not concerned with thinking as contemplation, philosophical discussion or academic description, we are concerned with thinking as an operating skill – the kind of thinking that gets things done. The definition we use is: Thinking is the skill of using intelligence to get things done.

Thinking is the skill of using intelligence to get things done.

Thinking vs Doing?

To many people THINKING is the opposite of DOING. They set these two activities up as mutually exclusive opposites in their mind. With practice, however, you can develop your ability to use thinking as a skill, just like you can develop cooking, golf, leadership, painting, acting or aikido. All human skills can be learned or developed.

Paul MacCready, inventor of the Gossamer Albatross and the father of man-powered flight once wrote to me from California:
“When first watching a School of Thinking class in action, I was amazed that something so simple and so much fun could be so quick and effective in developing a person’s “thinking muscle”. We all, as individuals and as caretakers of our precious earth, need these thinking skills”.

Dr MacCready’s metaphor of thinking as a ‘muscle’ is a good one. It’s betterthan the old-fashioned idea of thinking as a ‘gift’. If thinking is only a gift, there’s not much you can do about it. But, if it’s more like a muscle then there’s a lot you can do to develop your thinking power.

That’s why we look at thinking as a skill. We want to help you enhance your skill and develop your intellectual capital. The goal is to reach an alternating balance between thought-based action and action-based thought.

Thought-Based Action: THINK-START-DO.

Thought-based action is the kind of action that’s based on thinking. For example, you are reading a magazine and you read about a story set in the Greek island of Patmos. You start to think about the Greek islands and decide you want to actually go there.

You figure out a plan, you find out about costs for fares etc, you set a date and you finally go and visit Patmos and the Greek islands. You thought something out, got started and then did it – thought-based action: THINK-START-DO. This is how I came to visit Patmos in the summer of ’84.

Action-Based Thought: DO-NOTICE-THINK.

Action-based thought is the kind of thinking that’s based on action. For example, a customer walks into a store and the salesperson says “Can I help you?”. The customer then says, “No thanks, just looking” then pirouettes and walks out of the store. Most salespeople keep making the same mistake day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-year.

But the thinking salesperson might say to herself something like this “Whenever a customer walks into a store and I ask if I can help them I notice that usually drives them back out of the store. Maybe I can think of some other thing I could do that would not have that effect. What could I do instead?” Action-based thought: DO-NOTICE-THINK.

The Alternating Balance

The skilled thinker can alternate a balance between thought-based action

and action-based thought, between THINK-START-DO and DO-NOTICE-THINK.

This is what cognetics is all about – action based on noticing feedback plus feedback based on noticing action – SDNT = START-DO-NOTICE-THINK continuing in a continuous series of loops or a kind of cognetics spiral on into the future, exploring the cognos, the vast universe of possible thoughts.

These guys are thinking, too.

The Cognetics Spiral

START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK
spiralling on into the cognos.

Start Do Notice Think, or its trigger code SDNT, is a powerful search engine for your necktop that will enable the brainuser to approach any situation, any problem, any opportunity with confidence. To be doubly negative, there is no situation that can’t be managed by SDNT:

1. First you Start. This is like switching the necktop from OFF to ON
2. Then you Do … something … anything
3. Then you Notice the feedback from your actions, carefully and objectively
4. Then you Think. What happened? What were the consequences?
What did I like about them? What didn’t I like about them?
5. Then repeat 1 – 5.

This is exploring, and off you go again SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT … on into the future, surfing the cognos.

What if …? Thinking

One of the most famous users of the “what if …?” type of thinking was a young thinker, a lad of sixteen, called Albert Einstein. At that age Albert wrote to his uncle wondering what he would see if he was sitting on a light beam.

