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Complex Thought or Complexity of Thinking

Updated on August 23, 2017

The Mind Boggles

There are degrees of intelligence and degrees of learning and many from the lowest degree of intellect can have a high degree of learning whereas the highest degree of intelligence may have the lowest degree of learning. While that portrays the extremes there are all stops in between and many more combinations of possibilities.

That is the mix and that is the dilemma and that is the trouble with the human mind. There is no fairness of place, no non discrimination and no consideration other than what suits the mind of the individual and the confused brains of those who might brainwash us into their way of thinking. But how do we escape the trap and decide for ourselves what path we should take, what is right and wrong in our world and what should we, as individuals, be doing with our lives? How do we affect others and what is the output of our inner self that others will criticise and ultimately judge us by?

Intellect is gauged in many different ways and it is the sum of who we are and what we do. It determines motivation, success or failure, education or lack thereof, abilities to perform, the management we give to things and the difficulties we face. It allows peace or creates anxiety. It determines our path forward and it allows us to shrug off the ridiculous and engage in the common sense notions we are all capable of. But how do we measure it within ourselves? To what yardstick are we attached to and is it the right one for a happy life?


Renee Descartes (public domain image)
Renee Descartes (public domain image)

Am I Really Alive

How do I know?

A 17th Century French thinker named Renee Descarte, who is claimed to be the father of Modern Pholosophy, examined this very question. He noted "I think, therefore I am, or I am thinking, therefore I exist" (part IV of Discourse on the Method), as a solution to understanding whether or not we can determine if we are alive. But all animals think and it is no measure of intellect but it most certainly does indicate that one has a brain and is alive.

But the question is how do we use that brain and what can it do for us in the course of our being alive?

From birth to death we are in a cocoon determined by our environment. If we are isolated and dominated we are likely to be withdrawn, ignorant, uninformed and, at the very least, intolerant to outside influences. If, on the other hand we are exposed to learning, other societies and people, travel and knowledge we will likely be outgoing, opinionated (of varying degrees) , confident and useful The more learning we undertake the more self assurance and confidence we will acquire.

So to fit into this criteria we have to prepare ourselves through discipline that involves learning and above all research. That would entail courses and reading, Anyone can do it and be properly informed on any subject. Such attention to this should occur on a daily basis.

The image of Descartes is from Wikipedia

Body Awareness

Is pain a measure of being alive?

My sister when asked by me how she knows that she is alive said because she feels pain. But what is pain? It is the conduction of awareness of a symptom within the body to the brain via the nervous system in an effort to correct the problem or relieve pressure to help resolve it. That's my definition anyway. For this to happen nerves must be present and functional. But there are many cases where nerves are damaged, such as when the spinal cord is severed, and the relevant parts of the body no longer connected via the brain network continue to live on. There is no sensation, however, of pain or any other form of stimulation.

We also feel joy, pleasure, contentment, sorrow, and a myriad of other emotions. The key to all these feelings is, of course, nerves and they may be the factor that determines whether someone is alive.

That leaves us with the conclusion that in order to feel what is happening to our bodies the brain is the key. We might now be able to change Descartes exclamation to "I feel, therefore I am". But parts that cannot feel continue to live as long as there is a blood supply. Is the blood the key to knowing whether we are alive? Should it be ""I bleed, therefore, I am".

But many things are alive and active that have no blood, as we know it. The smallest life forms, bacteria, amoeba, algae, and so on, have no blood. Nor, we might add, do worms, grubs, flies, beetles, and other insects. So what gives them life? Do these things have a heart? Mostly we can answer no because they have no circulation. What about snails and fish, snakes and alligators? What keeps them alive and how do they know what to eat, where they are going, how to function and so on? Do they have a brain? Or are they governed by the environment, magnetic attraction, smell, taste, and so on.

Organised insect colonies, such as bees, ants, termites, and so on, run their lives with perfect order and a highly sophisticated political system. At the head is the queen. But does she rule or does the colony rule her? It seems like workers have an agenda that no matter what the queen might do or want they are in control. They gather food, feed their young, take eggs into a nursery situation and determine what eggs will be workers and which ones will turn into queens or drones. In other words these small short lived slaves are really the bosses. They are alive and active, great community providers and they work on nothing but smell, feel and taste, that we can see.

