Are You Thinking Yet?

How do we know when we’re actually thinking? Someone once said that if you don’t know a second language, you can never know whether you are thinking or simply replaying a skull-encased recording of other people’s views, Coke jingles, cultural driftwood and stale tales that pass from gossip to “common sense”. But I speak a second language and shards of other ones, and while I love to find the way another coding system expresses an idea or an action, I don’t think that mental access to another manner of speaking is any guarantee of thought, either.

All this in light of the Robert Frost quote I recently found — “to learn to write is to learn to have ideas” — and use in every class and in my own auto-peptalks. Sometimes — I think — I come closest to genuine thinking when I’m writing. How can I know what I think ’til I see what I’ve said? (Somebody. Another orphan quote.) And maybe the repeated citation of other people’s bons mots is also a sure way to avoid original thought. But I doubt that. (!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *