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When is thinking excessive?

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#1
I've been feeling like I spend way too much time thinking, and not enough time living.
Thinking eats a ton of my time. It sounds crazy but sometimes I think about something for two hours straight without realizing. It feels like just a few minutes had passed.

All the time I spend thinking isn't done in one sitting though. If that were the case, I wouldn't be able to spend this much time on it. I guess our minds have a safety valve that makes you stop when you are becoming excessive.

But, the way to get around that is by breaking things up. Spending 8 hours a day sitting in a corner and thinking becomes possible when you break it up into two hour increments. I'll spend two hours, then take a break and numb myself with TV, then while doing some chores I'll get lost in thought and spend another hour or so, then go have lunch, then see something that triggers me to get lost in thought for another two hours, etc. It's almost dangerous how that works. Breaking things up is dangerous because you don't realize how much you are actually doing it. It seems like little bits, but the little bits add up big time.

And the thinking I do isn't the kind of passive thinking people do when they sit on the beach and watch the waves while thoughts pass in their mind. It is VERY focused. I cannot be watching waves or anything because of how much deep concentration I need. I cannot even breath. I close my eyes, hold my breath, and visualize things. I imagine myself in hypothetical scenarios, or take myself back in time, or do in depth analysis. Then, I come up for air and breath a little. Then take a deep breath and go back in.

Days, weeks, months, go by and I look back and wonder what the hell did I even do all this time? I hate it when people ask me questions like "so, how was your weekend?" because it makes me think back to how I spent it, and I literally am unable to come up with an answer. Sometimes, I feel shock and disbelief, wondering "did I really spend the entire weekend doing ... that? That's not even humanely possible." Sometimes it feels like waking up from a coma, a month later.

I envy other people who are free to do what they want. When the weekend arrives, they can say to themselves "what do I feel like doing today?" and do whatever they feel like doing. They can follow their whims and seize the day and experience the world.

With me, I always feel like I have a constant backlog of things that I need to figure out, to mentally "work" on. When the weekend arrives, I don't feel free to go out and live. I feel like "oh now I finally have time to go finish this mental work that is pending". It is like when you are in school and have a big test coming up.. you never feel free to go hang out. You have the obligation of studying constantly pending.

Even emotional, introspective people do not have this problem. When they 'introspect', they still do things, they still live. They paint, listen to music, do any artistic expression, write, go for a long hike, they process their emotions in a more present way. Even the type of passive thinking they do - sitting on the beach watching waves while thoughts flutter through their mind - still feels more present than what I do. During those introspective times, they are still living. What I do - being completely up in my head analyzing shit - doesn't feel like that at all.

And the worst thing is, sometimes I spend months analyzing something but never even come up with an answer.

And I feel really bad thinking about how much of my life I lost because of this. It literally feels like I did not live portions of the life I was given. I was not alive. I was in and out of consciousness.

But then, I wonder.. what is the alternative, really?

If all the thinking I do is an unnecessary waste, then it means I've been doing it all wrong, and I need to just stop. I need to ignore these thoughts and go live, like everyone else does.

But, if all the thinking I do is necessary, if these thoughts are important to process, then I can't just ignore it..that wouldn't be healthy. So I must continue. But then..how come everyone else can just leave freely? Are they better at figuring things out than I am? Do they have a better method? Or..are they just neglecting these important issues and being mentally unhealthy?

So I guess the ultimate questions are - (a) is my thinking important or a waste? and (b) if important, what is the right way to go about it in order to accomplish it while sacrificing the least amount of time living?

I'll reply to this post a little later with examples of the kind of shit I think about, to see if it is really important or not
 
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#2
I have problems being present because of my internet activities. I do not see my thoughts. I lack introspection in the literal sense. Close my eyes and it's just my eyelids. I rely more on my unconscious to tell me what I saw or heard or even just abstract ideas.

I have built up emotional trauma and I hold my emotions inside, I do not cry but two days ago I did for about 60 seconds. I currently am using load music on my playlist to induce being present. The energy of not crying moves into my body and I pay attention. Also by Taoist practice, I observe my body without trying to control what I do. I am trying to remove those blockages inside me that drain my energy. I feel the music in my body. Too much I have ignore my body in excess. And crying is supposed to release you from pain. Unless you feel the pain directly you can either suppress it or release it with crying. I am going with feeling it directly. Feel it without controlling it. Detaching from the body lets the pain as energy flow to the lowest energy state.

Music can get you into the body and so can Taoist meditation. But to be present you need to experience the body. Feeling alive requires emotions. Emotions, as the diagram says, is in the body. My emotions are too much in my head.
 

