How to Think Deeply, Be a Self Learner and Philosophize
Updated: Nov 18, 2023
How to Think Deeply
One of the purposes of thinking is to obtain, process and understand knowledge. Generally, there are two main types of knowledge: knowledge that comes from exposure (learning new concepts, gaining more familiarity with a certain subject) and knowledge that is translated into wisdom. In order to think, one needs to expose oneself to a certain source of information (the internet or the library, for example), and the second is to use that knowledge in the process of one's thoughts. An internal piece of knowledge that is generated on the basis of external knowledge is called an insight. An a piece of knowledge that stems both internally and is based on external knowledge, which can be used to plan ahead, is called foresight. Lastly, when it stems from past events, it can be called a hindsight.
When one uses the knowledge one has in one's arsenal to create something new (a conclusion, an opinion, even a book), one produces wisdom, and wisdom is an example of a higher level of thinking, in which one can claim to be deep-thinking.
Deep thought, is, overall, an astute, cognition-based production and understanding of new and existing knowledge. And the deep thinker is like an industrial complex of such resource. And yes, knowledge can be regarded as a resource, and thus, an asset. By having and generating knowledge, you can gain power in society, hence why philosophers, for example, may be viewed as powerful and authorative.
You can use this article as a source for deep-thinking through the process of reflection, and even seeing an ant colony on the earth can get someone to think deeply. Thinking deeply is to find or create the bigger picture or meaning which lies in every piece of information. One can argue that there are more ways, however, contradicting a statement is by itself the ability to create something new from an already existing entity and its symbolism.
Thereby, deep-thinking/wisdom is an equivalent to art: you have the colors, tools and patterns in the form of knowledge, and the art piece you produce from it, can be identified as a form of wisdom: you create something new from an already existing resource: Apply what you have learned previously.
The element which drives one to seek wisdom is mystery, or in other words: the unknown. Hence, the purpose of deep thinking is to gain knowledge about something you don’t know. And of course, if it has practical value, the product of your intellectual findings can be translated into wisdom, by being applied into action in a clever way.
Some people may refer to clever ways as "correct' and unwise ways as "incorrect" or as "mistakes". Either way, what defines a clever/correct application of knoweldge, AKA wisdom, is the results of your actions. As such, the wise man or woman is a good decision-maker.
In contrast to simple thinking, deep thinking is done independently or in an intellectual discussion or brainstorm, and takes more time and dedication.
It's possible that wisdom, or the beneficial application of knowledge, can be extracted from every possible piece of information. Therefore, deep thinking is always possible. It does not necessarily imply that only people with a high enough IQ can engage in such an action, because even a person who is not highly intelligent can create something new from the knowledge they have.
Everyone has some kind of knowledge at their disposal. All one needs to do is to be aware of that knowledge, and ask questions that relate to that knowledge, which may create further questions, which in turn may create new knowledge, which is the answer one has reached.
How to be an Auto-Didact
One can learn to think more deeply and philosophically through the practice of autodidacticism. The meaning of autodidacticism is self-education or self-learning, or in other words, to be one's own teacher.
I don't really think there is a more personally-adjusted method of deepening one's thought than simply being alone for a period of time in one's daily life, and simply contemplating on questions which one sees as important and valuable to oneself. It can then be translated to the quest for answers by your own accord, externally of yourself. That is in fact how I studied the English language.
How to Philosophize
Philosophizing, a form of deep thinking, is expressed through a series of multiple questions and answers, based on examination. It is done on the existential degree, and is about the meanings and functionalities of things and beings. All in the name of researching the truth beyond mere-information gathering, like journalists do.
It is also known as the Socratic Method. An auto-didact, by the way, is more capable of practicing Socrates' method independently than people who are more intellectually passive or dependent in comparison. Combine an auto-didact and a philosopher and you can get a great thinker. An active great thinker is that that constantly philosophizes in his or her mind, forming and examining ideas, and trying to get ways to apply said ideas into reality. Their intellect is like an ever-developing, mental organism that is able to feed on its own material for quite long, with reduced chances of ever getting bored.
A simple or ordinary form of thinking can be described as having few questions and answers, or even just a question and an answer (especially if they themselves are simple and shallow. This is not deep thinking because producing wisdom requires progressive and complex exploration of a subject.
Philosophizing, and deep thinking in general, are essentially more-than-simple cognitive processes where you examine pieces of information you either recieve or create, and/or convert them into practice. Writing for example can easily be the product of such mental activities, hence why a writing or any other form of media can reflect the thinking of the writer/content creator; they are literally conversions from the "mental dimension" to what we exclusively deem as "the real world".
And every philosopher that converts these functions into media can be deemed a content creator. It would be very difficult to deem a philosopher as such if they keep all the philosophizing to themselves. Thus, the media they generate is the most basic proof of their philosophership (AKA, the quality of being a philosopher).