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THINKING EXPLORED

THINKING EXPLORED

By: Shelton Ranasinghe

This is an interesting essay about thinking. It is written in simple words to understand easily. The logic used for exploring the thinking process is very elementary and hence it’s an added advantage to all the readers.

ISBN: 978-0-9892763-6-8
Copyright © 2015, by Shelton Ranasinghe
[email protected]
Published in United States of America.
All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced without permission from the author.

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[Lovingly dedicated to my 18 month old grandson, Niven Morse. My observation of how he skillfully gets assimilated to this world was the impetus for me to write this book.
__][•••
**
**][Sincere thanks to my good friends Bunchy Rahuman, Dr. Nihal Wijeysundera and my son Sajeev for supporting me.
__]

~~~

Index

• What is thinking?
• Can babies think from day one?
• Does an infant know how to think?
• Thinking model in a diagrammatic form
• Leaping Further into Thinking Process
• What happens in the thinking process, when there are no inputs?
• Why is thinking process so complicated to understand?
• What are the general highlights with the 6th stream of input?
• Dreaming state and wakeful state
• Categorization of thinking streams
• Will the multitasking ability to be true for the mental stream of thinking?
• Can hypnosis be explained using our model?
• Does the brain run all the programs the way we like them to run?
• Is there a thinker of the thoughts?
• Is “self” an illusion?
• Other books by the author

THINKING EXPLORED

What is thinking?

This essay takes a stab at the difficult question of “What is thinking?” using simple logic construed in a methodical manner. As we read through, we will inquire deep into the subject of thinking, and develop a schematic model bringing clarity to our logic. Also, we will see whether the model we create, could stand for wider application of thinking scenarios. We will merge our model with the thinking concepts put forward by Nobel Prize winner Dr. Daniel Kahneman, to perceive further understanding of this profound question.

The brain is the primary organ essential for thinking. We got to know about this relatively recent. Aristotle (384 – 322 BC) believed that the heart, not the brain, was the center of emotions, intelligence and thought. At that time people thought the function of the brain was to cool the blood circulating in the body. The Egyptians who mummified bodies, preserved the heart and other internal organs for the next life, but scooped out the brain through the nostrils and discarded it. We got to know the functioning of the brain only in the 17th century. The knowledge of its functional capabilities and roles of its components, expanded in the recent past with the help of advanced neuroscience instrumentation. With the relinquishing of its secrets, now we know the enormous role the brain plays in thinking in addition to the major role it plays as our body’s control center. Our adult brain is packed with information on our life experiences, knowledge, languages, emotions and other similar traits associated with thinking.

Where should we start to address the question of thinking?

When did we start thinking in our life? Can babies think? Did we learn to think? Is there a thinker in us? Can animals think? These are some slices of the big question. Perhaps the route to searching for an answer may become complex if we start with an adult brain. Hence we will start with an infant’s brain where thinking originates for all of us.

Can babies think from day one?

May be the answer is “yes”… even when the child is in the mother’s womb. Or perhaps the answer is “no”.

To explore this question deeply, let’s hypothetically assume the answer is “no”. This is based on the assumption, the brain as a blank slate at birth, similar to a blank hard drive on a new computer. In here, I am really thinking of the old type of computers, which used to come without pre-installed programs. In the nineteen eighties when a PC is purchased, it had only the BIOS system in a DOS platform for the user to work-on. BIOS stand for Basic Input Output System. BIOS, was the core facility that enabled, installing the programs like Windows, Microsoft Office programs, games, etc. Based on this analogy, I have to assume our brains are not completely blank at birth. Resembling BIOS system, the brain has an innate facility to install new programs and enhance those programs progressively as we grow. In addition to this assumption, I believe our brains have inborn abilities to perform certain physical actions. This is proven by loud screams we do when we see the light of this world for the first time. Our inborn abilities are further supported by the fact, our immediate and instinctive knack to suck mom’s milk without any prior training. The brain’s inbuilt ability gives us the opportunity to develop all the brain programs we need for our life journey. However, unlike installing ready-made programs in computers, the babies have to develop and install their own programs on “Do it yourself” basis for their brains, by the brains. Development and installation of brain programs, advance with repeated test running and debugging actions. By nature, from the time of birth, our brains have an immense craving and an urgency to develop the necessary programs for figuring out things around us. As a result of this compulsion, the program development happens at an exponential rate. Scientists have found, the brain of a newborn expands at a phenomenal rate, adding a quarter of a million neurons every single minute. The brain at this stage consumes about 60% of the body energy, compared to 20-25% for an adult. This indicates the hunger it has for energy, for its growth. At this age, t he learning process keeps pace with the growth of the brain.

