Cognition is the process of developing one's style of thinking, learning, and processing information. While third-dimensional humans cannot ideate (create an idea), and few can formulate a REAL thought, other than opinions about their emotions, the act of cognition stems from the level of the Soul; stepped down through the three lower planes to make impression upon a physical-dense brain.
There are actually four levels of cognition with which humanity in lesson may process, yet humanity en masse today only works with the lowest processing level, that of linear thought. A few people are able to cognize at the level of associative, or "inner thought", and even fewer are reaching to work with pure mental, or "lateral thought" processing. Only those people who are working in direct contact with their souls are able to begin working with soul-thought, also known as "spherical" thought.
That level of humanity which is receptive only to the physical plane and the impress of their five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell) are limited to the realm of linear thought. Linear thought is limited to the physical dense realm; proceeds from a set of fixed opinions or assumptions, and reaches conclusions based strictly on those base assumptions. These assumptions and opinions are rarely reflective or representative of outer "Truth", but are largely formulated from prior conditioning and imprinting, and may be formulated or retained out of fear. Linear thought does not deviate from this conditioning, but proceeds directly from it to a conclusion that is nearly identical to the original formulation of the statement. Most of the paradigms of this world, including the ones upon which business, religion, and government are based, proceed from this limited sphere of information processing. Because so much of linear thought is based on fixed opinion or assumption, linear-based statements, fiats, and policies tend to be populated with "shoulds", "oughts", and "musts". A few examples of statements proceeding from linear thought are given below:
"All women are manipulative and are out to trap men at every turn." (Based on the assumptions that A) women are this way because my dad/brother/uncle/whoever told me so B) because a girl in high school treated me this way, all girls/women will treat me the same way C) my mother took my dad to the "cleaners" during their divorce, etc.)
To truly free yourself from the trap of linear thought, start becoming aware of it. When someone makes a statement, especially one that seems over-generalizable or proceeding from a series of "shoulds" or "oughts", question it! Ask "why?" or "what's really being said here?" When you find yourself making such blanket statments or drawing such conclusions, think deeply upon what that conclusion is based upon and examine those base assumptions and opinions. Are they truly yours? Are they founded in outer reality, or on inner fear? Do they echo the opinions of your mother/father/ grandparents/ siblings/ teacher/ minister/ whoever? Are there alternative situations which may disprove that statement or conclusion? (For example, the linear conclusion "All women are manipulative" can be dispersed by calling to mind any personal female friends or relatives who have never manipulated you or violated your trust).
The entity known as Kryon challenges us to "not think
like humans"; in short, not to engage in linear thought. Left to its own
devices, linear thought propagates itself, building further erroneous
conclusions based on prior erroneous conclusions and assumptions. Taking
careful assessment of one's thought process and upon what it is based is a large
step to freeing oneself from the "wheel of linear thought."
Whereas linear thought proceeds from the limited awareness of the five senses of the physical plane, associative thought proceeds from awareness of the astral plane integrated with the physical plane, and is the next step in the evolution of human cognition. Associative thought is preconscious (Lyon, Duane); below the level of conscious awareness, is conceptual rather than verbal, and non-linear rather than linear. This level of cognition is responsible for 1) associating current experiences and thoughts with prior memories, 2) filtering unwelcome,taboo, or embarrassing thoughts and feelings, 3) implementing conscious perceptions, and 4) classifying, storing, and recalling strong emotional, self-centered memories.
Much of associative thought is positive-oriented, and can be used to stabilize and harmonize our emotional environment. For example, a person may smell a certain fragrance, and suddenly be overwhelmed with memories and feelings of a point in time in their past when they were happy, secure, and loved. Often there is no pattern as to how these thoughts and feelings are processed; they simply wash over the person in a massive paradigm, all associated with a smell. If the person feels happy, secure, and loved when they smell this scent, they can work directly with that scent to bolster attitudes of happiness, security, and belovedness. Using the scent in times of doubt or grief may actually help the person come to terms with the challenging emotions s/he is facing.
Because the bulk of humanity cannot cognize at this level, many people are imprisoned by it within the realm of linear thought. Such people tend to view the world in terms of "black & white", or from a persecutor/victim, savior/victim standpoint. It has been shown that subliminal programming, the process of feeding programming images to the subconsious mind at faster-than-conscious-level processing speeds (usually during audio or video transmissions), is most effective when used upon an audience that is largely unaware of their associative processes. Being thus unaware, they are subject to anyone who has the ability to manipulate their associative impressions and subconscious thoughts.
