This will be a short post to get an idea out of my head.
The Hierarchy of Thought
Level One: Random Thought (Ignorant Individual)
Level Two: Thinking Within the Box (Educated Conformist)
Level Three: Thinking Outside the Box (Educated Individual)
Level Four: Understanding, There is no Box (Free Individual)
As a free thinker, I ponder weird stuff from time-to-time. Recently, the level of thought, has been on my mind. In typical, human fashion, I needed to make it organized. A few years ago a friend, whom we shall call F, introduced me to the forth level of thought; there is no box. Before this, I prided myself on be able to think outside the box. But, this enlightenment makes total sense once you take a moment to think deeper about the thought process. Shall we......
Starting with Level One: Random Thought. I have identified this as the process used by individuals before they are indoctrinated in the education system. A quick Google search defines ignorant as: "lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated." Thus, the individual has not be programmed into the norms of our conditioned society. This is not a value judgement of good or bad. It is merely a fact. This is why young children can say the most outstanding things, without a social filter kicking in to suppress their thoughts. This is free expression without cognitive control.
Level Two: Thinking Within the Box. This is the final efforts of a state run educational system. The finished product is a productive employee; who goes to work, pays taxes and gets along with fellow co-workers. This person is conditioned to be satisfied to work within the system and NOT to rock the boat. A society of conformists is a happy society. Everyone just gets along. Although, more educated in the social norms of society, the persons are not actually thinking for themselves at this point. They are very conscious of their reputation and what others think about them. This population is easily manipulated and controlled by authority figures. Those in power, do not want this population to become self-confident and self-thinking, because they would become infinitely harder to control.
Level Three: Thinking Outside the Box. For those who can think for themselves and see the short comings of a controlled society. Some folks will never reach this level, however, a small percentage of society will have the self-confidence and curiosity to want to know more than what they learned in school. They will question everything, until they find an answer that satisfies them or provides the truth. These are smart people who are not easily conned by the system. They are brave and strong and not easily intimidated by authority figures. This confidence sets them apart from the social norms and thus they are shunned by the conformists and belittled by the authoritarians. However, for many functions in designing or problem-solving, these free thinkers are needed because their thoughts are not controlled by the system. Having said that, although capable of thinking for themselves, they are not yet enlightened enough to escape the structure of the societal thinking patterns.
Level Four: Understanding There Is No Box. To come to this level you truly are thinking freely. No longer do you need to contradict the rules and structure of societal thinking patterns, you understand those rules and structure were created to keep everything in a state of order; but they are not actually necessary. Here is where free thinking really takes place. You are so far beyond what the authoritarians can comprehend, they now consider you a threat to society. You are immune to oppression dictated from on high. You can see with clarity and you recognize oppressive behaviours from a great distance. You belong to a minority of strong-willed and strong-minded persons. You value your freedom and liberty above all other things in life. You want to be left to your own devices to live your life in peace.
That gets the major points on paper. I may edit this in the future, as my thoughts become more refined on this topic.
Until next time.....Don't let anyone else do your thinking for you!