Thinking is a conscious process. Most people live their lives in the unconscious stream of stimulus and response. We do things from habit; we do things by rote. With little more thought than an ameba moving through its environment, we move through our daily life, controlled by schedules and guided by beliefs, conjectures, emotions, opinions and the influences of others. As humans we like to think we are animals of reason, but in reality we are automatons reacting from societies program. We do as society dictates and we think what our peer group demands.
All men are not created equal (another fallacious adage.) We are each endowed with varying degrees of intelligence – and as we all now know, education does not necessarily equate with intelligence. Intelligence, as I see it, is the ability for critical thinking applied with logical reasoning.
Critical thinking = understanding causality.
Logical reasoning = therefore. (A=B, B=C, therefore A=C)
In Buddhist practice we are told to WAKE UP! We should also be told to THINK!
How many people attending religious worship have actually applied critical thinking and logical reasoning to the presupposition of their religious doctrine? How many people take a critical and objective look at their political party affiliation? We all use some degree of intelligence when tasked to do so, but mostly we react according to our program and installed beliefs.
Living an intelligent life would entail consciousness with an objective view of the world. The reality of our existence is mostly unconscious with a world view based on a system of dogmas.
Let’s break this down further:
Reason is a product of IQ, available facts, personal experience, critical thinking and logic - applied to reach a reasonable conclusion. Reasoned conclusions are open to change and modification as factual information changes.
Dogma is a product of facts, fancies, opinions, emotions, conjecture and the influence of others. Dogma is more rigid and resistant to change, regardless of facts.
WHERE DO YOU FALL?