As we know we don’t start singing from day one, hence let’s understand the probable programs we develop from day one. It is logical to assume the first programs that we develop as infants ought to be for the purpose of “recognizing” or “making sense” of the sensory signals that are streaming into our brains. These signals are the sounds, smells, pictures, tastes and body sensations that the infant gets through the ears, nose, eyes, mouth and body. As we know, the developments of “recognizing programs” on all these five streams, start in a very small way and gradually become stronger and stronger as time passes by.

Does an infant know how to think?

Probably the answer is “yes”, as thinking is part of our cognitive development process. At first, babies wouldn’t know how to think, but their innate BIOS system will accommodate the development of “Do it yourself – thinking” processors. Thinking processes will start in a small way and develop concurrently with the recognizing programs. Take the example of an infant who sees its mother and father most of the time. Gradually the infant will recognize those two persons as its closest acquaintances. Out of those two, the baby will realize mom has breast milk. That knowledge is probably a result of thinking. I am not sure whether the neuroscientists will agree with me on this idea; but please assume so. The thinking and the ‘sensory signal recognizing programs’ are obviously interlinked and complement each other. The thinking process is what people call the mind. It is a process; it is not an entity. It is a verb than a noun. It is the actual experiencing of the execution of the programs along the process flow architecture that we will be exploring in this essay. The mind process takes place in the brain, and nowhere else in the body. If the brain gets injured, then some of the thinking abilities get lost. If we take drugs, the brain chemistry will change and such changes could lead the brains to process information weirdly. If the brain is deprived of sleep, it affects our thinking. The sugar level in the blood impairs thinking. Our hormonal levels, change our moods. Deprived of oxygen for over 10 minutes, thinking totally stops and the brain goes dead. Interestingly, according to researches, some people go to heaven and come back when the brain is deprived of oxygen.

From day one, the infants get a barrage of information through the five sensory faculties. This information will keep crashing into the tiny brain when the child is awake. For example, the eyes bring in all images that are captured in the visual range. The captured pictures are embedded with details such as near, far, up, down, east, west, moving, still, red, blue, bright, dim, etc., but the baby wouldn’t know any of it. In the case of sound, it is all kinds of noises in the surrounding fed through the ears. All these signals do not make sense to an infant as these are novel, strange, mixed, messy, complex and chaotic for the tiny brain. The baby’s brain has two choices to make; either to have all this information as a muddle and live with it, or to develop a method to bring clarity to understand the sensory information. Unless the brain has a severe birth defect, the natural route the brain set to follow, is to develop a method of making sense of what it’s receiving. The manner the brain brings clarity to what it’s seeing is, by concentrating on one thing at a time. Therefore, the baby’s first route to understand vision starts with paying attention to one object at a time; separating (the object) from the clutter of all other images that are entering the eye.