Even for those members of humanity who are beginning to work creatively with associative thought may become entrapped by preconscious associations of which they were unaware. Examples of the entrapment of associative thought are as follows:
A student, about to give an oral report in front of his class, stammers, turns pale, sweats, and balks at following through with it. (Based on a prior experience in kindergarten when he acted in a skit, forgot an important line, and was the laughingstock of the kids in the class, who taunted him cruelly about it.)
Working in an office, a businessman hears a song playing on a radio in another office, and, without explanation, bursts into tears. (Based on an experience in his childhood when he found out that his mother had suddenly died, this same song was playing in the background.)
There are several techniques by which a person can become aware of his/her associative thought processes. One is by using simple relaxation and/or meditation techniques which can connect the person to their inner subjective self and enable them to understand some of the root events that are creating their unexplainable emotional reactions. Often, people may not embark upon such a self-study until their emotional pain becomes so great that they seek out therapy or counseling.
The Bach Flower Essences are homeopathic essential oil remedies for many deep-seated emotional difficulties. These remedies work directly through the power of the associative (astral) mind-form. In use since the 1930's, the flower remedies are powerful in helping people adjust the associative thought form and work harmoniously with the bridge between thought and emotional cognition.
A highly effective technique used to gain control of the associative thought process is known as neurolinguistic programming (NLP). Using associative thought, NLP links emotions to actions or statements that serve to empower the individual and reprogram him/her from negative to positive emotional responses. NLP is used predominantly in reprogramming the associative process to where the person has cognitive control over his/her emotional reactions.
There are several links to NLP and associative thought
resources at the bottom of this page, in the Links section.
Lateral thought is, literally, the bridge between the persona-oriented realms of linear and associative thought and the soul-oriented realm of spherical thought. Lateral thought is based on pure mental processing, integrated with emotional response and physical sensation. Lateral thought proceeds from a set of FACTS, but not assumptions. Lateral thought, in fact, makes NO assumptions; determining that it is the initial assumptions that limit the possibilities of the solution. The classic example of a person using near-pure lateral thought is the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. His uncanny ability to determine the solution to otherwise unsolvable problems was due largely from his ability to observe the facts of a situation and make no initial assumptions about it.
Lateral thought, therefore, is pure deductive reasoning. Many people believe that they are engaging in pure deduction when, in fact, they are proceeding from a strictly linear perspective and arriving at a conclusion that they already held from their previously fixed assumptions and opinions. Deductive reasoning is being able to deduce a solution from observable facts without preconditioned assumptions or opinions.
Today, "lateral thought" is a popular corporate buzzword that is too often equated with problems of dwarves standing on ice blocks, little boys in elevators, and other ridiculous, impractical situations. These problems are exercises in using lateral thinking, but they are NOT lateral thought, and to reduce the entire field of lateral thought to "parlor games" and "creativity skills training seminars" is to do it a great disservice.
Edward DeBono identifies four critical factors associated with lateral thought: 1) recognition of dominant ideas that polarize perception of a problem, 2) searching for differ ways of looking at things, 3) relaxation of rigid control of thinking (linear thought), and 4) use of chance to encourage other ideas. (DeBono, Edward) Thus, using lateral thought, one breaks up the elements (facts) of a problem or situation and rearranges them in a (seemingly) random pattern to arrive at a different view of the situation, and a possible solution. Those who are adept at doing this are the Sherlock Holmes of the world, while the rest of the world stumbles along like Dr. Watson, proceeding along the crystallized lines of postassumptive thought. Lateral thought is thus both creative and dynamic, and incorporates the properties of associative thought (the ability to regroup and reassign associative meanings) as well as linear thought (the ability to proceed along a line of thought to a conclusion).
An example of lateral thought would be in the following situation. Company ABC has a product X that they have introduced to a certain market. Marketing has indicated that the product will be a success, production has ensured high quality, Finance has approved its funding, and it's now on the market. Except, now, it's failing dismally in its sales. Management is stymied. By all indications, the product's convenience and quality, along with relatively low cost, should have guaranteed its success. Using linear thought processes, management determines that the product has not been promoted successfully, and embarks upon an expensive, new advertising campaign. The product continues to fail in meeting its expected sales. Management is on the brink of giving up, when a young executive decides to analyze the problem from a completely different perspective, looking at the FACTS without any prior ASSUMPTIONS. The facts are:
In this particular culture, cans, jars, and bottles containing food had labels picturing their contents, since 90% of the people in this country couldn't read or write. This culture had become accustomed to expecting what they saw on the label of a jar to be contained in a jar. The Gerber label showed....a human baby.