Niclmaki

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#3
Wow, a lot to unpack in there. Guess the easiest way to respond is with bullet points.

  • It could be an addiction if you really believe it is negatively impacting your life. I doubt this though.
  • I do believe it IS really important to do. Even if you do figure nothing out, at least the road was travelled. Just try not to travel it over again and again. Cyclical thinking is not very useful.
  • I think it is as good as any activity in life. -At least it is for me personally.- My thoughts and imagination are probably just one step below full blown hallucinations. Sometimes my eyes are literally closed when I’m in thought, sometimes not. But they might as well be, everything just melts away,
  • Others may not appreciate thinking as a fun activity, but that shouldn’t put a stink on it. I wouldn’t really try persuading anyone to see it this way either.
  • Perhaps if I lived alone I would be troubled about it, as you are, but I have too much going on to really swim in my thoughts for a long time. I would probably enjoy it for a very long time. (Ne is also my dominant function, not Ti)
  • Do you get enough sleep? If I am in super thinking mode my head is usually clear after a good nights sleep. It is not a “cure” but it is a rest for a few hours every morning while the brain “boots up.”
 

Serac

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#4
I stopped doing that shit when I started writing stuff down. When you look at the notes later, you realize how repetitive, circular, and ultimately useless all those thoughts are.

Eventually I even stopped doing verbose notes – and being verbose in general – because ultimately, words are mostly a source of confusion.

Brevity is the soul of wit
 

HDINTP

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#5
No. I don't think so. If you really wanted to "live" you would and if you came to the conclusion you have to do it just go on - only remember it is ultimately YOUR decision.

Think about a professional athete. Does he spend too much time training and all the necessities around? It might be just that you try to become professional thinker...:D
 
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#6
A quick example of the kind of stuff I think about: This happens a lot, questioning a specific situation that comes up in my life leads to fundamental philosophical questions that are so hard to answer that it gives me an existential crisis.

A friend of mine said he has been feeling depressed this week, so will take a few days off to ride it out, spending his time drinking tea, cuddling in blankets, taking long walks, etc. And then I felt "It must be so nice to just ignore the depression, take it easy, and go about doing what you feel like doing instead of feeling like you now have this obligation to engage, make sense of it all, and fix it.

But then, I thought... doesn't the latter count as 'doing what you feel like doing' too? Even though it feels like an obligation, you are still choosing to fulfill that obligation because it feels better than shirking it. So you still "feel" like doing it, in the technical sense.

So, if drinking tea counts as "doing what you feel like doing", and having to figure things out also counts as "doing what you feel like doing", then they are both the same. So why would the former feel better than the latter? Why does the latter feel like you aren't free to be "doing what you feel like doing"

And this opened up broader questions such as:
- Is there such a thing as obligation? Since we always have free will
- Is there such a thing as coercion? Aren't all our choices free? Even if someone has a gun to your head you are choosing to do x rather than die.
- Even in situations where someone has OCD and feels compelled to wash their hand, isn't that a free choice too because they are choosing to wash the hand rather than tolerate the feeling of being dirty. Wouldn't it be safe to say even they are just free to be "doing what they feel like doing"



And when answering hard questions like this, rather than just thinking, I try to figure them out by creating hypothetical situations to change variables in each, and test how that change affects how I feel. That way I can see which is the variable that makes a difference. But that requires so much concentration because the only way to see how I'd feel is if I vividly imagine myself in that scenario. If it isn't vivid enough, it won't evoke a feeling.
 
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#7
Maybe it is not the thinking that is the problem but it is the problems you think about that are the problem. 1984 is a book of which I do not read its type anymore because it is too dark. Brave New Wold I have seen animated tellings of and I am fine with it because it applies to the future which I am familiar with. The ethical questions are much easier than 1984.

do x rather than die.
Getting into this, what pain threshold would be needed for death to be preferable. What x would you do to eliminate pain? How do you escape your own pain tolerance? I gave up on this question when I knew I am never going to be in a position to truly experience a choice so hard as to what I scare myself with thinking about. But I have been faced with the emptiness of existing in a meaningless universe. But then I knew that even though I lacked meaning in my life at the time, I knew I had felt it before and that I would again. After all the brain simply needs to change under the right conditions and negative effect is gone. Death is easier than pain yet I had hope because of those good memories that remained even when I was shut down by those empty feelings.
 
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#8
Reading your previous threads, I'd say there is such a thing as thinking too much. You try to rationalize and think your way out of every situation. Have you asked yourself why you spend so much time thinking about these issues? Have you asked yourself how it works in your favor?