The continuous improvements the baby makes to the “picture, recognizing program”, slowly but surely makes sense of the pictures. After a few months, the task of recognizing a particular person or an object, will become relatively easy. The process will gradually speed up and ultimately will become automatic or instantaneous. For example, a few weeks old baby may take a few seconds to recognize its mom, but a few more weeks later it would a done in a fraction of a second. However, for this to happen, it is imperative to have a past picture of mom already in baby’s memory. Without a past picture in the memory, there is no way of checking the latest picture captured. If we agree with above, then we also will have to agree that the mom recognizing process has to have an information access network system to access memory. We have to assume that the recognizing programs and access network systems develops in parallel, from day one. According to neuroscientists, the cell networks go through an enormous progression of connections, disconnections and re-connections in the cell circuitries during the first few years of our lives. The scientific literature explaining what parts of the brain responsible what functions, is plentiful. But, this essay doesn’t cover, such details, as its main intention is to explore the brain’s working fundamentals in a 50,000 foot level, rather than covering allied anatomical intricacies.

To recap what was discussed to this point; the program of “recognizing mom” is an example of an executable program developed by the baby. It is of course a subprogram of the wide version of picture/object recognition program. Seeing mom, instantly activates the “mom recognizing program.” As part of information processing, it will instantly access mom’s picture data in the memory to compare and confirmation. If it is mom, the baby gets to know it’s mom. Then, as part of the process the mom’s latest picture gets updated in the memory for future use. As time passes by, some of the old data in the memory gets erased and some retained. The “mom recognizing program” will become accurate, reliable and fast, every time it’s executed. The program-architecture of the wide version of “people and object identification” program comprised of different subroutines to recognize different people and different objects. The same logic holds for the “recognizing programs” for sounds, smell, tastes and body sensations.

As we all know, from day one we develop a lot of programs required to do physical tasks. Over time, these programs become instinctive, thus enabling us to walk, run, talk and do similar routine tasks, easily. The degree of program development, corresponds with the baby’s physical growth.

At this juncture, I would like to introduce Dr. Daniel Kahneman’s great idea of thinking, detailed in his stimulating book titled “Thinking, Fast and Slow”. Nobel Prize winner Dr. Daniel Kahneman, categorizes thinking into two modes. He calls them – System 1 and System 2. System 1 is “Thinking fast.” System 2 is “Thinking slow.” Thinking fast, is what happens, more or less in an automatic mode in many situations in our life. Ex. The solution to 2 + 2; answering the question “what is your name?” looking at the direction of a sudden flash light, understanding the facial expression of another person. The events such as recognizing mom, actions like walking, talking, etc., that we do without any intentional concentration are thinking fast related processes. Dr. Kahneman didn’t use the word automatic, but I did. Thinking slow is where a deliberate attempt is made in thinking. Ex. The working the solution of 57 × 93; trying to guess where the closest town to the south of New York; answering to a question paper. Thinking slow happens in ambiguous situations which presents a dilemma. Thinking slow is analyzing all the things we can do in a situation and intentionally selecting an appropriate decision or action. We will discuss this further.

If we revisit the development of a baby’s thinking process, all the “recognizing programs” established for sounds, smells, taste, pictures and body sensations, starts as basic “slow thinking” programs. But the repeated execution of these programs, make them fast – automatic executing programs.

Thinking model in a diagrammatic form

Given below is the model of thinking we discussed.

This diagram is explained below:

Inputs are what is captured by the five sensors. All these inputs are channeled through the fast thinking process. Fast thinking process access the stored information/data in the memory to check the past-information connected with the inputs. This step is indicated by the large arrows. It is part of the data processing procedure. The fast thinking process, process the inputs. Then its result goes through a “Confidence” check stage to assess whether the answer or the result derived is Okay. I have named this logic box as “Confident?” However, I think a better word should be found to replace this word to represent “Confidence/gut/ intuitive feel.” An answer having a sufficient degree of “Confidence” will represent as the final output. (The judgment on this “Confidence” or “Gut feel” is a personal feature that’s distinctive to each person. The confidence level depends on different thinking situations; and hence it can be subjective).

