Writing to Think?

I suspect one of the characteristics of the binary mind, engaged in what is also called concrete thinking, is an absence of modifiers, either adjectival or adverbial. So, for example, a compound phrase such as “give back” is read as a conflict between “give” and “take back.” Indeed, conflict seems to be the only constant in the conservative or concrete mind.

Things in opposition is also what one is left with if location and direction are left out of consideration. Think of the difference between “up stairs” as an identifier of movement and “upstairs” as a place or locus of being. Writing lets you see the difference, but it is not apparent to the audio dependent. Which raises the question whether writing merely demonstrates additional perspective or creates it. Does literacy affect how people think or is it just another expressive tool?


“Conservative” is a misnomer and not just because it means “save up to consume later.”  People who identify themselves as conservatives are not into saving and have no sense of time. The suggestion that they do is just a distraction/deception, their instinctive mode.

People who self-identify as conservative are instinct-driven, responsive to sub-conscious gut reactions. They do not think before they act for the simple reason that they do not think (reflect on their behavior). Indeed, their behaviors are not so much actions as automatic responses. “Feel” is probably an accurate description of their mode of being. They do not see themselves as acting; rather they feel or it feels good or bad.

We refer to that as binary thinking, but, as noted, it is not thinking. Feeling is not thinking. Indeed, to people directed by their feelings, thinking is a strange notion and therefor a threat. (When Obama explained his occasional hesitancy when speaking by asserting that he “thinks before (he) speaks,” some people felt threatened. “What is this thinking of which he speaks?” 

But then, it does not take much for a threat to be perceived. After all, the instinct-driven are pretty much in a constant state of conflict. Conflict is basic to the binary mode. 

I’m reminded of some philosopher (I think it was Hegel) who postulated that some third (preferable) element would arise out of the conflict between good and evil. The conflict was presumed and left unquestioned. It is sort of like black and white being posited without any consideration of either grey or the colors of the rainbow. That is probably because the binary mind is not primed to perceive modifiers. Perhaps it is like the brain of the color-blind person not being primed to perceive the fuller spectrum the majority are able to perceive.

But, where the number of color-blind are a relatively small minority, the perceivers of constant conflict seem much more numerous. Just not as readily identified. Or perhaps their deception has successfully disguised just how many there are.

Why would it be useful to disguise the perception of conflict? I think that is a particularly timely question given that we have a person in high office who absolutely relishes the exposure of the conflict he perceives, regardless of whether it even exists. His mind is in conflict. It is a constant state. 

Does he instigate specific instances just to demonstrate it is not as scary as it might be? Is he setting backfires to insure wildfires do not spread?