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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Do you ever stop thinking?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23293 points ) November 30th, 2011

Sometimes after long stretches of silence when I’m with another person, I will ask what they’re thinking or what is on their mind. I think it happens most often during long car trips, but that isn’t particularly relevant.
I would guess the majority of the time the response is “nothing.”

Is that possibly true? I know that my own brain never seems to shut up. I am constantly, actively thinking about something. I often attribute my insomnia to my inability to stop my brain from going on and on. Even when it isn’t interfering with my sleep, I often catch myself thinking about how I wish I could stop thinking. Is everyone like that? Are some people able to not actively think about anything? Are you?

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53 Answers

blueberry_kid's avatar

No! I love thinking! So why stop?!

JilltheTooth's avatar

Nope. Interferes with my sleep.

Kandy's avatar

I will try to stop thinking during a stressful situaton. Or I will think about something else to distract me from the original problem. It doesn’t work for me normally. I sometimes to think about nothing though. It is quite interesting when I do..

babybadger's avatar

Sometimes I can drowse off in class (not too often) or on a car ride, but that doesn’t happen too much. Perhaps I just don’t remember what I’m thinking at that time…great question!

Symbeline's avatar

I get the same issue for sleeping problems. I think a lot of it is because I can’t stop thinking about shit. It doesn’t matter WHAT I think about. It so can be ANYTHING. But it prevents me from falling asleep because it just goes on and on…when I’m not drunk anyways.
But yeah, I think a lot, about all sortsa shit, and I like thinking. Not saying any of it is productive or indicative of an intelligent mind, not for a second, but it does seem that my brain is on a war path when it comes to thinking about everything and anything. Thinking is pretty cool, heh heh. ’‘Beavis laugh’’

Aethelflaed's avatar

Not unless I’m dead tired. Actually, even when I’m really exhausted, I have trouble getting my mind to shut off so I can sleep.

Earthgirl's avatar

I think it’s more accurate to say you are thinking about “nothing in particular”. Often, as you say, our minds flit from subject to subject. Random things come to mind then drift away if we don’t focus on them. So if I say nothing, which is rare, it’s more like everything!!!

Saying “nothing” can also be evasive, as when someone really doesn’t want to talk about what they were thinking when you asked.

babybadger's avatar

@Earthgirl – great answer!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Earthgirl I definitely recognize that “nothing” can be evasive, or that it may actually be “nothing in particular.” I have pinned my husband with this question on so many occasions and interrogated him, but he insists that sometimes he really isn’t thinking about anything. Not that it’s mundane, not that it isn’t important, but that he really doesn’t think sometimes. Which, seems impossible to me.
Which is why I asked this question. :)
It’s also nice to know that I’m not the only one with a busybody brain.

wundayatta's avatar

Are you nuts?!? You stop thinking and you’re dead. Or in a coma.

I suppose it depends on how you define thinking. It is possible that people are no longer thinking in words, and then they would say, “nothing,” but that’s not because they aren’t thinking; it’s because they have no way to access what they were thinking. They were in an alpha wave state or some other meditative state.

In the dance group I work with, we prize getting out of hour heads and into our bodies. When we do this, our linguistic minds stop producing all the words. They shut up for a moment. Instead, our non-linguistic minds kick in. The problem is that since there are no words to these thoughts, the word-thinking mind has no idea what is going on there. In fact, it believes that nothing is going on. So it hears your question, and answers “nothing.”

That’s because the word-thinking mind, or conscious mind is pretty self centered and thinks it’s the only mind there. It’s kind of myopic that way. So we are doing all this thinking but we have no clue that we are thinking because our word-thinking minds are all so self-centered and narcissistic.

A lot of us are unaware of the other kind of thinking and people whose word-thinking minds never shut up don’t even believe there is any other way of thinking. It’s not scientific, they will say, although there are contradictions there. Some people have experiences of non-thinking thinking without being aware of what is going on.

Oh shit. That’s exactly my whole point. We can think without being aware of thinking and when that happens, not only do we think we are not thinking, but we actively deny that there could be any other kind of thinking we do. It’s sad, because the other kinds of thinking are very rewarding, and many of our ideas—perhaps all of them—come from that other place in our minds.

