This is Post 5 in the ‘Meditation Guidance’ series.
Meditation grounded in self-enquiry, of the sort I have been speaking about, is enormously supportive to the thinking function of the mind. Creativity requires thought, and high-level creativity requires high-level thinking. Collaborative thinking especially requires the capacity to think clearly and the capacity to express our thoughts with accuracy and integrity – but all these things spring from the illusive mental quality that we call objectivity.
Objectivity is illusive because it is a function of our relationship to Consciousness. We can choose to embrace objectivity as a value, and can train ourselves to some extent in the discipline of objective thinking, but this requires a systematic study of thought, language and logic, in the context of a study of Philosophy; and ideally a broad study of Thought itself. Only the very best high schools teach thinking (especially in France, I believe), but most do not, so this training is usually only available in the context of higher education institutions – but most of these are increasingly focused on vocational training for industry and commerce. Any training in objectivity will in any case be limited however, unless it is developed with reference to Consciousness, since Consciousness is the only objective observer.
Consciousness is Non-Computational
To better grasp the distinctive and extraordinary thinking capabilities of human beings, it is helpful to compare human thinking with that of the logical processing of a computer, and to recognise how profoundly different it is. A computer can never develop the attitude that we call objectivity however powerful it may be – and it certainly cannot develop Consciousness. It can process logically, and even ‘learn’ by accumulating vast amounts of data according to its human programmers intentions, but it is incapable of reflecting on what it is doing. Because a computer cannot consciously observe its own thought processes in the way a human being can, it can never develop the sort of objectivity, or the sort of depth of understanding, that is so characteristic of high-level human reasoning. Continue reading