Many components make up the thought process. There is one component that is the sole incubator of all thoughts, the brain. The brain is the sole incubator of the mind. The mind cradles and protects the thought process. The process used to think is one of complex scrutiny. Researchers, Scientists and Psychologists have studied the brain and how the brain processes thoughts for years. The brain processes thoughts through a channel known as the mind. The mind according to the mirriam-webster dictionary is the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills and especially reasons.
Another definition of the mind according to the mirriam-webster dictionary is the organized conscious and unconscious adaptive mental activity of an organism. The mind is an interesting and complex instrument that many are still amazed by. There are several components of the mind to be discussed. Components making up the mind’s existence are consciousness, unconsciousness, thoughts, understanding and intellect. Consciousness according to the mirriam-webster dictionary is having the mental faculties not dulled by sleep, faintness or stupor; perceiving, apprehending, or noticing with a degree of controlled thought or observation.
Unconsciousness according to the mirriam-webster dictionary is not knowing or perceiving; not aware; free from self-awareness. Thoughts according to the mirriam-webster dictionary is a developed intention or plan as well as the intellectual product or the organized views and principals of a period, place, group or individual. To understand according to the mirriam-webster dictionary is the mental grasp; the power to make experience intelligible by applying concepts and categories.
Intellect according to the mirriam-webster dictionary is the power of knowing as distinguished from the power to feel and will; the capacity for knowledge. All of these components make up the mind as well as contributes to the mind’s main component thoughts. Thoughts, however they are processed incorporate all the other components previously discussed. The component of intellect, understanding and conciousness all work together to process thoughts. Thoughts are voluntary and involuntary. The brain which encompasses the mind is always working if the individual is alive.
Thoughts are constantly being processed whether aware or not. This process is best described by Isaac Asimov, You can control brething by deliberate voluntary action; you can breathe deeply and quickly, or you can hold your breath altogether, regardless of the body’s needs at the time. This, however, doesn’t work well for very long. Your chest muscles grow tired, your body clamors for more oxygen, or less, and you relax. The automatic involuntary control of breathing takes over, adjusts it to the body’s needs and unless you have some respiratory disorder, you can forget about the whole thing.
Hence the reason for the definition and the incorporation of consciousness and unconsciousness. Thoughts determine an individual’s capability of solving or not solving problems. Problem solving, creating ideas and anything that challenges the mind can be accomplished by the double phenomenon of the thought process, the use of voluntary and involuntary thinking, a process known as “The Eureka Phenomenon. ” The way an individual perceives his or her mind will determine the capability of the mind’s performance.
Perception and performance are important entities in the end result of thoughts and how others classify individuals. Here is where genius, normal and slow are classified. Each and every individual is challenged by their own mind to problem solve or to create ideas. The mind is so important in everyday decisions. The mind determines one’s course in life. The course an individual chooses determines his or her place in life. The position obtained, the accomplishments reached, the relationships made are all determined by thoughts which determine our course.
Thoughts are not just limited to the previously mentioned courses in life but also play a huge role in setting up and distinguishing problems, creating ideas or anything that would bring a challenge to the mind. This is where narrowing down the mind’s actions to voluntary and involuntary thinking come into play. These actions play important roles in our everyday decisions. Sometimes one action works completely without the other. Then at other times both actions voluntary and involuntary play off each other working together to arrive at the end result.
Asimov best describes this, “I suspect that voluntary thought may possibly prepare the ground (if even that), but that the final touch, the real inspiration, comes when thinking is under involuntary control. ” (Asimov 943) Each individual has his or her own opinion as to how best they are able to solve problems or develop working ideas. Several studies have been put into place to determine the specific and correct ways individuals are most successful at solving problems and creating ideas. Methods used to problem solve and create ideas have been around for years.
These methods have been defined by psychologists and experts. Two of which will be discussed in this paper. The two methods are The Scientific Method and The Eureka Phenomenon. The Scientific Method is the method used by many because it has an explanation and substantially rules out problems through testing and experimenting. The Scientific Method is based on logical reasoning, testing and experimenting due to a single hypothesis. The steps in The Scientific Method are specific to arriving at the solution to any given problem or the creation in any idea, according to many scientists and psychological experts.
