On the Process of Thinking in Public Life: A Conversation in the Interest of Democracy

Alan J. Oliver


We all have our own individual system of checks and balances, which kick in quite unconsciously before we speak and even before we listen to someone. The neurological research shows the myriad of connections and networks in the brain when we operate through our senses, when we move any part of the body and when we speak, think and remember. Given such knowledge, it is possible to assume that everyone else uses the same processes and inner structures, giving rise to the further assumption that we are the same in every way so far as remembering, learning and thinking are concerned. The main points of this essay are that the mind is always busy and this busyness is spread over many issues; obviously there is a need to set aside the busyness before one makes a decision. A simple practice is to stop and reflect on what is in your mind.  Begin counting to ten and restart when a thought appears. Over time this practice will reach the point where you reach ten before a thought appears; and the goal is to have the mind become still, and that is the state in which we can make a truly valid decision. It is also the state in which we can cast a valid vote in an election for any of the three levels of government.

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ISSN: 2153-831X