It disturbs me, too, when someone says they never stop thinking if they think the only thing that counts as thinking is thinking in words or other symbols. But if you say you are thinking nothing and you know about the other way of thinking, then you may not be willing to try to translate what is going on in that mind into the word thinking mind. Otherwise, you may be unaware you are thinking in that other way.

Blackberry's avatar

Sometimes yes, but it’s more a blank stare, except in your mind. You can’t do it on your own, it just happens, like if you have ADD lol.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@wundayatta that is almost my point, though. I feel like I am constantly actively, consciously thinking about something. I don’t doubt that everyone’s (healthy) brain is constantly doing “brain stuff.” I just wonder if that always includes consciously thinking language based thoughts (I guess.)
I think. I’m not even sure, your response confused me a little. :)

Earthgirl's avatar

Wundayatta Great answer, still perhaps this deeper wordless thinking is just so much flotsam and jetsam in a person who isn’t in tune with their subconscious self. Artists and writers gain a lot of inspiration from these seemingly dormant periods. Hell, they even gain it while sleeping! But do you think the average person does? Perhaps. It’s hard to say.

ANef_is_Enuf When a person “zones out” out are they really not thinking? Or do they just think without words as Wundayatta says? Hmmm…maybe they are thinking of sex, cars, food or football…...

dabbler's avatar

Well heck, I think we need a definition for “thinking”.

Someone in meditation, not some guided self-hypnosis, or prayer, real meditation, is not thinking. They are aware, they are conscious, but have let the thinking settle and stop.
That’s much of the point of meditation, to allow the direct experience of existence without the distraction of thinking.

But I like the discussion about the answer “Nothing” because it’s usually a reluctance(laziness?) to collect one’s thoughts enough to express them or there is something you’d rather not express (no I was Not watching that person’s parts sway to and fro as they passed, nope that particular curve was the farthest thing from my mind, nope, um, er, what were you saying?). A valid answer in either case unless there is a reason privacy is not appropriate.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Earthgirl I usually “zone out,” because I’m thinking deeply about something. Not because I’m not thinking at all.
@dabbler actually, meditation specifically came to mind when I asked this question. I figure it must be difficult to actively “not think.” Or, at least a learned or practiced skill.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I go into almost a trance state when I meditate or do Tai Chi and don’t seem to think about anything, except perhaps my breathing or kinesthetics.

Earthgirl's avatar

ANef_is_Enuf Ahhh! So you are thinking more deeply when you “zone out”? That’s interesting. Maybe that is when your thoughts focus more on one thing. I also tend to be constantly thinking in words inside my head. That steady patter of thoughts in words is what you try to let go of in meditation. I never got to be very “good” at that. I like to turn thoughts over and jump from subject to subject. Interior dialog is pretty constant with me.

TheIntern55's avatar

Of course not. I have ADD. I think about 3 different things at once. Like right now I’m thinking about my answer, how @wundayatta always has really long, but really great answers, and all the things I should be doing instead of Fluthering. I think to an extent, everyone is like this, thinking about everything in their life in a nutshell when they have free-time.

dabbler's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf A contemplator’s joke : Meditation is not what you think.
“a learned or practiced skill” yep. But it’s not any more difficult than anything else that takes intention and practice and discipline.
@CaptainHarley‘s astute observation that Tai Chi can have a similar mental effect as meditation points to the very useful approach of giving the mind something to do, simple enough to go on auto-pilot and be at peace. Some folks accomplish that with a mantra or a koan.

wundayatta's avatar

@dabbler I see your point. I ever partly agree with it. Meditation is different from our ordinary intensely symbolic thinking process. But I don’t think it’s fair to say it isn’t thinking. Perhaps my reason for saying this is somewhat political. I’m not sure.

I want to reclaim the not-thinking form of thinking as thinking. I think that people tend to think it is a fishy thing because they think it is hard to access and that the people who do it are all flaky artist types like @Earthgirl suggested.

It happens in the mind, and I would call the work that the mind does “thinking.” All of what the mind does is thinking, according to my definition. The mind then does all different kinds of thinking. Some of it we are aware of and some of it we are not and some of it we can become aware of with practice.

I am not a meditator in the sense that I don’t sit and practice some form of meditation. I reach the meditative state in other ways. I dance and I make music. Sometimes I also manage to “stop my mind” or “not think” or “get out of my head” by being focused within my head and my wordy thoughts. It’s a very weird idea, I think, but I believe that just about any practice can bring you into a meditative state where you are detached from your thoughts—even the practice of thinking!

