Thinking and its gradations

Beliefs and glamour of acquired conviction

A belief is an unchecked allegation: it can be true or false, we have not the means to check everything neither to know everything... Sometimes we discover that scientists do not know, are seeking or ignore yet: they are the true researchers... Hence whom can we trust?

In this beginning of 21st century, intellectual confusion is growing, for everything is called into question; there is always someone for saying that products are toxic, some interests are hidden ... Thus temptation is great to take only the facts or arguments, which are going along the already acquired side. I have not more effort to think. It is thus for an economy of thought and for emotional comfort that is easy to stay within the fold of already made choices, of already built vision, of my world conception. To question this view is painful and costly. Need I to think anew the world every morning? Need I to think anew? It is life, but to stay with what I know is so relaxing.

By mental laziness, by emotional comfort, a trend is to keep back on the cocoon of well-known arguments. This comfort supports an affective mechanism which distorts reality and inhibits to see the disturbing facts: it s a glamour and we could name it the glamour of acquired conviction. A glamour is acknowledged because it distorts vision but makes see t non existent things; it entertains ego’s comfort for a glamour produces always an affective profit.

So it matters to study thinking and mind. Thinking, as we mean it here, is a process dealing with general and impersonal matter, thought expresses a law – generality – coming with the age of reason. ... Mind is the faculty of understanding, to find the meaning of what is happening hence to explain the phenomenon – that which appears – and not only to reproduce it or to simulate it.

Concrete mind: a 6-pointed star

The concrete mind depicts the mind with its contents, hence the thoughts as forms and their author: the one shaping these thoughts. ... A 6-pointed star is made of 2 interlocked triangles, one triangle upward and the other downward. The downward triangle brings about a concrete product expressing the above duality, this lower point grounds, concretizes and leads the action resulting of the pondering. The upward triangle points out the abstraction unifying the pair of opposites, it is the common factor, may be the origin of these denser factors. Let us study then these 6 points.

The upward triangle has at the top the mental unit, the thinker in its wake consciousness, the deciding one. It is the subject of the attention, that which rules the personality, ... This unit handles the duality between dynamics and statics, that means between reasoning and arguments or notions.

On the star, the course of thought is not linked to the active unit, that means that, quite often, the so-called thinker assists to this course; it has not wanted it and not built it: this course develops independently of the thinker who observes it, as the mental substance is active by itself and moves forms emerging in its bosom.

6_pointed star

Yet the effort to be provided by the thinker will be to direct one’s attention, to orient this course and to choose, that is to accept or reject the ideas or facts that are presenting to itself.

Thinking: the whole mental substance

... Patanjali studied in depth the mind and though his stanzas are brief, they are witnessing a great penetration of spirit. The yogic, cabalistic and theosophical tradition associates the number 5 to man, Manas or the Thinker. The 5-pointed star represents man feet apart, arms extended and head in unity at the top.

5_pointed star

On the figure above, duality is found at the feet at the star; such concept is opposed to another, the static or the meaning is opposed to the dynamic i.e. the thought move. At a finer level, the consciousness of being oneself, an individual,  fades away for letting place to a radiation passing through us. Jung, Assagioli, Rudhyar were talking of the transpersonal Self, that which passes through the persona - persona meaning mask. The radiation inscribes itself in the horizontal branch of the 5-pointed star; one end depicts the light produced by the registration of attention by oneself, emission and reception fuse, consciousness resounds with its source; the other end being quality, either the quality emitted by oneself, either the quality captured in others; there is not any more question of people. At the top, the tension–to-be feeds the attention or tension to the world: the intensity of the jet of attention comes from it.