However, if the “Confident/ gut/ intuitive feel” doesn’t present the answer or the result as the final output, then the question (with the answer) gets directed to the slow thinking process. The slow thinking process, then accesses and obtain relevant reference information from the stored memory once again. But the referencing at this instant happens more meticulously than the previous time. The slow thinking process gives more intentional attention to the issue. The result thus derived, then goes back to the confident block for judgement and to present it as the final output. The intentional attention is a distinctive characteristic of the slow thinking process. The fast thinking process lacks this characteristic. Dr. Daniel Kahneman attributes the fast thinking to brain’s hasty behavior. In day to day life, we mostly use the fast thinking process. This is why even a large percentage of intelligent people answer the following question wrongly. “A bat and a ball is $110. The bat is $100 dollars more than the ball. What is the price of the ball? The answer is on the last page for you to check how you fared.

Let us put our schematic model into the test with the baby–mom example. Consider the case where baby recognizes the mom at first glance. In this case, the “input” is mom’s presence that makes an upside down shadow picture on the baby’s retina. As soon as this was captured, the program developed to recognize mom, is instantaneously activated in the fast thinking process. Then through comparison of the shadow in the retina, with the information stored in the memory, mom is immediately recognized. The result is certain and the confidence level is high to confirm that is “mom”. So the output attests, it’s mom. This happens quickly. The slow thinking process was dormant during this process.

Consider another example where mom was wearing a different dress. In this case, just like before, the fast thinking process result still reaches the confident checking point. But in this occasion, the decision has a doubt. Because of the doubt, the “confidence checking” diverts the issue to the attention of slow thinking process. The slow thinking process performs a thorough analysis. This time the verification check attests that the person seen, in fact is baby’s mom. Therefore that becomes the final output.

We have to understand, in both the above cases, it is not only the “sight, recognizing program” that runs to recognize mom, but also all the other sensory recognizing programs that were running parallel in the background of the brain. All these programs are interconnected and run as a cohesive team. The stored memories of mom’s past voices, data on the rhythm she walks and other connected traits that would have been subjected to in-depth scrutiny of the slow thinking process, to assist in recognizing mom correctly.

To make the model more logical, I believe we need to add a feedback link from the output, to the input. This provides the mechanism to reaffirm the validity of the output. The dotted line depicted in the diagram below is the feedback link from the output point to the entrance point of the fast thinking process.

This feedback link, keeps the looping action run across the process. The feedback looping is, always an integral part of our thinking process. When the baby recognizes mom at first glance, the output, i.e. identifying mom as mom, is fed back as an input to the fast thinking process, and it goes through the fast thinking process again and again, in a cyclic mode (looping) in the fast thinking circuitry. This eases the operation of the thinking circuit by not concentrating on mom’s picture continuously or accessing the memory over and over again as the answer is already known. The cyclic running creates the consciousness or the feel of mom’s presence, in the baby‘s thinking system.

In the second example where the baby had a doubt about mom, the slow thinking process came into action. The slow thinking is really the process that clears the doubt. As soon as the baby got to know it was mom, the baby is back in the fast thinking process, with the loopback signal creating the comfort feel that “it’s mom”. Immediately after resolving the issue, the slow thinking process ceases to operate and becomes dormant. Whether there is new input fed to the system or not, “consciousness of mom’s presence” remains in the background of the baby’s brain as far as mom is in the vicinity.

If you consider an example of replacing baby’s mom with an unknown woman, then the resultant output through the fast thinking process will be something like “she is not mom”. The looping back circuitry provides the baby, the consciousness or the feel of that person is not its mom. No involvement of the slow thinking process was required.

Leaping Further into Thinking Process:

Up to now we discussed the recognizing programs where the inputs are fed through the five senses in our body. Can our model be used to explain what makes baby demand things around?

Let’s analyze this.