By the time he was twenty-six, in 1905, he had solved that problem and changed forever the laws of physics and the way future generations would understand the world. This “what if …?” thinking he called a gedanken or ‘thought experiment’. One of the great thinker’s most quoted sayings is, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

Science acknowledges Einstein’s thought experiments as among the greatest triumphs ever produced by a human brain. His thinking feats made him famous, not just in the scientific community, but amongst the public at large. He, in effect, became science’s first superstar! Until he died in 1955 he was always at the centre of much publicity and public interest.

At first he was the eccentric, the genius who never wore socks. Then he became a leading pacifist and opponent of rearmament whose traditional education left him with a lifelong suspicion of all forms of authority.

As the Nazis spread across Europe he advised President Roosevelt that it would be possible to make an atom bomb. However, when the bombs were actually used on Japan he immediately sought the establishment of a world authority that would control these weapons.

Today, posters of Albert Einstein are best sellers. It’s encouraging to know that these posters of the scientist, humanitarian, inventor, Nobel prize winner and thinker, are stuck on the walls of many a teenager’s bedroom along with their other heroes of rock, movies and sport.

Hardware and Software

Like Einstein, we all have some pretty awesome hardware in our twin-hemispheric, necktop, personal computer. Our problem, however, is that we are very short on software. The traditional western approach to thinking is simply reactive, logical judgement – the slapping on of the “right” and “wrong” labels.

This has always led to extravagant, destructive clashes throughout history and is hopelessly inadequate for designing a safe future in a rapidly changing world. In this SOT training you can go beyond your existing logic software with new SOT brain software called cognetics. There are a range of SOT brain apps that you can use to extend your thinking skills.

Logic and Cognetics

If you would like to get a “feel” for the difference between logic and cognetics (both of which are software systems designed to handle information in the brain) you can try the following simple exercise:

EXERCISE: There follows two sets of words which help describe the process involved in each brain software – logic or cognetics. Relax for a moment and take a nice deep breath, then repeat the words in capitals slowly and evenly over and over until you get the “feel” for the way each software handle its information.

Do it first for logic (repeat about 10 times):

RIGHT … WRONG
RIGHT … WRONG
RIGHT … WRONG
RIGHT … WRONG
RIGHT … WRONG
RIGHT … WRONG
RIGHT … WRONG
RIGHT … WRONG
RIGHT … WRONG
RIGHT … WRONG

Do it now for cognetics (repeat about 10 times):
START … DO … NOTICE … THINK
START … DO … NOTICE … THINK
START … DO … NOTICE … THINK
START … DO … NOTICE … THINK
START … DO … NOTICE … THINK
START … DO … NOTICE … THINK
START … DO … NOTICE … THINK
START … DO … NOTICE … THINK
START … DO … NOTICE … THINK
START … DO … NOTICE … THINK

You may have noticed that logic uses a kind of labelling or “mail-sorting” approach to dealing with information. Logic reacts to information using judgment based on historical experience.

It fits, it’s right; it doesn’t fit, it’s wrong etc.

This is, of course, very useful in a secondary way and for looking back at static, theoretical, situations. By itself, however, it’s totally inadequate for dealing with most fluid, forward-looking situations in real life.

With cognetics, you may have noticed a quite different, open-ended, spiralling effect as movement is created (START … DO) and then feedback is evaluated (NOTICE … THINK) and further movement, with adjustments based on the feedback is then continued.

Thinking is Movement

There is no “right”way to think. The key to thinking is movement. Movement through the cognos, movement through think-space, movement through the ideosphere, movement through the universe of possible thoughts.

Whether you move out or in or up or down, sideways, backwards or upside-down reverse pikes, it doesn’t matter. Whether you take great leaps, use stepping-stones, random provocations, lateral thinking, flip-a-coin, or fantastic images, it all works.

Whether you use intuition, alpha-visualisations, TM, tarot cards, I-Ching, runes, prayer, auto-suggestion, cognetics, hypotheticals, scientific method, professional counselling, net surfing or “ask the oracle” – it all adds up to movement.

