When a doctor prescribes medication to treat the unpleasant symptoms of a health disorder instead of its root cause, these symptoms might be replaced by new symptoms for which further medication is required. As more medication is prescribed the potential for complications increases. If the doctor continues to respond only to the symptoms, what starts out as a relatively minor illness becomes a much deadlier problem. The medical industry understands the need to treat a health problem at its root however the most serious problems that trouble humanity are not generally treated at their source, there’s a disastrous tendency to tackle the man-made disorders responsible for the existential threat facing humanity by separating them into different issues without stopping to consider the role played by the mechanism that separated them in the first instant. It is the mechanical activity of thought that separates the problems caused by people, whether ecological, economic, war, or some other issue into their respective categories and then moves to resolve them as though they were independent of one another, and independent from itself. Yet it is the activity of thought in Man that is destroying the ecology, producing economic crises, causing wars and all sorts of other destructions both to the world and ourselves.
The danger inherent in thought is demonstrated in the nation state, here thought separates itself and then assumes this separation of itself to be something independent, and to this apparent fact independent from itself inevitably thought responds with a different version of itself. Historically thought separated people into national identities and then assumed these nations to be separate, in its collective operation as the different nations too often it assumed the other to be a threat and so it waged war upon itself under the assumption it was waging war upon the other nations. The land that constituted the nation didn’t have a boundary by nature but thought registered a boundary and then it registered another boundary elsewhere which it took to be generally different. Thought assumed the nation state it had invented was an independent fact of life and so instinctively to this fact it then had to respond but actually it formed the nation state and its combative response was to its own activity elsewhere. The people of one nation were not essentially different from the people of another however their national identities formed out of thought produced a false sense of difference in them. As a consequence of national conflict in the twentieth century there were two destructive world wars to which thought responded by forming into the league of nations and upon its failure into the united nations with the intention of bringing world peace though unaware the same mechanism used to harmonise the activities of these national fragments was producing their disharmony in the first place. The other nation was never the threat, instead it was the dysfunctional use of the separation natural in the movement of thought which separated things that weren’t actually separate, in this case people. There is a functional place for separation, it allows us to distinguish things of natural interest, for example in separating poisonous and non-poisonous plants there is immediate survival value in its use but where there isn’t an appropriate reason for separation though we separate anyway there is fragmentation, here information is forced into bits resulting in the interaction of broken pieces of information. Thought is responsible for the identities of people with their nations, the threat was never the other nation, the real threat was thought, the very mechanism acting to protect us was endangering us, and it continues to do so in ever subtler ways. When thought extends itself beyond its functional domain there is an inevitable contradiction. Thought didn’t produce the poisonous and non-poisonous plants so its representation of the fact is valid but when it came to the nations it produced them whilst assuming they were already there. The contradictory activity of thought in the form of nationalism is merely a symptom of its disorder and therefore to treat nationalism is to treat the symptom instead of its root.
To use another example, in the political landscape thought in the form of economics advises the thought of government to increase economic growth because it increases the general wealth of the population, and understandably governments increase their economic activity. Elsewhere thought in the form of climate measurements is concerned the unchecked pursuit of wealth is causing ecological destruction, in response to this information thought emerging out of government introduces regulations with the view of protecting the environment. Then political thought within government argues these regulations disproportionately affect the lowest earners thus reducing their chances of obtaining higher wealth. It seems as we fix one issue another soon arises. The particular features of thought might differ between economics, climate science, and politics, however it is fundamentally the same thought. Because the thought of humanity is basically a single thought, when its particular expression is partial, we are producing the very chaos we are trying to resolve.
Thought has the dangerous tendency to ignore the role it plays in the things it produces. There are legitimate issues in the outside world which require thought but there are also problems which thought itself causes and then attempts to solve as though they were independent from itself, naturally the more it acts upon them the worse the problem gets. There is a portion of our lives where the means through which we attempt to solve the problem is actually its source, whatever might work in other areas doesn’t apply here, this specific area demands we look inside of thought.
Thought plays a legitimate role in securing and forming our physical environment. It enables shelter, warmth & food, the participation in culture, the sophistication of technology, the experience of pleasure, the development of life saving medical treatments and a great deal more. Thought does many things well, it has enormous value, there is also another side to it which is counter productive. There is a movement of thought that extends beyond its limited area of influence where it no longer secures us from legitimate insecurities but invents the insecurities it attempts to secure us from. It wrongly enters into an activity which might seem legitimate but it isn’t. For example, when it comes to heating a cold house that’s a legitimate problem with an external cause, we use thought to represent the external condition and then we appropriately respond to it with an efficient heating mechanism, but that doesn’t work when the external problem is merely a symptom of a more fundamental internal disorder. When it comes to man-made problems we tend to look for the solutions to them in terms of the activity in the outside world, these external disorders that we appear to solve out there are actually in themselves symptomatic appearances of a deeper psychological issue inside of ourselves that remains unresolved however since the man-made problems manifesting in the outside world change in appearance there is the false impression of progress, in an area such as technology there is legitimate progress, but when it comes to the social problems of humanity we are basically where we started. The world has technologically upgraded itself but we haven’t psychologically upgraded ourselves.