We inherit genes from our ancestors lived over millions of years through the human evolution process. The process of evolution dictates progressive transmission of changes in our genes. Hence we should invariably inherit some information cascaded down from our ancestors. As regards the genes, we need to understand the living cells in our bodies are as new as a few seconds and old as millions of years. This is simply because there are no births of cells. The cell re-generation occurs by cell division. Because of the division of cells the new cells are always associated with the old cells. We are part of the process of cell division. All our present cells in the body have residual components derived from the very first human cell ever existed. These have been passed on to us by our parents in the form of single cells. These single cells invariably had been carrying rudimentary characteristics linked to our primitive ancestry. Thinking along the fundamental of the evolutionary process, the process of cell division has the perfect mechanism of propagating the favorable experience and behaviors that are useful for the human survival, through the genes.

The innate behavior which is commonly explained as instinct is what we have inherited this way. No proper scientific explanation for “instincts” exists to date. A few good examples of instincts are: 1. An infant’s ability to suck mother’s milk just after birth; 2. The ability and knowledge of a baby kangaroo, which is less than an inch long and totally blind at the time of birth, climbing to its mother’s pouch immediately after birth for milk; 3. The Baby turtles’ choice to dash towards the sea instead of running towards the land side, just after hatching from the eggs; 4. Birds’ abilities to build complex nests exactly as their parents could, without going through any training. Beside instincts of similar nature, I tend to presume we also inherit qualities such as anger, fear and other emotional traits which are essential for survival. Babies understand pain from day one. These specific characteristics are possibly associated with our evolutionary process and inheriting from the group behaviors of our ancestors. It is a known fact that in extreme crisis situations, there are inbuilt brain programs that can even make us instantly unconscious and leave us in a survival mode until dangers are clear. We fear snakes and spiders. All these facts make us to conclude that at birth, our brains are already having a compact program package to start our lives with. Therefore, the instincts may be a mix bag of programs as well as some inherited data etched in us that are linked back to millions of years.

We know babies tell that they are hungry by crying. Did any thinking happened to make a baby cry or can it be related to instincts? If we refer back to our model, I would say it was due to an input signal spawned from the baby’s stomach. When the baby is hungry the stomach sends a signal to the brain. It is not an external signal, but an input created internally (body sensation). Does any fast or slow thinking take place when this input hits the brain to produce the output of crying? According to the model, I think the signal was processed through the fast thinking process and the output of crying took place because the past information from memory whispered to the process that crying would be helpful in getting someone’s attention. The looping process keeps the baby crying until the baby gets the opportunity of having milk. As soon as that opportunity is fulfilled, the fast thinking process takes the baby into the auto-mode of drinking milk.

In this particular instant, was there any requester for milk? It does not appear to be one, because the stomach was the generator of the input signal. The stomach is an organ of our body. Can the stomach be considered as a commander or requester as it’s a body part of a person? If it’s yes, is this another commander in the body? What is the function of the brain in commanding? Several questions of this nature pop into our minds, but we will leave these interesting questions behind for the time being.

Throughout the baby’s growth, the sensory organs will look for new information to explore and experiment with whatever the baby comes across. The analysis of information on exploration and experimenting by the baby, happens through all the recognizing programs that will occur individually and collectively. For example, when a baby grabs a toy (say firstly attracted by its color), he or she will then likely to touch the toy to feel its texture and also put it in the mouth to taste it. This is how babies explore. The new data gathered will get stored in the brain. If there is a particular smell coming from the toy, that will also be registered in the brain along with any sounds it can produce when it is shaken or pressing a particular button on it. The tiny brains will do all these things for everything they come across to understand the things in the physical world. During this continuous step by step self educating process, the brain will develop a characteristic called the individuality. As a result of the creation of this individuality, the baby (really the “brain” if you think deeply) will have preferences in life matters. They will want sweet things to taste rather than tasteless, bitter or sour things. They will like to have the soothing sounds to hear than disturbing sounds; to have familiar people around them rather than strangers; will like to enjoy a comfortable room temperature than unusually hot or cold temperatures. All these preferences come from the past experience stored in the brain as a result of its exposure and exploration of the five sensory inputs. Therefore, when a baby grows, we need to assume the past data in the memory has a direct influence on babies’ decisions making.