The essential key in thinking is movement – escape from your CVS. Once you have movement, you get feedback and, as we have seen, it’s this noticing feedback which is the essential ingredient for further thinking, which is to say, surfing the cognos.

Is this array doing actual thinking?

Thought Experiment:

A Thought Experiment is an experiment you carry out in your brain, using only thinking – your imagination. For example, you could imagine what would happen if cigarettes were square and not round. You think it through and imagine the consequences and possibilities and outcomes.

SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT
SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT
SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT
SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT SDNT

START DO NOTICE THINK START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK START DO NOTICE THINK
START DO NOTICE THINK START DO NOTICE THINK

 

DFQ #065:

Design your own Thought Experiment. Enjoy the exercise.

Explain at least three of the imagined outcomes here …

1.

2.

3.

272 thoughts on “#065 What is thinking?

  1. If religious leaders around were using cognetics

    1 trade and intermarriages in the middle east
    2 enhance world peace
    3 population increase

  2. What if children have a 6th sense that they lose when their brains develop?

    1) We could further study children’s brain patterns in situations to learn what we are capable of
    2) Once unlocked, we could add a new sense to our experiences which will drastically change our perception
    3) New ideas will flow in a golden age of thought

  3. I would have aThought Experiment where you would be filmed while making decision throughout the day where you get to;

    START – Have camera capture you in the environment you wan to move from CVS2BVS
    Do – Be yourself and don’t modify your behaviours to be a different you.
    Notice – Watch yourself in action and pay attention to how you make decisions
    Think – How can you improve using all the thinking tools we have learnt so far.

  4. What if I could teach CVC 2 BVS to everyone in the world ?
    1) people would be able to think by themselves, so none could make a decision for someone else
    2) human kind could do everything that is possible, moreover
    3) we would always look for a BVS as the BVS has become CVS

  5. If I were an effective thinker,I would

    1) I would notice many things I don’t now;
    2) I would improve all spheres of my life and the society;
    3) I would understand what I really want to do for a living…
    and many more

  6. My Thought Experiment:

    What if the DNA and Genes that make up creatures in this world were programmed by a higher, sovereign Being for self-improvement and sustenance to reach another higher more exquisite plane of existence than we can ever have the capacity to imagine as humans?

    1. This ‘Being’ would be “sorting” for certain qualities that are inherent in humans, for instance, and capable of manifestation.

    2. There would exist a more refined location for the ‘sorted’ humans to eventually inhabit.

    3. There would probably be another place to accommodate those humans who could not manifest the qualities desired by the higher Being.

  7. What if you could live to 150 years of age!

    1. You would be more likely to reach your full potential and maximise your contribution to mankind
    2. You would need to take advantage of advances in medical science to sustain your physical and mental well-being beyond today’s current expected lifespan
    3. There would be no need for a “Bucket” list as the extended lifespan should provide enough additional time, earning capability and opportunity (Good health permitting) to complete this.

  8. Design your own Thought Experiment

    I use Start–Do–Notice–Think as my approach to life.

    Explain at least three of the imagined outcomes here …
    1. My focus is on moving closer to the goal based on noticing and thinking about the results of my actions.
    2. I am more relaxed because I do not have to get it right the first time–I could keep doing, noticing and thinking about how to achieve what I want.
    3. I let my goals evolve to different goals because I noticed and come up with better goals based on my actions and then assessing the results.

  9. Our Grocery store has increased its customer count by 700 new customers per week. This has increased sales by $21,000 per week.
    1. Now we can be a little more flexible with labor hours in each department.
    2. The pressure on many of the team members will be alleviated.
    3. Financial goals will be met

  10. Design your own Thought Experiment. Enjoy the exercise.

    Suppose the world, our family and the schools teach us that the only important thing is knowledge.

    Explain at least three of the imagined outcomes here …

    1. We would not care about thinking.
    2.We would notice that certain people were more successful than us, and however they have less knowledge, resources and talent.
    3.Somebody will think and make decisions for us.

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