A Mental Mesh: The Question of Thinking and Understanding

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

By Delbert H. Rhodes

Life is a moment forever adapting and adopting, ever witnessing changes to all it embraces. Within this sphere, the human mind offers its hosts endless situations and circumstances, events demanding considerations and results.

Throughout our lives, we experience networks of thinking, but how many (of us) understand the processes involved, the electrochemical chain connecting the illustrious spans to the bridges of the mind. The system is complex and until time ceases, forever, this mental mesh, this matrix would hold us in its hands.

Can we (always) understand every sound every thought every (thing)? The provisions of thinking afford us a sense of the world within which we live. Without thinking and understanding, as humans, we would be lost in aimless not to mention mindless behavior (s). Join me, and in this discussion, we consider a number of situations, events common to us (all), situations deserving acute attentiveness.

Daily use of automobiles is commonplace, but how common is the knowledge of the engineering, the mechanics? For instance, what actually happens after inserting the key into the ignition switch and then turning it? Or and if you have a newer model, either an electronic key or automatic starter button ignites the process. Most drivers understand (only) that after completing ignition the engine should start, they engage the gearing, turn the steering wheel, manipulate the gas and brake pedals, direct the vehicle forwards or backwards and then off it goes.

Ok, and this makes my point, a lesser group of people (actually) care (or know) that the mechanical worlds of the engine and other related parts provide the resources to propel the vehicle, allowing drivers to attend daily needs.

In the human worlds, and in my opinion and experience, all events are (seemingly) met with the same degrees of attentive focus; we either know or not; or care or not.

Encountering situations and circumstances is relative; whether individual or group responses may vary. In a college classroom, the professor offers students food for thought, hoping to encourage active thinking. The students (individually) may have similar or differing points of view; as a group, they may engage in passionate discussion and debate. Left alone the individual may simply choose to daydream, in disregard.

Do we understand why birds sing, or why dogs bark, and what is Meow? Why is it that and with some exceptions, only humans speak? According to the “professional thinkers,” many animals have the vocal constructs for speech, yet simply do not. (And) What of the professional thinkers, why are we quick to accept their points of view, or at least lend to them greater credibility? Do degrees and dogmas offer better pathways to truth; and are the pathways any less encumbered when brightened by PhD, MD, or DDS? We are taught to think…Yes.

Please, and here is a peek into my ignorance; tell me, does “well educated” assert “educated well”? Does he, or she (actually) have acute knowledgeable understanding, and ability to verbally, or in writing, and or, physically demonstrate and to what degree, the skills regarding the area of study? (Huh! What!) EXACTLY.

Should I seek the doctor, or dentist with many degrees, or one whom has credibility? That is, one who has demonstrated the competencies in medicine, or dentistry? Ok, most of us believe, and feel assured, that whenever our professionals have many degrees in representative areas of study and or practice (hum-“Practice”?) they are “good doctors,” “esteemed professionals,” they are proficient. Therefore, we search for the best of the lot. Still, considering the possibilities, WELL EDUCATED may not mean EDUCATED WELL.

Colloquial Speech: Notwithstanding various forms of communication, speech is central to our comprehensive growth and development. Even before birth the child learns from its Mother. Afterwards, its family, friends and acquaintances. The localities, the cultures from which we come instill within us all that we know of the neighborhood and the worlds around us. Yet and even if parents are educated the level of speech may demonstrate colloquial, non-standard, rather than standardized forms.

The use of phrases such as “I/we been,” “I had came,” “I/you done,” are colloquial forms of speaking, and may be demonstrated by people with formal educations, unless holding degrees in English-still, as Teachers the literal is demanded although informally, and privately non-standard speech may be used. Personally, I know of someone who holds a Doctorate Degree; nonetheless, demonstrates poor speech, and cannot properly write a letter. Yes, many of us graduate from the Halls of Ivy, however, may speak, and write, poorly.

Apparently, this fact and truth exists in-some-commercial establishments. Occasionally, and while watching televised news, I noticed that the reporters, and on camera, continually misused the English language (as we know it).