Levels et functions in thinking

One can spot several levels: the lowest is meaning the basis of all mental activity. The fact of naming things, to give them a name, and hence to spot notions – a word that seems the most appropriate – constitutes the base; these notions are basic elements as stones in the thinking process.
A finer and subtler level is reasoning which starts from a departure hypothesis to reach a conclusion: deduction, induction, comparison, etc.
An already more abstract level concerns the nodes of significance which one may call concepts. Reasoning around these nodes constitute a network; often a theory is called according to this concept, such as the theory of general relativity, or universal gravitation, or the myth of Oedipus, DNA for genetics...
The mental unit, the I who perceives in the present time, the center of the waking consciousness is located at a finer and more penetrating level; it stays separated from other units, founding the identity of the subject, sure of itself in the jet which is passing through. Yet it is already receptive to impersonal values or ideas.
These four levels correspond relatively to the 4 levels represented by the 6-pointed star of the concrete mind.

With the concrete mind, the thinker in its waking consciousness understands handles thought, follows it and discriminates; it works within duality between various concepts, ideas, notions: its reasoning goes from one to another. At this level, it is absorbed in its pondering, it takes to itself this flow of thinking. To think, to follow the course of thought and change it as one shifts from images, movies or TV channels, it is to locate oneself at the meeting point of the 2 points at the bottom of the star.

The observing I, simply present, the mental unit the decider assuming its choices and orienting action, is close from the horizontal branch: consciousness already raised, it opens to the world, it is awakening, waking consciousness; consciousness clears up, enters in some clarity though this light is not yet fully perceived, contacted or emitted.


“I understand” depicts the author taking to oneself the concept, assimilating it, yet overcoming it: the thinker realizes that he or she understands, it supervises the perception of meaning and takes it to oneself; this pulsation between the thinker and meaning, between the thinking individual and understanding produces the light of understanding, this light one may see brighten in the eyes, reflecting the joy experienced at this moment. Thus in reading a book, I understand the text –I am following its meaning – but light flares up when I catch the idea of a sentence or a paragraph.

Behind this jet of attention making us present to the world, is found a source of attention, which registers the perception, a source of consciousness both emitting and receptive. The observer could observe its thought, to know oneself thinking; here at the source, it supports this activity, feeds it and provides energy. The thinker then knows oneself as a source of conscious light in the center of one’s being.

Broadening to 7 levels

According to the theosophical tradition, any level of substance is divided in 7 subplanes.
Notions, naming things, constitute the base, level 7 of the mind; reasoning, this fluid activity establishing a path between hypothesis and conclusion constitutes the level 6. Concept - from the Latin concepi taken with oneself – is the thought taken to oneself, a node of the network of significances; at this stage, it is to handle thought to understand, 5th level.
The mental unit, the I simply present observing, opening to the world, is located at the 4th level, intermediate between formed levels with contents and formless levels, more abstract finer and more luminous.

The source of consciousness supporting the attention radiates light as a sun, an done find again the image of the light in the head when one understands at last, yet this light of the source is more vivid, as it is not veiled by any restriction. It is the 3rd level without form, without opposition, for various suns can radiate without disturbing one another.

Yet this sun spreads out an incoherent light, disordered in direction as in phase. Thus it exists an finer level, more intense (2nd level) of coherent light analogous to the a laser beam. ... the 1st level is the level of mental space; some thought currents may then be propagated in that space, one’s being is a relay, a receptor; then instead of thinking to radiate in space, it is rather space which is thinking through us; as a swimmer in the ocean, we evolve amidst this universal thought


Usefulness of harmonics

Since a level of substance is divided in 7, one may spot a correspondence between each of the subplanes. The levels of thinking can be confirmed by a sensation of vitality or by the affective state. We have seen it, the 4th level marks a balance between the 3 above, finer and more intense, and the 3 underneath, coarser and heavier. The I simply present, “in full consciousness” according to the fashionable expression, is in a emotional poise, calm, balanced and its body is relaxed. ...


How different is an inspiration from a course of thought?

By course of thought, we mean here the contents – thoughts or images –scrolling in one’s head. Inspiration surges in consciousness such as a new current that will get clearer and formulated later. Both comes from outside of the consciousness, yet one has a content, the other appears formless. One has a form, illumination is a light, inspiration is a breath.
A marine illustration may help to clarify these points:

Course of thought

Moving form

Concept or theory 


Mental unit 

Decider, knows itself to be an individual


Radiating light


Guiding idea arousing a research

A marine illustration may help to clarify these points:

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