Why is it so easy for thinkers to "tie themselves up in knots"?

Knots which they seemingly can't get out of. If thinkers are supposedly smart, knots should be the last thing they get caught in. My very vague and general hypothesis: Perhaps, just because someone's a thinker, doesn't mean they're smart or wise...(me! hahaha). I'm sure there's much more to it and I'm looking for your thoughts. Thanks.


Thanks you two. But, what if one knows that "reality is unfathomable"? Why can't one manage his or her thoughts at this point?

Update 2:

@ Zaphod: Mmm, I believe training is fallible. It actually most definitely is. One must continually re-enforce the training or seek new methods.

Update 3:

@ Bruce: I agree with you, accepting reality and rationality is very humbling. I've experienced that, but somehow am no longer able to believe in the rationality and objectivity of things. Hmph.

Update 4:

@ Trill Will: I feel you on that completely! I rmb when I was first "maturing" I would write down all of my thoughts to be sure there was a point when I didn't doubt them. I wrote and wrote until the thougths became so powerful that there was doubt left (artificially of course). My issue revolves around this incurable doubt.

11 Answers

  • Oblio
    Lv 6
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Most thought is unconscious. The benefit of making that thought conscious would be to identify the component pieces of a particular proposition for the unconscious to in turn make conscious a solution.

    I have known many self proclaimed thinkers in my travels (mostly of the non-dual spiritual crowd) and one thing has stuck out more than anything else is an appreciation for dissociation. So while they consider themselves thinkers they actually rejected thinking as a means to any ends. I appreciated their passion for intuition (which I share), but they often took rational arguments as personal attacks. If you don't value rational arguments then you are going to be prone to these mental knots. That is to say if you can't get some objectivity in your communications with other people then the reality of the situation which has you in knots remains waiting for random chance to unravel itself.

    I happen to value logic and evidence a great deal. There is a great deal of humility in that, because in a sense you are saying that if something is a certain way and demonstrated to be this way to me then all the emotional investment and aggravation of being wrong are trumped by reality. When you bow to reality then you cease to have an ideology. You simply accept it as it is on it's terms. That's been a very humbling experience for me.

    Developing a rational methodology for determining truth from falsehood help a great deal. For example if someone claims that something is true, but in doing so refute their own premises then there is no need to go looking for evidence. That is to say if the form of their argument is invalid then the content of their argument is necessarily invalid. An expression of this is being familiar with logical fallacies. In fact learning about logical fallacies has been the single biggest leap forward in establishing a coherent methodology.

    It takes practice like anything else.

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  • 10 years ago

    Many factors can lead to a thinker getting caught up in thoughts.

    The major reason is doubt caused from what we don't know, to eliminate doubts of what we believe is true we continue to think and, eventually, get lost in our thoughts.

    This is why writing thoughts down is a good method to find answers to some questions. You can lay out all the possibilities and factors without having to worry about forgetting anything you may have thought of.

    Thinking technique and the 'specifics' of the question being asked are also key factors that lead to thinkers losing their line of thought.

    My main reason is definitely the sense of doubt because I rarely assume anything

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Nobody thinks everything should be free. I know plenty of Democrats that probably made more than you ever will and they usually vote Democrat because they are more sensable and at least they don't stand simply for gun ownership which seems to be why so many vote Republican. Politicians and Pundits want to build the voter bases up into these complicated, detailed things. In reality, it is quite simple. I would like to add that I don't mind if people own guns. If people are so crazy that guns become a huge problem, it will simply speed up our ultimate demise. That said, I don't want there to be a lot of illegal guns out there for people to rob with or do drive bys and kill innocent people, or anybody for that matter. Guns is tricky, is what I am saying. However, to base your vote on that is simply grotesque.

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  • 10 years ago

    The ordinary language we use in everyday life is good enough for everyday purposes, but when you use ordinary language to think about extraordinary problems that they were not originally designed for, then language can suggest ways of thought that are systematically misleading. For example, we all know what it means when someone says "The average American family has 1.4 cars". But suppose someone is misled by its similarity to the sentence "The Jones family has 2 cars", and starts wondering about where to find this average American family, where he can find their phone number and so on. This is an artificial example, but meant to show how language can trip you up if you are not very careful.

    Source(s): Gilbert Ryle wrote a paper on this theme: "Systematically Misleading Expressions". But Ryle's thesis was inspired mostly by Wittgenstein, who once wrote: "Philosophy unties the knots in our thinking, hence its result must be simple, but its activity must be as complicated as the knots it unties."
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  • 10 years ago

    Simple. They haven't been trained how to think properly. That's why there are courses in logic, philosophy and a few other disciplines. If a student pilot gets no training, sooner or later they'll crash. Same with thinking. It is a skill that can be learned and refined.

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  • 10 years ago

    I know what wisdom is, but I am not sure what being smart is. I guess I haven't tied myself up in a knot around that concept yet.


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  • 10 years ago

    haha, i did this to myself only yesterday ;-)

    the problem is the knots are inevitible with thinking so the only way to not have them (knot have them heheh) is to not think

    the thing there is to it, is if you dont want to be in knots, then you cant really think anymore

    and who wants that ;-D

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  • .
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    because reality is unfathomable.

    In an infinitely complex world of infinite possibilities and perspectives, we're only limited to one.

    The more you learn the less you know.

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  • 10 years ago

    Divergent thinking solves that problem. It could also be called tangential thinking or, letting your thoughts run away with you.

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  • 10 years ago

    I can't abide this anti intellectual drivel,are you seriously suggesting we stop thinking? That way religion lies.

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