Are smart people constantly thinking?

Answer by Aubrey Bryant:

First: Define “smart”. Then: Define “thinking”.

Sometimes I ask my wife, “What are you thinking about?” or “What’s on your mind?” Almost invariably she will say, “Oh, nothing.” I tell her, “You’ll have to show me how you do that one day.”

Thought, at least to me, is mind in motion. I have a theory that we humans are really nothing more than points of consciousness, awareness, and that we don’t actually possess minds but have access to The Mind. (Schrödinger famously said, “There is one Mind in the universe.”) At our very core, we are simply nothing more than consciousness – an extension of The Mind into the physical universe. Wrapped around that core are such temporal things as “personality”, “ego”, “likes and dislikes”, “habits”, “talents”, “neuroses”, “idiosyncrasies”, a name, a body, etc., etc.

That stated, I suspect that humans are always “thinking”, whether they be “smart” or “stupid” or somewhere in between. Smart people tend to entertain more complex thoughts and are more philosophical and metaphysical. Stupid people tend to think in terms of the physical, temporal, material. There’s a big difference between contemplating something like “Why does anything exist?” and “I wonder what Kanye’s next hit single will be like.”

Humans are always thinking about something as that is part of our “job”, if you will, as humans. One of the characteristics of “being human” that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is our ability for higher cognitive reasoning. One of the things that makes us human, as opposed to a corpse, is being conscious.

You claim that you find yourself thinking about literally nothing a lot. This is a sign of intelligence. There is what is referred to as “monkey mind”, which is basically the constant background chatter that our brains tune into by default. It doesn’t stop and it often doesn’t make any sense. An intelligent person is able to tune that down or even off, clear the mind, as it were, and focus on one thing, even if that “one thing” is “no thing” at all. It is said that Nirvana is a vast shimmering void, a dazzling darkness, a subject without an object, pure consciousness. If you are able to attain that level of consciousness while in this material realm, you are way ahead of the rest of the apes wrongly called “human”. Keep it up. It will serve you well.

Source: Are smart people constantly thinking?


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