In support the above, consider a case where a baby sees one of its old toys. In this case the input signal is “seeing the toy”. This signal will be processed through the fast thinking process. During the process it will refer to the memory and understands it is a toy seen before. The loop back process makes the consciousness of the presence of the toy. As the thinking process runs repeatedly as a loop. The repetition will allow more information to retrieve from the memory with details such as what the toy can do, the texture of it, the sounds it can make etc. Depending on this information, a choice will be made by the baby, either to grab it or to ignore it (final thought). The “physical action” succeeding the final thought will be either to grab and play with it or not to have it.

Similar to above, we can write many examples of baby’s demanding situations, and using our model we can explain the probable action baby may take for each of those examples. From the logical analysis of the above examples, it appears that the demands are always associated with inputs that are sourced externally or internally.

Can all the demands be input related? We will address this question as we proceed.

What happens in the thinking process, when there are no inputs? Are there situations of this nature?

Yes… when a baby is asleep. Can the fast thinking and slow thinking systems become dormant at sleep as there are no external inputs?

Let’s analyze this situation using our model. One possible scenario is, the thinking process treating the input condition as having absolutely “no inputs”; hence this is a state of total “shut off” of all inputs. The thinking process will not run in this scenario and hence the process circuit is inactive. This is a situation of having sound sleep without any mental activities. The second scenario is the thinking process treating the “no inputs” status as an input. This is similar to treating “0”, in binary language logics. In the binary system, even “0” is an input state. In this case the “no inputs” signal will run through the process, still without any data. However, in this scenario, because the thinking process is now running, the circuits will be active. I believe in sleep, the brain runs one of these scenarios. Scenario one, is how we fall asleep. Under this scenario since the thinking circuit is not active we there is no feel of consciousness. After we fall asleep the second scenario can run. But, as to what triggers the second scenario to seem interesting and will be discussed. What could happen when the thinking process is active with “no inputs”?

In this situation, the feedback loop plays a major role in the thinking circuitry as it runs on a non-stop mode. The circuitry creates a dynamic condition of running all the recognizing programs in the brain without each sensory stream (five) having any inputs. Because of the dynamism in the active cell circuitry, it has a high potential of picking residual data from the memory that is urging to pop-up. A random data pick from the memory getting into the thinking circuit, can easily direct the thinking process to various routes and produce perplexing outputs. If you are not clear on this point, the following explanation may bring some clarity. As depicted in the model, the fast or slow thinking processes are designed to approach the stored information in the memory. Generally the purpose of accessing the memory is to seek data that are related to the inputs that’s been fed (or the specific “processing content” in the circuit). However, when there are no inputs, the mere function of the thinking process accessing the memory has a high potential of picking random data from the memory. This can be due to, some form of a “neurological stimulation” due to the thinking process accessing the memory. Irrespective of the strength of the random signals popping out, once picked, it can get into the processing circuitry as internal inputs. (Without any of the above explanations, another possibility for the second scenario to run may be from a signal stemming internally. Ex. A nerve caused by the sleeping position). However, once these inputs get into the circuit, the thinking system will generate outputs, one after another. Just like a positive feedback system in a typical engineering control model, any random information coming from the memories can keep the thinking process generating outputs. Those outputs, in turn, fed-back as inputs, can keep the thinking circuitry running non-stop. In every looping cycle, when the memory is accessed, it can provide different reference information relating to the latest content running in the process at each instant. Depending on the nature and complexity of the information that is running in the system, the fast thinking as well as the slow thinking processes will partake in the thinking cycles.

I believe the above explains the core mechanism of dreams. The same principle is applicable for dreams in both babies and adults. As you can understand, for dreams to take place, the inputs need to come from the memory. Since the thinking circuit becomes active in dreams, we have the feel of consciousness. At the time of dreams there can be the external sensory inputs (ex. TV ‘on’ with the sound), but these inputs are completely shut off and none of these inputs will be subjected to any form of processing.