But underneath there is something else. Its called instinct. Every creature born has instinct. First it is to survive, then it is to create the right living conditions, after this to earn a living and finally to breed. Is this how we determine whether or not we are alive?

A Responsible Life

Take Part in Community Activities

Share your thoughts with others

Make an effort to be a good citizen

Set a good example for others to follow

Be kind and generous

Take nothing for granted

How Do You Assess Whether you are Alive? - Is it something you have ever thought about?

We take so much for granted and we could be living a dream or just be a part of the evironment whereby we have no future beyond where we are at. But we know that we will probably be here tomorrow and still be around in a few years time. We know that we are influenced by the environment, sometimes hot, sometimes cold, and that we need to sleep and refresh our bodies and mind for another day. But is that being alive?

Have you given any thought to how your mind works and whether or not you can train it into better performance

How Much Do You Take In from Your Environment?

This is the age of knowledge

Everywhere you look these days there is information and places to learn. With philosophical questions like this lens proposes one needs to know how to resolve it with more than just your own thinking powers. So what do the experts have to say? Have you ever read books on philosophy? They are fascinating and take the twists and turns that help to get to the bottom of such a puzzle.

But books do more than that. They allow expression of opinions in all areas with an input of fascinating ideas and situations that your brain can jump into and enjoy. They are a gymnasium of tools for it to exercise and grow strong. They help to build your confidence and respect for yourself, to give you self worth and the knowledge and power to defend yourself.

They not only tell you about the world as it is but about the fanciful situations that it could be if such and such were to occur. They are a minefield of interesting quirks and perks that send sparks of enthusiasm and intrigue into your system. Unlike the normal stimulation from your personal life they help to develop strong emotions and balance out our sense of right and wrong.

Books are the answer to many problems. They remove the idleness that kills brain power. They increase the brain's ability to overcome problems like minor pains and upsets. They give you alternatives to life's many crazy curves and they bring joy, entertainment and happiness to those who indulge.

What about Comic Books - Do they have a place in teaching children about books

How Good are Comic Books?

Did you read comics as a child or even as an adult

The Beginning of the Thought Process

Every parent knows that the earlier a child begins to read and recognise everyday symbols and sounds the greater the chances of success in later life. That's why flash cards have come into being and other educational programs that aid parents in this quest.

Children are often portrayed in the media who are so far advanced at early ages that they become celebrities. One child of 2 recently featured on Australian television could name the capital cities of every country in the world. Mozart, at the age of 3 wrote his first symphony. Other children can go straight from kindergarten to High School and some complete university studies when their peers are graduating from college.

What makes a child so brilliant? Surely there is more to the story than early education. Yes, I believe that children carry knowledge from one life to the next, as happened in my case. This knowledge allows for great adaptability without much learning at all but the mind still needs the resources to get the input that will shine through. This is where parents can play a great role in early childhood intervention.

Do you really know how much your child is taking in. Snuggle up and start reading because children as young as a few months old will appreciate the pictures, the sounds, the images and the closeness of a parent during this special time. Read more about teaching babies to read by clicking the banner

One of my biggest handicaps was understanding what non English speakers were saying. Now that is not a worry because I learned many languages and greatly improved my understanding and knowledge of countries and people

Kids love the excitement and images of comic books. Drama and hope, bad versus good, the unimaginable turned into reality and the sheer joy of the creative pictures work on a child's mind. They teach not only reading but style, art, and focusing on a subject for longer. They also add a different dimension to the emotions and creative discussions that children engage in with peers. Its all magic but its all good fun. This well respected company also sells toys and other things

Books, Books and Books

Books make a home. Rooms with shelves of books speak volumes about the occupants and their awareness of the world.

Bear This in Mind.

Reading is the basis of all knowledge. It is the oldest vehicle to conduct information from person to person, from country to country, from mind to mind. It is the number one requirement for service to your country and for safety and security. If you can't read then the world is a closed shop with few opportunities available to the illiterate.