I might be very wrong, but to me it seems you are compensating for your lack of understanding of the human mind. You spend all this time thinking and analyzing because you don't understand humans. From your previous threads, it seems to me you have a weakens in how you perceive people
 
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#9
Reading your previous threads, I'd say there is such a thing as thinking too much. You try to rationalize and think your way out of every situation. Have you asked yourself why you spend so much time thinking about these issues? Have you asked yourself how it works in your favor?

I might be very wrong, but to me it seems you are compensating for your lack of understanding of the human mind. You spend all this time thinking and analyzing because you don't understand humans. From your previous threads, it seems to me you have a weakens in how you perceive people
Because everything in life rests on these underlying philosophical/psychological fundaments. And if you don't know the fundamentals, you don't know anything at all. Your entire knowledge of the world comes into question. You can't trust your own thoughts or beliefs or experiences anymore.

Kind of along the lines of how Descartes felt like
 

Absurdity

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#10
Because everything in life rests on these underlying philosophical/psychological fundaments. And if you don't know the fundamentals, you don't know anything at all. Your entire knowledge of the world comes into question. You can't trust your own thoughts or beliefs or experiences anymore.

Kind of along the lines of how Descartes felt like
No it doesn't. You can know plenty of things without bothering with those things. The majority of humans who have ever existed have probably never thought of any of those things for more than ten minutes over the course of their entire lives.

Papa McCarthy with a parable:

There was a guy who was a great wingshot on a quail hunt in Georgia. He killed everything he saw, he dropped ’em all morning. One of the other guys said, ‘You’re the best wingshot I’ve ever seen.’ At lunch the guy asked him, ‘Do you shoot with one eye open or both?’ He paused and thought about it. Finally, he said, ‘I don’t know.’
 

Polaris

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#11
I think you need to write your thoughts out. Having everything in front of you makes it easier to process. If you come back to it the next day, you can easilier spot mistakes, etc. I guess early philosophers did not really decide to ‘become’ philosophers, they just did what you are doing. Then someone else looked at their stuff some years later and went, "hang on, that’s interesting", or "hang on, that’s not right", and wrote a whole new philosophy.

The fact that you are processing these thoughts independently just means you have understood them in a more fundamental and applicable way....maybe. At least, to your own benefit.

However....if you feel like you are wasting your time, then that kind of captures the problem you presented on free will, which a bit ironic in a funny way, sorry...meaning you are sitting around doing something you deem to be absolutely fundamental to your existence - it is almost as if you cannot move on until you’ve figured these things out for yourself. Believe me, I know exactly what you are going through.

However, there is a point where this processing becomes a bit like OCD...and suddenly you are questioning the questioning.....

....and this is probably where it would be healthy to take a break and go for a marathon swim in the local pool or something, even if that is against your actual will. Because even if you know that this is not what you would rather be doing, and you’re just dying to figure this thing out, a break from it is guaranteed to free up space on the hard drive, so that you can think clearer later. So you will still be doing what you want, you just did something to boost your thinking and you felt better for it physically.

Being caught in obsessive thinking may feel like free will in the moment, but your metacognition is telling you something different - this other person has an overarching goal, and that is to make your thinking more efficient and less compromising to your health.

Maybe go against your will, and do something to give yourself a break. Sometimes it is good to do things that you really don’t feel like doing because it brings a different perspective. And isn’t a new perspective what you actually want?

Not sure if this makes sense. I may be wrong.
 
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#12
Because everything in life rests on these underlying philosophical/psychological fundaments. And if you don't know the fundamentals, you don't know anything at all. Your entire knowledge of the world comes into question. You can't trust your own thoughts or beliefs or experiences anymore.

Kind of along the lines of how Descartes felt like
Yikes, I spelled weakens. Anyways. In some cases, people get a "high" from thinking about certain issues. Which tends to make them obsess about those issues as it triggers a certain type of reward feel. It stops revolving around figuring things out, it revolves mainly about ruminating in a way that releases that high.
 

QuickTwist

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#13
My take?

You are underchallenged. You are feeling guilty for not doing as much as you think you should which is prolly causing a lot of dissonance in your thought process and some depression.

My suggestion?

Do things that make you feel competent. Do things you feel you would actually enjoy. Force yourself to do these types of things regularly throughout the day. Set challenging but doable goals for yourself outside of your job. Start with really small goals at first if you have to, but be cognizant that you are accomplishing things. Give yourself 2-3 goals that you can accomplish everyday and these goals should work toward a larger goal that will be fulfilled later down the road. What this will do is give you something that you can look back on and go "I did this" which is really important for where you are at atm. And as others have said, you need to start writing your thoughts down. You might be surprised what writing for 30 min a day can do. The mind has this thing where your subconscious can be dealing with something and so this causes changes in thought or behavior. Once you write stuff down, it kinda free's up your psyched to do/think/behave in a different way. You should also look to read what you actually are interested in thinking about. This will give you a whole bunch of new stuff to consider when you are thinking which will make the times you are thinking more enjoyable. You also might want to consider exercising on a semi-regular basis. This will release endorphins which will make you feel better, help keep your mind sharp and your body in a healthy state.