It’s a theory. I’m not sure it is possible, but I have experienced times when I’ve been writing intensely, and I disappear. There is only the writing and somehow it seems to happen automatically without my participation. I just sit there and watch it pour out. All it really needs is a little kick here and there—usually by a question someone asks me.

Anyway, I think we both agree there is a distinction. I think we may have significant differences about what the distinction means.

@ANef_is_Enuf I really don’t know for sure. From what you describe your experience as, it makes me wonder if you have experienced the non-thinking thinking. You do have to reduce your awareness of your mind’s word chatter in order to become aware of the other kind of thinking. If you have not experienced it, you may not believe it exists. I know I didn’t quite believe in it until I found a practice that helped me experience it. I was very skeptical. It sounds like voodoo.

Certainly, it often feels like my mind never stops chattering. I mean, look at me here. I always have something to say about something. I can always spin a story. I do it though, by getting out of my own way. I stop judging my thoughts and just let them flow. When I do that, there is a never-ending supply.

I believe that when people “zone out” they have entered that other way of thinking. The problem we face there is that that way of thinking has no words. Without words, you can’t talk about it. So it is as if you weren’t thinking anything at all.

If you practice a lot, I think you can learn to be more aware of your mind doing other kinds of thinking. You can learn to watch it, and then you can try to learn to keep a kind of note-taker going while you are in that other mind. In other words, you allow just enough of your word mind to be active in order to observe and remember what the rest of you is thinking/doing, but not enough for its activities to take over and destroy your awareness of the rest of your mind.

How long has it been? Maybe fifteen or twenty years since I’ve even had this idea and have been working on the practice. I know I can do it, but it’s still a pretty hit or miss thing. Sometimes it’s fabulous. Like when I’m watching myself leap across the dance floor in a way I simply can not do—except that I am out of my mind (my word mind) and in another mind entirely (my body mind in this case). But I am also in my mind and I can see myself doing this and I can be absolutely confident that this awareness is not going to destroy my ability or presence. It just is.

I worry, of course, that I don’t have it in the right balance, and that I will throw myself out of my own trance. And of course sometimes I do, but over the years I have gained more facility with being in two states at once and being aware of both and not letting the one overwhelm the other. In the same vein, I have moved between states so often that all it takes, almost, is for me to go through the door of the room in which I practice for me to slide into the other state.

GoDogGo's avatar

hmm, I’ll have to think about that.

cockswain's avatar

I’ve only skimmed the answers so far, but my first impression is “no”, but it feels good to be able to not think in words for periods of time.

dabbler's avatar

@wundayatta Those are fascinating observations, but I’d say that if you are “out of your head” or detached from your thoughts by your thinking then it’s a matter of your thoughts being so harmonious for you that you don’t notice you’re thinking. You’re riding on rails.

Meditation is the station after the train has left.

Not thinking really is not thinking, it’s a distinct experience from being ‘in the zone’ with the mind working super-smoothly on what it’s doing.

Earthgirl's avatar

Wundayatta Hey! I never called artists and writers “flaky”!! That’s your word! I think creativity can extend to anything in life. So I don’t think artists and writers have a corner on it at all. It’s just that that is the easiest example for people to understand.

You say:
“It happens in the mind, and I would call the work that the mind does “thinking.” All of what the mind does is thinking, according to my definition. The mind then does all different kinds of thinking. Some of it we are aware of and some of it we are not and some of it we can become aware of with practice.”

I agree 100%

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Just for the record, I’m an artist, and I think while I’m creating. Maybe even more than usual.

Earthgirl's avatar

ANef_is_Enuf Me too. I think the non thinking part is the inspiration and intuition. That happens before you take brush or pencil or whatever in hand. You may not be actively thinking or designing but it is taking form in your subconscious. I think of it as feeding your brain. I also like to think of the input and coalescing of all kinds of stimuli as “marinating”.

wundayatta's avatar

@Earthgirl You are absolutely right. You didn’t call artists and writers flaky. I did. I’m sorry if I gave anyone the idea that you would ever think that of an artist. I do think that, on average, people think of artistic types as more flaky than normal people. I think that artistic types do more unusual stuff, such as meditation and drugs and other unusual practices. These things seem flaky and irresponsible. It’s suspicious. Besides which, so many of them make no money. You know what that means.

