Category Archives: Thinking

Bertrand Russell on Fearing Thought

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Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth – more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. ~ Bertrand Russell Continue reading Bertrand Russell on Fearing Thought

We Fear Thought

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth – more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. ~ Bertrand Russell (“Why Men Fight: A Method of Abolishing the International Duel,” pp. 178-179) Continue reading We Fear Thought

Thinking and Walking

Thought a bit more about nostalgia today on my morning walk. (I blogged about it recently here.)

Perhaps I enjoy nostalgia because of having, as best I remember, an idyllic childhood—wonderful parents who had a middle class income, a healthy mind and body, a good education, a physically safe environment, and all in the midst of a bustling economy with wealth distributed relatively fairly (much more so than it is now) and a polity still somewhat united in the aftermath of WWII. Had I not been born with that genome in that environment, I may be less nostalgic. I wish that everyone had a good past to look back toward, and an infinitely good future to look forward to.

It is not surprising that such ideas took hold while walking, which provides the opportunity for, and is conducive to, uninterrupted, reflective thinking. Many have extolled the virtues of walking: Lao Tzu, Aristotle, Rousseau, Dickens, Freud, Piaget, and former US Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Harry Truman.1 2 And the physical and psychological benefits of walking make it even more appealing. I encourage everyone to walk if possible and if you cannot, then move your body in whatever way you can.

And if for some reason you cannot move, then move your mind and explore its space. There you can travel as far as your imagination and sense of wonder allow; seeing sights and thinking thoughts that the able bodied may miss.

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1. http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/29/walking-meetings-5-surprising-thinkers-who-swore-by-them/
2. http://www.laweekly.com/2008-10-30/art-books/walk-on-the-mild-side/