As To Be A Deep Well | On Thinking

The demeanor of the deep thinker is unmistakable — from the way they furrow their brow in deep rumination to how they express their mind’s inner contents through speech. It is important, at least in principle, to distinguish the one who is deep from the one who is merely intellectual. The intellectual person readily commands knowledges not purely of their own excavation — that is to say that their utterances include the formulations of other minds and perspectives.

Often we say such things as ‘to my mind’ and ‘in my view’ without having done the kind of inner-searching that these statements require. It seems to me that the deep thinker is simply one who is strongly acquainted with their own experience. When they speak, the words come out of the abundance of what they know themselves to be. As observers and listeners, we feel that we intimately connected not only to that which these people say but also who they are. Indeed, they are a deep well, out of which more and more substantive material is retrieved.

And what happens when two people that are deeply attuned their human experiences join together in conversation? Something far inside each of them is touched. A deep conversation has a way of denuding a person of all their facades: their intellectual specializations, their loosely held opinions, and their prejudices. The deep conversation is an intersection of two lived experiences, and we can tell this that this has happened when we leave a conversation feeling as though we have known our interlocutor for many years.

What does it require of us to become deep and substantive thinkers?

Make a practice of thinking through your experience, from your thoughts and recollections to your emotions and perceptions.

Reflect on what you know yourself to be — to what degree do you believe that you know who you are? Are you transparent to yourself? Is that you accessible to others in conversation?

Experiment with saying only what you think. If you find yourself saying something that is not a product of your own thinking, try to choose different words or cease speaking altogether.

When you are prompted to speak, be deliberative — think about how to make what you are saying exude as much of your perspective and thinking as you can manage.

The unexamined life is not worth living -Socrates



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Michael Mitole

Michael Mitole

Scholar | Reader | Writer | Thinker | Dreamer