In any case, I have decided that I shall be mollified about your quarrel with me since you do agree with me 100% about something else. :-P

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@wundayatta actually, doing “unusual” stuff, including experimentation with drugs, specifically, has been shown to be indicative of intelligence. Unless I’m misunderstanding your use of the word “flaky.”

Jeez, I can’t type today. I’m starting a perfecto-fish collection.

wundayatta's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I don’t think flaky is about intelligence. It’s about responsibility. I’m totally with you on the part about doing unusual stuff as a sign of intelligence, at least as far as life as we know it is concerned.

Bellatrix's avatar

Like many people here, my problem is usually shutting my brain down. I have to find something distracting to turn off the conversation sometimes. I have often thought I should learn to meditate. @CaptainHarley‘s makes me think this would be a good thing for me.

XxBOOMxX's avatar

Yes.
No.
What?
Actually, thinking is linked to your conscious mind because it is where we make choices!
Scary, isn’t it! :-O

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Nope. That’s why I’m always exhausted. I think about tons of things at the same time and my brain always feels like it’s going a thousand miles a minute.

Bellatrix's avatar

@CaptainHarley‘s POST makes me think. See, my brain went off on a tangent in the middle of that sentence!

I can so relate @Simone_De_Beauvoir. My friend says I have a ‘sparkler gram’ brain… in other words it looks a bit like this.

Sunny2's avatar

I don’t stop thinking, but I tune out at times and just am not aware of what my brain is doing. In fact, because I know it’s good to learn new things as you age, decide to let my mind teach me ho to do sudoku puzzles. I’ve never related to numbers well. I began by putting all the numbers possible in each square. I kind of sat by and let my brain work out the spatial relations. My brain began to allow me to see patterns. I couldn’t do the easiest puzzles at first. Now the easy ones are easy and sometimes I can do the harder ones. And I know there’s always music going on in my brain, but I don’t hear it unless I tune in.

Male's avatar

Never, ever. I’m always processing or analyzing some event or idea…sometimes so deeply that I lose awareness.

augustlan's avatar

Never, never, never. Interferes with my sleep, too. Sometimes it’s enough to make me crazy. I often wonder, if my little busy brain can make me so crazy, how is it that folks like Einstein weren’t flat out insane?

I do know people who claim not to be this way, so I have to assume they’re telling the truth. Both my ex and my current husband can usually lay down and be asleep in a minute. I think that must be a sign of a mind at rest.

Edit: I’ve never been able to successfully meditate, either. It’s too noisy in my head.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@augustlan : I know, right? On a busy day the cast of Stomp seems to rehearse in my hindbrain…

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@augustlan I’ve often thought that, myself, about brilliant people.

thorninmud's avatar

In a way, yes.

Just to clarify terms as I understand them, thinking is not the same as awareness. Thinking begins by taking whatever appears in awareness and interpreting it, encoding it as concepts to make thought objects out of it. Whenever you recognize a thing in your field of awareness and attach a name to it, you’re associating it with like things in your mental archive of concepts. That’s a very fundamental form of thinking. A more complex form of thinking involves manipulation of those thought objects, running the kind of mental simulations that we call abstract thought.

I do find that sometimes the interpretation momentarily stops. Awareness just stands as it is, undisturbed. It’s not blankness. It’s just experience without anyone there experiencing, and no thing being experienced. I don’t want that to make it sound all exotic; I’m pretty sure life is sprinkled with moments like that for everyone, but they go unrecognized. We overwrite those moments in our memories, interpreting them after the fact.

Babies are born into that state. What thought would arise in those first days out of the womb? Its awareness is undivided, but it’s not blankness either. We may impute thought to him—things like “He likes this” or “He doesn’t like that”—but that goes too far. There’s no compartment yet in that awareness for “things I like” and “things I don’t like”.

When awareness is left as it is, thought occasionally flashes into that awareness, but it immediately vanishes like a snowflake on a griddle.

bluejay's avatar

I can stop thinking if I want. I don’t usually stop thinking though unless I’m in a dangerous situation in which no thoughts cross my mind and I just do what I have to do.

wundayatta's avatar

@thorninmud I do not use the idea of thinking in the same way as you describe. I would say that what we commonly think of as thinking is what you say. We use symbols to stand for things in the real world and we manipulate those symbols in order to communicate with each other (and ourselves) about it.