The problem with thought not only affects the world at large but more crucially it affects our personal lives. The arguments between nations are not different from the arguments between neighbours. For example, the thought in one neighbour might express itself in a way that irritates the thought in another neighbour who then responds with anger and subsequently blames the irritating behaviour for making it angry even though it was initially responsible for producing the anger. Thought experienced the sensation of anger and then it assumed the person it was directed at must have been responsible for this sensation because it didn’t factor its own activity in its assessment of the situation. Thought didn’t see that its own operation was the source of anger because it was unaware of its reaction. This absence of sight in thought’s movement is extremely dangerous, it means thought is unable to understand itself, and so it is prone to all sorts of repetitive erroneous activities that remain undetected.
Thought isn’t able to correct itself because there is insufficient perception in its activity, this is the real problem, even the destructive tendency of thought to separate things that aren’t actually separate is due to this lack of sight. To illustrate the necessity of perception take a situation where the hand touches something hot, for example an oven, immediately the hand removes itself from the hot surface, this sensitivity which is essential to our survival is absent in thought, the hand soon learns that it must be careful in touching hot objects, when it comes to thought it doesn’t learn from the things it does wrong because it doesn’t perceive the contradiction, the hand perceived the contradiction in its limitation, it cannot handle hot objects, the quality of perception that enabled it to do this is absent in thought, consequently thought is unable to perceive its functional limits, this poses a serious threat to us, it inevitably leads to thought extending beyond its domain of function into a domain of dysfunction.
The bodily system is basically the same in all of us and thought is part of this general system. Thought has intellect, emotion, habits, and other features which enable its highly sophisticated operation. The bodily condition is involuntary, thought is not separate from this condition thus it is involuntary too, although in its ignorance of itself it falsely presents as a voluntary entity. The central nervous system which consists of the brain and spinal cord receives and integrates information from around the body allowing it to coordinate the entire bodily system. Such is the intelligence of this system that the heart beats, the hair grows, food digests, and in ways except for thought the brain and spinal cord properly carry out important functions whether it’s regulating body temperature, controlling hunger or processing language. This central system relies on perceptual detection throughout the body to establish order but there isn’t enough detection in the activity of thought, consequently different parts of the thought portion of this system are involuntarily working against one another and against the rest of the body, the information is not integrated into the general bodily movement, thought moves in isolation, its movement inevitably conflicts with the order of the body, it also conflicts within itself. The resulting uncoordinated thought has implications for our life, for example it could lead to poverty, serious health issues, or fractured relationships. And collectively it has enormous implications, it leads to crises of many different forms, though the lack of perception in thought is the real crisis facing us.
Where there is contradiction, a healthy self-perceptive thought in its detection of the contradiction resolves it. Thought is limited and it’s going to make mistakes but if it doesn’t perceive itself it can’t correct these mistakes and so it’s unable to ‘cohere’ its action. The word cohere means ‘to be naturally or logically connected’, it can also mean ‘to stick together; be united; hold fast, as parts of the same mass.’ Thought is a movement that’s responsible for the formation of our life, if it doesn’t cohere, its disorder becomes our life. Thought is also responsible for the formation of the world and so in the same way its disorder becomes the world. Where there isn’t perception in thought there isn’t the possibility for its correction meaning thought sustains the unintended consequences it produces. It’s worth noting that there will always be some degree of incoherence, technically thought coheres in that its incoherence is detected, the real threat lies in a sustained undetected incoherence leading to the repetition of the same unintended consequences without end. This is the story of our life and the story of the world. Because thought doesn’t properly perceive there is the unending cycle of chaos.
The danger on the world’s stage isn’t fundamental to the human crisis, instead it is the danger in daily life because out of this conflict the world’s conflict rages. The conflict of daily life is as equally relevant to the primary governor of your nation as it is to yourself. Daily life is the outcome of thought and thus the problems of daily life come out of thought. This mechanism can’t be understood through itself because it can’t see beyond itself, it requires a fundamental perception that is of an intrinsically different order to it. Through the holistic action of perception upon the entirety of thought a creative order arises within it, and this manifests a creative life.