We know by experience, dreams create emotional feelings. This is possible because, the sources of emotional programs reside in our memories and these get involved with the dreams. In most instances, the outputs we create in dreams end as mental entities such as thoughts and emotional feelings. We forget most dreams very quickly. However, some data from dreams get stored in the memory. At times the outputs from dreams get delivered as physical actions; sleep walking is a good example.

Let’s analyze the dream situation further. When we are awake, the inputs mainly come from external sources. But, if we explore these inputs by going deep into details, the input sources linked to the thinking system are logically not external. Because, the inputs are really the “reactions” made by our sensory organs. The input from an eye to the brain, is the “shadow picture in the retina” and not the external physical object, though there is a fringe connection to external objects. Input from the ear is the vibration in the eardrum caused by the sound source but not the source. In dream situations, the inputs are not even the reactions made by the sensory organs, as the information really come from the memory. The data in the memory have no absolute “one to one” or “fringe connection” to the external source. Why did I say that? There is a reason. Let’s examine an object that we see in a dream. Let's agree that the particular object came from the memory. Then we may argue that particular object is connected with past data received through the sensory inputs from the real world. Is this assumption always correct? No! As we discussed, we need to understand the dreams we create generates a lot of new information and some of this information are weird due to the unrealistic nature of the dreams. Then parts of the information coming from dreams gets stored in the memory; because the storing of information is an innate characteristic of our thinking process. Hence, we cannot say for certain, that all the information we have in the memories are 100% connected to the sources in the real world. Good examples of unrealistic events and data coming from dreams are actions like flying at tremendous speeds, floating, rising from death and doing similar superhuman deeds. One of the reasons why we meet with various new people in our dreams, (perhaps even never exist in the real world) is because the inputs that source the dreams are both realistic and unrealistic information stored in the memory.

To explore the data in the memory in a different way, consider a friend that you have not seen for 20 years. This means the picture information you have in your memory is over 20 years old. When you picture the friend, what you really have in your thinking process is the over 20 year old data; hence it’s not the real representation of that person, at the present time. In regards to this example, this logic is true for both dream situations and wakeful situations, as the data comes from the same memory. Therefore, we have to agree that in our normal life, we make decisions based on realistic and non-realistic information from our memories. This is a fact and logically true, but it is too perplexing for one to accept this fact operates in us in our normal wakeful situations. In dream situations, sometimes we meet with accidents and lay in pools of blood, fall from the sky and fly through the trees with near misses. Though these are not real situations, this information remains in our memories. That is why we can write and talk about them. This is why we can write novels using our imaginations. That is why we have imaginations and could build further on our own imaginations. The memories are a supporter of our imaginations. When we awake, I think our thinking process has some mechanism to sort out what are real and what are non-real; I’ll say up to a greater degree. The reliability of separating these two streams of data for real life depends on one’s cognitive ability.

Our basic thinking model gives clues as to how some of these facts can be explained; especially to understand how we generate weird dreams. This reasoning makes us understand that the information we have in our memory are past information from the real world as well as synthetic information from our own dreams without having any connection to the real world. In dream situations, our memories can produce inputs of sounds, smell, visual, tastes and body sensations without any direct links to the real world or to the five sensory organs. The dream state generally do not sustain for long. The dream states have certain operating conditions and limitations that makes us switch back to wakeful states when the five sensory signals experience high levels of external inputs (ex. A loud noise, someone shaking your body, someone switch on the light in the room, etc.) or severe mental strains caused by the dreams.

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THINKING EXPLORED

  • ISBN: 9780989276368
  • Author: Shelton Ranasinghe
  • Published: 2015-10-19 01:05:07
  • Words: 12862
THINKING EXPLORED THINKING EXPLORED