Mankind’s thinking

Question of Day June 18, 2012 ~ Mankinds Thinking

“What is the Problem with “Mankinds Thinking”,
that You would want Mankind, to Change ?
Describe the Benefits of the Change, in Mankind’s Thinking.”

So many possible ways of interpreting that question.
What is “Mankind’s thinking”?
Is it the way that we think?
Is it the things that we think?
Is it the circumstances that lead us to think in specific ways, as against other ways?
It is the thinking that interests us, or the actions?
Can we ever really know what another person is thinking?

It seems to me that mankind as a whole does not think, individuals think.
It seems that individuals think different sorts of things at different phases of development.
Many different groups have tried many different ways of classifying the thinking of individuals, and it seems that while we may all have reasonably common ways of getting started in thinking, what we think and how we think about it can vary greatly over time within individuals and between individuals.

It seems that we all start life basically imitating others around us, and adding slight variations as an expression of our individuality.
It seems that we all start our journey into self awareness from a place of simple judgements of right and wrong.
It seems that for all of us, if we are to get past that stage, we must be willing to face our initial self declaration that we are wrong in some fundamental way, and then move on, as a reintegrate being.
It seems that few people take that journey.

There are so many possible avenues of exploration.

So I would change the education and support systems for humanity to encourage individuals to question everything, including their own self declarations, and the implied assumptions within the specific cultures of their upbringing.
This could result in the death of culture in one sense, in that all people would be reborn into a post cultural environment.

To me the obvious benefit would be the logical necessity of a tolerance of diversity, and a move away from rule based systems to having only enough rules to limit the worst dangers to the rest of us, and the wider biological community. Such a move to individual freedom and individual responsibility, would eventually result in a highly creative and diverse society, with levels of cooperation only dreamed of today by a few.

[followed by]

Hi Star

The words are exactly as I intended them, and they are rather condensed in meaning.

What I was trying to convey is that there are at least a couple of dimensions to how our thinking varies.

As individuals, our thinking can vary greatly with time and experience, as we gain access to new paradigms of thought, new contexts of interpretation, new perspectives. Like the old Zen saying, it is never too late to have a great childhood. In my case, for most of my life I viewed most of my childhood as a living hell. For the early years I was tongue tied, and very few people could understand anything I said, so I was teased and bullied badly at school. My feet, rather than pointing forward, pointed outwards at about 45 degrees, so I sort of waddled rather than walked, and could not run at all well, in an 800, race, I would be a lap behind the next last runner. Stuff like that.

Yet it is only in recent years that I have been able to appreciate the empathy that those experiences have given me for others. Doctors eventually cut most of the flap of skin keeping my tongue on the floor of my mouth, so I learned how to make myself understood. In my mid teens I consciously decided to straighten out my feet, and over 6 months changed the way they pointed. I cut out some of the warts that covered my body with a pocket knife, and after that the rest simply disappeared.

And finally I grew. I went from being a short fat kid, weak and slow, to being 6ft 2in tall , lean, muscular, and reasonably fast.

Now I can see that being isolated from other kids allowed me to develop my habit of reading and trying things out for myself. It allowed me to develop the habit of questioning everything, and ignoring peer pressure, because basically I didn’t have any peer pressure – I just hid in the library and read as often as possible, to escape persecution.

The other dimension, the “between individuals” one, was an attempt to express the idea that we each have unique life experiences, and we each make unique life choices, and those differences sometimes accumulate to send us down very different paths in life, and into very different sets of understandings, and sequences of development.

So many “different” (at many levels) things have happened to me, that I doubt there is anyone else alive with an experience and context set that is even vaguely similar from one perspective, and yet from another perspective, that is almost equally as true for all of us.

So we have those two dimensions, of our journeys of understanding within our own life paths, our own life experiences, our own contexts of understanding; and mingled with that is interaction and experience with all the people we meet and interact with, who are where they are on their life journey.
All of us, in some sense, doing the best we can with what we have at the time.
All of us making our own mistakes, and learning our own lessons.

[followed by]

Hi OM and Star

Yes – words and contexts.
It is such a pity that there are so few gender neutral terms in our language, like person or fisher.
Gender wars have been waged for so long they have infected most of our language. At least english isn’t as bad as french in that respect.

It seems that minds trigger off contexts.
It seems that we can train parts of our awareness to watch for contexts that are known to trigger “reptilian” responses, and to alter the response by altering the context. And it is a bit like stopping a train or an oil tanker, one has to see it coming in the distance, to avoid a train-wreck (metaphorically speaking).

Once we are in a full blown response, we can only let it play out, in a sense, and in another sense we can often freeze our reactions, so that while our minds may be racing through emotional responses, our bodies (including fingers and mouth) are doing nothing. It may look a little weird to an outside observer, and I find it a useful way of avoiding serious trouble.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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