Gruesome, huh? That, however, was the solution to the problem. No one wanted to feed dead babies to their live ones. The young executive, using lateral thought, rearranged the facts of the problem, realized what had been staring them in the face (literally) the whole time, and brought his findings before the board of directors. The labels were immediately changed to indicate the type of food each jar contained, and sales skyrocketed.
Lateral thought techniques are now being taught to people in management, and even in school today, to bring people to a new level of creative thinking. Lateral thought is the bridge between the lower human-based thought forms and the ultimate cognitive process: spherical thought.
Spherical thought is soul-based thought; holisitic in its processing, seeing all sides of an issue or situation simultaneously and understanding it on all of its possible levels. Unlike the frenetic concrete mental nature of lateral thought, spherical thought flows naturally from the Buddhic plane to impact upon the lower planes of awareness. Spherical thinking is true Esoteric cognition in its very essence; transcendent in its awareness, abstract rather than concrete, process rather than end product, and unlimited to three dimensions. Unlike concrete thought, which is limited to the level of lateral processing (see above), spherical thought transcends concrete consciousness into universal consciousness. Spherical thinking can only be approximated while in a relaxed or meditative state of mind; unaccessible from beta-wave brain frequencies, it can only be accessed at alpha- and theta-wave frequencies.
Whereas lateral thought observes a set of FACTS and, without prior assumptions, arranges and rearranges them to come up with a correct solution to a situation, spherical thought begins with a concept and proceeds to make observations about that concept, widening its orb of understanding of the concept with each new observation made, until a total comprehension of the concept is reached (if possible). Remember, spherical thinking is process-oriented rather than product-oriented, and thus is an infinite process. Spherical thought will approximate total understanding of a concept, but never fully reach it since there is always one more possible view of the concept. In this setting, spherical thought is pure Inductive reasoning, as lateral thought is pure deductive reasoning.
For an example of spherical thought, consider the concept of "World Peace." What does World Peace mean to you? What do you think it would mean to others whom you know, such as your mother/father/brother/sister/kids? Would they view this concept the same way that you would? What do you think "World Peace" would mean to someone living in a war-torn country (or neighborhood)? Or someone who lived in a country where over 30% of the population were starving? Or someone in a country in which a tyrannical dictator governed every aspect of their life and survival? How would they view "World Peace" differently from you? Would there be any similarities? How would World Peace be viewed from a purely masculine perspective? From a feminine perspective? From the perspective of a marine biologist? From the perspective of a priest? From the perspective of a polititian? From the perspective of an average everyday worker in your own country?
As you keep adding different perspectives on to the meaning of the concept of "World Peace," and refining the meaning as you proceed, you draw closer and closer to conceptualizing the true nature of World Peace. If one of your concerns in this life is to help bring about World Peace, it is important to understand it from as many different points of view as possible, rather than from a singular point of view (yours) or a few (your closest associates). To a soldier, World Peace may mean the cessation of all wars on Earth. To a mother of a starving child, World Peace may embody enough food and resources for all people on Earth. To a priest, World Peace may mean the establishment of the brotherhood of all Mankind on Earth. Are these goals conflicting? Can they be resolved into a working plan of action? Can you help envision all of these possibilities and, by your powers, co-create them through prayer, meditation, and a directed focus of power?
As one becomes more adept at being able to think spherically, envisioning
as many different aspects of a situation, one will be able to better ideate and
create reality from those ideas. World Peace is, of course, a vast concept
that will take much effort to manifest; yet, with enough people ideating it in a
spherical approach and radiating their interpretation of it in Divine Will, it
can be manifested on the Earth. Other conceptual applications of spherical
thinking can be related to artistic creation, product development, invention,
and innovation, educational systems, and practical philosophies for future
living. The purpose of spherical thought is envisioning and ideating the
thoughts of Spirit and being able to relay them as accurately as possible to the
practical realm where they may be made manifest.
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