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A discussion and practice of the psychological benefit of hard thinking

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Part 1.
    1. Consciousness.
    2. The use of the philosopher Ockham's razor.
    3. When is someone thinking clearly?
  3. Part 2.
    1. Someone who believes in what is being said here but cannot live consistent with their belief: Example of Joe.
    2. Joe: Stuck in cultural logic.
    3. Joe's thoughts about the origins of the universe.
    4. Freeing oneself from the imprisonment of western logic.
  4. Conclusion.
  5. Bibliography.

This essay is about psychology. In part 1 we discuss detached ego conscious thinking and unconscious attached feeling. We argue that when looking into phenomena (e.g. a conflict) one should firstly focus on conscious reasoning and only look into unconscious motivations when the focus on consciousness fails. Towards the end of part 1 we touch on the point that hard thinking is not easy and therefore it is not surprising that much unconsciousness exists. We use the example of the difficulty of physics. Therefore we move on (in part 2) to discuss how one who is not a physicist might consciously approach the subject matter of the origins of the universe. Thus part 2 is concerned with demonstrating thinking as opposed to theorizing about it.

[...] But the purpose of this essay, is not to write a physics paper but to illustrate the advantage of hard thinking in freeing one's mind in giving the mind clarity and a greater understanding. One can never satisfy everyone when doing this. Moreover, satisfying everyone is not Joe's motivation here. Joe's motivation is satisfying his own mind. Conclusion Science is an attachment to the thought process and one who is attached to the thought process gets a buzz out of it. [...]

[...] Kuhn wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) and in that text he sets out an account of normal scientific practice and occasional scientific revolutions. Kuhn argues that radical theory change in natural science is the exception as opposed to the norm. In explaining Kuhn's theories, Fulford et al point out that for Kuhn, scientists usually work not on critical testing of current theories but in the gradual extension and application of them through ?puzzle solving'. Kuhn calls such activity ?normal science' and the taken-for-granted background of theory the dominant ?paradigm.'1 Nevertheless paradigm shifts do occur as is clear from the history of natural science. [...]

[...] With regards to Joe's thinking about the origins of the universe there is a problem with the way he understand the terms nothing and time. Given that the statements that Joe makes about the universe strike Joe as completely ridiculous it would appear that he has to question the meaning of the logical way that he understands the terms within the statements. Crowe writes that ?Many people believe that everything in nature has to have a causal explanation. Although this may be true at the macroscopic level, it is not necessarily the case at the microscopic level, as quantum physics has demonstrated. [...]

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