Thinking Has Become Painful
It is painful because it can get you into trouble, and because you discover too many things you don’t want to know. One discovery can lead to another, as it almost always does, and before you know it you are in deep shit. Not someplace you want to be.
The only sensible solution is to not think at all – the solution used by almost everyone. It is much easier – and safer – to latch onto someone else’s thinking and call it your own – after making sure, of course, that everyone else has decided to do this also. Doesn’t this imbecility bother people? Not at all, because all this is unconscious behavior which can be indulged in freely. As a culture, we have agreed not to notice it.
Someone like me can talk about it as much as he wants, without bothering them in the least. They have all agreed not to follow unwanted thoughts into forbidden waters.
Isn’t this dangerous behavior? Isn’t a culture that cannot think bound to get into big trouble? Absolutely; and we are in big trouble because of this. But it all happened by degrees, over a long period of time.
Initially, we made certain decisions about how we were going behave and what we were going to believe. Decisions made at the beginning of the modern era, that seemed sensible and necessary at the time. Northern Europe made one set of decisions that Southern Europe rejected. The Reformation started in the North, which was countered in the South by the Counter-Reformation.
All of this has conveniently been forgotten, swept under the rug, and ignored. Everyone, North and South, is demanding “What has this got to do with us now?” The answer, dear friends, is: everything. These are the decisions and biases that formed the present – that we are determined to ignore. Every schoolchild should know about them – but instead the educational establishment ignores them completely. Even Philosophy has ignored them – with only a few exceptions (such as Ortega y Gasset). Even Buddhism, which was initially formed to solve this kind of initial problem, has been unable to comprehend how they developed.
The end result is that we are in really bad shape – so bad, it is painful to think about it. So we don’t think.