Still images from Dreamstime - click here

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    • whiteskyline lm profile image

      whiteskyline lm 

      6 years ago

      Someone already said what I was going to say - 'thought provoking' :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Dare I say . . . thought-provoking?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think... There is a lot to think about! :))

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I tend to snack on books, so I may be reading a dozen at the same time. And then I go back to read parts of books that I've read.

    • Rankography profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice Lens, very though provoking - - pun intended

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for including my lens here.

    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 

      7 years ago

      The geatest gift that my father ever gaveme was a love of books and reading. Great lens, thank you.


    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      i love to read, and fortunately my daughter does too, and we love exploring the library together! How wonderful to see you!

    • sheriangell profile image


      7 years ago

      Norma thank you very much for the feature here. There is an abundance of issues and content here on this page to stimulate the thought process!

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 

      8 years ago

      Food for thought :-)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      8 years ago

      Thoughtful lens

    • Philippians468 profile image


      8 years ago

      read more, watch tv less! cheers

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice lens! Good Job :-)

      Thanks also for featuring my lens here

    • Mrmakingusmile LM profile image

      Mrmakingusmile LM 

      8 years ago

      Awesome lens. Thanks for making me smile.

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 

      8 years ago

      Thanx a lot for adding my Lens to this wonderful page. I like the questions you ask here. Like - "How Do You Assess Whether you are Alive?" So often we fall into comfortable patterns and go about our daily living like zombies.

    • Louis Wery profile image

      Louis Wery 

      8 years ago from Sarasota, Florida USA

      Very though provoking lens! I love to read. I am excited about the ability to carry a library around, thanks to e-reading devices.

    • TheyCallMeVarmit profile image


      8 years ago

      I love books. They were a way to escape a lot of things and disappear to a new place when things weren't so great growing up. Anything you want to know, everything there is to know, can be found in books. There's nothing better than that.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't know where I'd be without my books. As I've had to adjust my living space to accommodate a little one, I had to think long and hard about where old books went. I event had to think of a one-in and one-out policy. However, using the local library, and eBooks have helped. I may invest soon in an Amazon Kindle too...

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      A great lens, and all the better for raising ontological and epistemological concerns. I presently favor the Critical Realism of Roy Bhaskar....things are real, reality is structured, there are materially real things and ideally really things that we comprehend through concepts and language. But then again what do I know! What's on the telly tonight I wonder...

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 

      9 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      Books are conversations for me. I am an autistic person, it's hard for me to carry on a conversation with a person who is actually present. While reading a book, I feel as if I am connecting to another person on a level hard for me to achieve otherwise. I read to soothe myself when I get agitated and anxious.

      P.S. I see you got the poll fixed up!

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 

      9 years ago

      I'm currently reading through all the books I own because I got into a state where buying books and owning them became more important than reading them - not good when you live in a small cottage!

      Interesting lens.

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 

      9 years ago from Scotland

      I always have a book to read, and now my daughter who is 10 also has a library to be proud of, she is also top class in her English, and even won competitions for her short stories, We like to discuss the books as well. Not only is it a hobby but one we enjoy together. What a very thought provoking article.

    • TriviaChamp profile image


      9 years ago

      As much as I love to read, I simply do not have the time to read more than a few books a month. Life can be busy.

      Kudos on the lens. I enjoyed it.

    • norma-holt profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      @Kylyssa: that was an error as the quiz module must have changed after I submitted an answer. Thanks for the heads up

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      thisi s a lovely and informative lens on books, and something that has made me rethink my views on the power of books.

    • norma-holt profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      @Kylyssa: Wow, did I really say that somewhere. I would love it if people read a hundred books a month instead of watching television. Maybe its the quiz. I can't get into it right now to check it out.

    • Kylyssa profile image

      Kylyssa Shay 

      9 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

      I'm curios as to the reason you feel people should limit themselves to five or fewer books per month? Some folks can't slow down their reading enough to make five books last a whole month. Or do you think people read too much these days?

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      9 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Love books - our house overflows with books. If I were rich I'd have a library in my house (and an art gallery and a music room!).


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