Thinkpiece

I read a ton of essays and posts after the election – do we still call them thinkpeices – “to get some perspective” “to get other people’s thoughts.” I read pundit thoughts, journalist thoughts, politician thoughts, and economist thoughts. I read foreign thoughts and domestic thoughts. I read black thoughts and Asian thoughts and Native American thoughts and immigrant thoughts and I read gay thoughts. I read Democrat thoughts and liberal thoughts, I read Republican thoughts and conservative thoughts. I read communist thoughts, anarchist thoughts, capitalist thoughts, elite thoughts, white working class thoughts, Christian thoughts, Islamic thoughts, Buddhist thoughts, and humanist thoughts. I read scared thoughts and angry thoughts and spiteful thoughts and wise thoughts and ignorant thoughts and a hundred patriotic thoughts and every thought was completely different.

Then I thought: what if the Big Problem here is all the thinking? What if the problem is our need to assert our thoughts, to explain our process, to be understood by others before we even bother to understand ourselves, to be externally affirmed to prove something internally? What if all this thinking is a way to avoid the secret, terrifying feeling that we are nothing more than the words we think to ourselves over and over again, and that’s why it can seem so terrible when someone says they’re thinking something else, and that’s why we work so hard to make our words occupy the thoughts of others? Would we be the same with different words repeating in our heads? Would we exist at all without the constant noise of all these thoughts? Exist? I think yes! Because what if intelligence is not defined but bound by the thoughts it constructs? What if hidden beneath all the thoughts there is something more fundamental, more important than what we think?

Then I thought: if I think there is no answer to these thoughts, should I even bother thinking them?