Beware Excessive Conceptualization

Conceptualization is a skill. The process involves working out an idea or explanation and formulating it mentally. Everyone can and does conceptualize, but like all skills, some people are better at it than others. Speed matters for many of those who consider themselves intelligent. They demonstrate their erudition and big IQ numbers – and impress others – with their ability to come up with swift conceptualizations of just about anything that crosses their path. Or so they think. In reality, we are all familiar with the person who can snap out ideas and explanations that sound plausible at the time, but which soon prove incomplete, inadequate, or just plain wrong.

Old fashioned alarm clock with a question mark on its face.

Solid conceptualization (putting the pieces together) needs time and all of the mind’s resources. The language portion of thinking must be supplemented by association, intuition, etc. (image: pixabay.com)

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The Purpose of Consciousness Is Language

The sense of loneliness and yearning for something beyond personal needs, something lost or forgotten, some Eden is the longing to return to a state of unconscious union with the world, an abolition of fretful ego in favour of carefree unknowing, a state like that of crocodiles basking on the river-bank with a belly full of fish. All is well! All is right with the world! We hunger for sheer, unadulterated, unexamined contentment. In short, we want to regain the childish condition Jung so aptly called the “participation mystique,” the situation where, as small children, we could not tell what was “us” and what was the world.

Painting depicting people in conversation

The purpose of consciousness is language which enables us to communicate and co-operate. (Photo: Wikimedia)

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Human Beings Are Always Half-Asleep

Young Charles Darwin

Evolution recognizes that humans are a work in progress. We are not yet, and perhaps never will be, completely conscious. (Image: public domain.)

In spite of our fond beliefs to the contrary, we Homo sapiens are not yet a fully conscious species. Perhaps our need for sleep reflects this reality, for the old argument that we must slumber while our bodies repair themselves does not withstand the verifiable truth that there are those who get by on just thirty minutes each “night.” These alert folk also demolish the idea that sleep is necessary to facilitate integration of the day’s experiences.

What purpose then, do our somnolent ways serve?

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