However, I think the times when we have direct perception of the world (i.e., no converting ideas into symbols), and we interact with the world without separating ourselves from it (by converting it into symbols) also deserves the term, “thinking.”

I say this because we can communicate in this mode. We can process the world. We can share our interpretations. Maybe I say this because my experience of it is through dance and music, not through sitting meditation or other kinds of meditation where people are not trying to communicate with others.

So my experience is of thinking without thinking. This kind of direct communication does not require symbols. We are simply being ourselves, but doing so without a barrier between us and others. We dance. We are one. We are one with the rest of the universe too, because there is no artificial barrier of symbolic thinking.

Direct connection with the universe gives us direct awareness of the universe, usually focused locally. It is an awareness without self-awareness. We can communicate directly and know things directly because we do not translate anything into symbols. It just is and it is instant and it is accurate. At least, the people I dance with seem to experience it that way.

thorninmud's avatar

@wundayatta It would never have occurred to me to use the word “thought” in this context. Even “communication” doesn’t sit well with me; too freighted with images of something passing from one entity to another. “Communion” feels more like it, or maybe “resonance”. Better yet, a tweak of the nose.

Processing and interpreting? Really?

dabbler's avatar

Looks to me you two are in great agreement about what states are experienced but like to describe them differently sometimes using some of the same words.

You got your basic stream of physical and internal senses.
I don’t think either of you consider this thinking.

Then there’s the activity of knowing (consciousness?noticing?witnessing?) that you’re sensing stuff and that you’re experiencing other things too as a result.
Does @wundayatta include this in thinking ? The witness, the basic consciousness?
Thoughts?

And you got the automatic associations to the sensed stuff that are also among the things witnessed as experiences. (perceptions? reactions? notions? feelings?)
The sparkler in the brain. The monkeys.
I think you’d both would call those experiences thinking.
And I’d agree those are exactly what meditation practice intends to minimize to allow the other aspects of the witness to emerge. Yep, Thinkin’.

Then, of course you have your exercise of will that results in attention, decisions, actions, intentions, that all involve thoughts. This stuff is certainly in the thinkin’ category.

wundayatta's avatar

@thorninmud It’s terribly difficult to talk about these things because they occur in part of the mind that doesn’t use words, and yet I am trying to use words to describe them. So I include communicating and interpreting in my description and yet that is really my linguistic mind trying to makes sense out of this other kind of interaction with self and world.

I call it a direct interaction with the world. I call it direct communication. I say there is no intervening process—the application of a symbol to a thing out there in the world, and then the conveyance of that symbol using sound or picture or (sometimes) movement to another person, who then retranslates that symbol into some more organic meaning making mechanism.

Direct experience of the world doesn’t have any of that. Because of that, it’s hard to see the difference between us and not us. We are one in a way that I can not use words to describe because it is not as simple as oneness. We are ourselves and yet we are one. How is that possible? Words will not suffice, and worse, they can give the wrong impression. In the end, only personal experience can give you any access to this mode of perception at all.

So please forgive me when I use words like process and interpret. They are analogies to the linguistic mode of understanding and they will always be misleading, I think. I am attempting to do something that may be impossible—which is to describe the wordless experience with words. In this, every word I use is a metaphor. It is not the thing or experience itself. It is removed from the thing or experience. It is in a different world. It is an impossible task.

The dancing I do is in a specific context, using forms/structures/exercises that are designed to get us out of our heads and into our bodies. When we dance from our bodies, without conscious thought—I hesitate to even try to say this, but I don’t know what else to do since I can’t take you dancing—a lot of things happen. I have spoken of one several times before, so I’m not sure I’ll go into it here: doing things you cannot do. Instead I want to talk about the interaction between people in this state of awareness. Perhaps I will also touch on “doing nothing.”

My awareness when dancing tends to be kind of diffuse. I don’t focus on any one thing. I don’t focus on a point in space or on another persons specific body part or on what I am doing. My awareness seems to encompass all these things at once somehow. Because of this, I have an awareness of everyone in the room. It is not through sight or touch. Maybe it is vibrations in the air. Maybe it is an imagined sense of what others are doing because we are all hearing the same music. I don’t know.