Years ago while listening to a talk radio station, and a favorite program of mine, the host said, “I had did” and then I wanted to run screaming into the woods. Again, I am no perfect speaker, but incorrect is incorrect. We should endeavor to speak correctly, but the problem is, how could we if we fail to recognize the need. That said: Poor speech during company meetings serves no one, denigrating both the company, and the speaker (s).

Alas, where rests blame for the lack luster educations that some of us have acquired? The Teachers? The Professors? The Institutions? Perhaps, but students, and parents share the blame, as well. As students, we have responsibilities to attend schools, and colleges armed with intentions to learn. We too must toe the lines, and without excuses. Naturally, allowances are permitted for special situations and circumstances.

In the world of misunderstanding and failure to “get it,” lives the aimless and carefree.

Here: I offer the ridiculous:

Why are (some) women seemingly careless with their children? (Men, get off your high horse, you are next in line.) In example, in a parking lot a woman, with a young child in her arms, walks over to a couple, the couple has a dog. The woman with the child lowers the child to the ground in order that the child can play with the dog. The small child is standing less than two feet behind the rear bumper of a parked car. The driver (of the parked car) begins to back the car out of the parking space.

Mommy, busy playing with the dog, notices neither the reverse lights (the reverse lights are on), nor movement of the vehicle. Stepping away from my location, I (placing my hand into the air and in the “stop” position) alert the driver, he immediately stops the vehicle-apparently, he could not see the child; simultaneously, I advise Mommy of the danger. She (now) secures her child.

HELLO! It is a PARKING LOT and NOT a PLAYPEN.

Ok guys, your turn: Why is it that (some) men tend to enjoy reading a newspaper (or electronic notebooks or whatever) while driving on busy roadways or even bridges?

COME ON! STUPID is STUPID!

In either case, and as adults, we have had enough time to realize that the world around us deserves-our-immediate attention to details.

Mommy, whenever out with young children they must (always) be secured and safe from potential harm. Men, you may believe that you are without idiotic behaviors, if so, then the belief is short-lived.

Folks: It takes just “one time,” and entire lives change- forever. Yes, we equally share (in some way) the title of stupid, and many of us continue and no matter the known dangers, to do things that place others, and us and including innocent children, at risk of injury and or death. None of us is exempt from error, and daily, all of us (even minimally) are guilty of “active stupidity.” Therefore, be thoughtful…be CAREFUL!

The truth is and in my opinion, we can never think of, or understand everything; we therefore, operate in (a) blinded acceptance, and throughout our lifetimes. Daily, we encounter things, situations, circumstances, and even tragedies that simply make little sense. These events, and even after great speculation (sometimes) end inside the bottom drawer: the world of the lost and the unexplained; the world of the unknown and the unwanted.

Summation: (Remember, I am not a Scientist.)

Thinking and understanding are electrochemical inducements of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Therefore, would it be correct to say, that these are “intangibles”? In other words, when and how do we actually realize thinking? How do we “sense” it? Can it be touched, can we “feel” it? Moreover, if it cannot be touched, if we cannot feel it, then it is without surface and texture, absent tangibility; therefore, unreal—and what of reality?

What, who we are, is deeply founded in systems of belief, inspirational faith. What are we to think, what could we to believe should it all end, simply as, “is” not?

Further: Countless lifetimes are spent contemplating the questions of thinking and understanding; well-educated professionals are well paid, to make sense of it all. Truly: and one peek behind the curtain possibly reveals that most assurances are little more than uncertainties. Sometimes, we need only to seek the resolve of children.

I wake each morning to the sweet sounds of birdsong; and it matters not whether the experience is tangible or intangible; and truly, it matters not that I understand; however, and regardless of the interpretations, the definitions of these sounds, certainly, the matter is how I feel. The lovely alluring songs thrill me, they provide me happiness. In this lifetime: moments are few, but if we are fortunate, the few could be many.

Copyright © 2012-2017 Delbert H. Rhodes

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