Whether or not an individual believes in this process or not many use it and have proven to get excellent results from it. Some examples of individuals who have used The Scientific Method and achieved the desired results are Albert Einstein, Galileo Galilei, Roger Bacon, Aristotle, and Plato to name a few. These individuals used all or some of the 5 steps of The Scientific Method to develop ideas or solve problems. The 5 steps of The Scientific Method include the following 1) State the problem 2) Make the observation 3) Develop a hypothesis 4) Experiment and 5) Arrive at the conclusion.
The second method used by many individuals is a method called The Eureka Phenomenon. The Eureka Phenomenon is a theory developed by a man named Isaac Asimov. Asimov’s theory concludes that an individual can arrive at the solution to a problem through using both voluntary and involuntary state’s of mind jointly. Although the use of voluntary thought is enough to stand on its own, Asimov states that sometimes letting go of a problem and learning to relax is the best way at arriving at the problem’s solution.
Asimov’s theory has been proven not through the use of The Scientific Method but through the use of life’s experience, not once but time and time again. According to Asimov’s beliefs, “It is my belief, you see, that thinking is a double phenomenon like breathing. ” (Asimov 939) In regards to using the voluntary thought process, according to Asimov, this allows the first step to solving the problem then letting go and allowing the unconscious, involuntary thought process to take over is the sole theory behind The Eureka Phenomenon. This allows for complete freedom for the mind o develop its own way of solving problems by using its own built in mechanics.
Sometimes thoughts and ideas to solve problems come through what is called intuition. Intuition according to the mirriam-webster dictionary is immediate apprehension or cognition; the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference. Intuition according to Asimov is stated here, “I suspect it is the involuntary faculty of thought that gives rise to what we call “a flash of intuition,” something that I imagine must be merely the result of unnoticed thinking. (Asimov 940) Asimov’s example of this theory is through the real life situation of the great intellect Archimedes. The king during the time of Archimedes tasked him with the job of finding out the value of his crown of gold. Archimedes troubled by trying to arrive at the method to figure this out decided to step away from his work and head to the baths. The baths during this time was a public place of relaxation, where people choose to free themselves from the troubles of the day.
While there in the bath relaxing Archimedes suddenly came up with the method to solve his problem. He then ran home naked out of the bath shouting “Eureka, Eureka” all the way home. Eureka a Greek word means I’ve got it. Asimov has used this Eureka Phenomenon in his own life as well by getting up from his problems and heading to the movies or enjoying a stroll and upon his trip back suddenly he found his problem had been solved. There have been many 20th century studies on this very theory of The Eureka Phenomenon using philosophical viewpoints.
Paul Eckman, a psychologist has tied in the involuntary and voluntary thought processes with an individual’s body language. Eckman feels that the way the body moves can help develop methods to solve problems. Eckman’s research has opened the window of the body as being a major involvement in the process of problem solving tied in with the subconscious mind. Eckman’s belief in regards to involuntary movement and thought is, “It is widely believed that involuntary body language is the most accurate way into a person’s subconscious. (Eckman)
The ability to control or not control an individual’s body movement does indeed come from the cradles of the mind whether voluntary or involuntary. Another example of a case study involves using groups to arrive at a single solution to a problem. The idea here is that the more minds that huddle together, the more options that come about to solve single problems and issues that arise from trying to solve the problems. This does not always mean individuals have to be the smartest in the bunch, just participating and allowing one’s thoughts to become part of the process is significant enough.
This particular study was pioneered by a man named Christopher Chabris. Christopher Chabris, a psychology professor believes that through his studies, “The best-performing groups also had members that cooperated well. Members of such groups let each other talk more often-individuals didn’t try to hog the conversation. ” (Chabris) The great thinker and scientist Aristotle’s thoughts on these matters have proven to give objective viewpoints to both the Scientific Method and The Eureka Phenomenon.
Aristotle’s role as great thinker and scientist has contributed much to the thought processes of modern and ancient times through his works such as described in books of thought and articles on Steroscopic thinking and the law of resemblances. In conclusion the many ideals of how individual’s arrive at solving problems is up to the individual solving the problem, but more than once when scientific reasoning has proven to frustrate, the theory of “The Eureka Phenomenon” has saved the day.