When I am dancing with a partner—and this is all improvisation and all with random people we meet up with, male or female, we dance more with each other’s energy than anything else. Somehow I am aware of my partners limbs, even though I can not see them all at once. I can see their facial expression at times, but I see the expression of their entire body
expression, too.

Because I am not in my head, my body and their body meet, somehow, with nothing in between. They might or might not be physically touching, but that makes no difference to the direct connection, via which we transfer knowledge. I am my partner—or that’s how it feels. We both know what the other knows.

Now I do have choices to make. In a recent dance, my partner was not comfortable being close to me. So I balanced her by being farther away. I understood her and I “understood” a whole “story” about her that led to her being this way. A lot of that story was in my word mind, but it was being pumped in there by my no-word mind. I can allow my word-mind to observe and even remember while maintaining the presence of the other mind because I am dancing and my body is doing things and my word mind is not trying to control things.

I call this knowing the other person as myself “direct communication.” And it isn’t just people; it’s an awareness of everything around me, including all the people in the room and what they are doing, and then also what is going on outside the room. I know this is a more energetic kind of way. I don’t know what, specifically, is going on, but I can feel the energy of it.

Sometimes we do an exercise called “doing nothing.” The rule here is that you don’t “do” anything, as in you don’t have an intention to do anything. It cannot come from your word mind. Instead, you start in one position and you are still until your body wants to move in order to become comfortable.

At first, it is difficult because you are thinking and wondering if your body is uncomfortable enough to move to make the kind of change you need to be comfortable. Eventually this goes away as you give yourself permission to just “be.” You move, as necessary, not from any volition, but just because that’s what your body needs. Eventually you start interacting with others and your need for comfort drives that, as well. But all along, you are doing nothing. Something else is moving you. It feels like the movement is coming from outside you, as if possessed somehow.

I don’t think it is possession. I think the movement comes from your body-mind; the no-words mind. But we do communicate with others in this state. We do, I think, process and interpret, except through our bodies, or our body-mind, not our minds (or word-mind). But the processing is body processing. It’s not like mind processing. It is hard to be aware of, although the body-mind is aware. It is even possible to have the though-mind be a tiny bit aware, but if you let it out too much, it can block the body-mind out. Then you are thinking again, and planning and interpreting in a cognitive way. Which is fine, but of a very different nature from body awareness thinking.

I agree with @dabbler that we are talking about the same, or at least similar experience. I think the problem is in not so much how we define concepts as why we choose to use words here and not there. I think it is useful to call what the non-word mind does “thinking.” I think that because I want to communicate to skeptics. I do not think of these things as religion of any kind, although I think the various technologies for achieving these states of mind are brought to us mainly by religions. I see these methods for getting to these states of awareness as “spiritual technologies.”

Spiritual, of course, can be a scary word to many. For me, it is this state that I get into through the dance. It is an awareness and an understanding of how I connect to everything. It is that feeling of oneness. We are all connected, although I don’t believe a lot of people understand that. They think that what they do might affect anyone or thing withing ten feet of them, but they don’t either see or believe that it has consequences much much farther away. If you have a feeling of connection with much more than yourself, or if you experience oneness as a thing, not a thought, that, to my mind, is what spirituality is all about.

dabbler's avatar

How about “transcendental” sub for “spiritual” ?

Earthgirl's avatar

There was a really interesting discussion about the subconscious mind on Charlie Rose this week. Just putting the link here for anyone who is interested. It seems to support the idea that what the subconscious mind does could qualify as thinking.
http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12025

ibstubro's avatar

What a great question!

No, I cannot imagine my brain ever shutting up for a second. I’ve caught it playing 2 songs and jabbering simultaneously. Now and then it wears even me out.

NanoNano's avatar

People do lose conscious awareness from time to time. Its a sort of self-hypnosis, where the unconscious brain takes over for the cerebral cortex. (I don’t like the word “subconscious” – as this is a myth, not a real thing).

Speculation in quantum mechanics now is that the underlying structure to the universe is one of information (below that of matter, energy, space and time in the probability realm before the collapse of the wave function).

Basically, the assumption is that information or consciousness underlies everything. And if this is true, then thought never ceases, even after death (though trully understanding what that means – after death – is something we all have to experience personally).

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