Other random things to consider:

Take an adult ed class, doesn't matter what, but an art class would be good.
Go to the mall or restaurant and sit down somewhere and just observe other people; go people watching.
Go on Youtube and watch some debates of topics you find interesting.
Join a group from Meetup.com.
Find a person or two or three that you can talk about what you have been thinking about recently. You're already on a forum; I'm sure some people here would be interested.

I say all this stuff without knowing anything about your job or education level or anything. Just take what is applicable and discard the rest.
 
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#14
ruminator said:
And the thinking I do isn't the kind of passive thinking people do when they sit on the beach and watch the waves while thoughts pass in their mind. It is VERY focused. I cannot be watching waves or anything because of how much deep concentration I need. I cannot even breath. I close my eyes, hold my breath, and visualize things. I imagine myself in hypothetical scenarios, or take myself back in time, or do in depth analysis. Then, I come up for air and breath a little. Then take a deep breath and go back in.
What an artsy way to depict the difference between Pi and Ji introspection.

So, if drinking tea counts as "doing what you feel like doing", and having to figure things out also counts as "doing what you feel like doing", then they are both the same. So why would the former feel better than the latter? Why does the latter feel like you aren't free to be "doing what you feel like doing"
The former is a meditative state. The latter is quite the opposite, a fight against cognitive dissonance.

So I guess the ultimate questions are - (a) is my thinking important or a waste?
Thinking is a form of living. It is the form that you picked quite frequently. Which makes it an expression of who you are. Not a waste. It also laid the ground work for who you could be. But, none of that makes it important.

and (b) if important, what is the right way to go about it in order to accomplish it while sacrificing the least amount of time living?
You have chosen for it to be important through your belief in this:

Because everything in life rests on these underlying philosophical/psychological fundaments. And if you don't know the fundamentals, you don't know anything at all. Your entire knowledge of the world comes into question. You can't trust your own thoughts or beliefs or experiences anymore.
But rather than looking for the answers, I suggest trying to understand the question. Because there is a lack of a disciplined approach:
I'll spend two hours, then take a break and numb myself with TV, then while doing some chores I'll get lost in thought and spend another hour or so, then go have lunch, then see something that triggers me to get lost in thought for another two hours, etc. It's almost dangerous how that works. Breaking things up is dangerous because you don't realize how much you are actually doing it. It seems like little bits, but the little bits add up big time.
To fight without first learning how to fight will unsurprisingly result in pain.
 

baccheion

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#15
It's excessive when it starts looping, is no longer enjoyable, is pointless, etc. I don't care if I spend a lot of time thinking. It mainly becomes a problem when it starts going nowhere, I get stuck, or I can't shut it down. It can also be annoying if there is something else I need/want to be doing and it's getting in the way.

I have never really had a problem with over thinking (unless physically unhealthy which usually results in thought looping). The only time it even crosses my mind is when others randomly/miraculously/consistently say, "and you shouldn't over think everything so much; just do it."
 
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#16
  • I do believe it IS really important to do. Even if you do figure nothing out, at least the road was travelled. Just try not to travel it over again and again. Cyclical thinking is not very useful.
  • I think it is as good as any activity in life. -At least it is for me personally.- My thoughts and imagination are probably just one step below full blown hallucinations. Sometimes my eyes are literally closed when I’m in thought, sometimes not. But they might as well be, everything just melts away,
  • Others may not appreciate thinking as a fun activity, but that shouldn’t put a stink on it. I wouldn’t really try persuading anyone to see it this way either.
  • Perhaps if I lived alone I would be troubled about it, as you are, but I have too much going on to really swim in my thoughts for a long time. I would probably enjoy it for a very long time. (Ne is also my dominant function, not Ti)
  • Do you get enough sleep? If I am in super thinking mode my head is usually clear after a good nights sleep. It is not a “cure” but it is a rest for a few hours every morning while the brain “boots up.”
Maybe it is an addiction.

If it IS important to do, how come no one else does it? And if they don't, are they lacking anything in life due to the absence of this?

What do you think about? It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one that does this, and how other people handle it. But you say you enjoy it rather than it being something you just do because you need to? When I daydream for fun I enjoy that. But the thinking I'm referring to in here is different because it's not fun fantasy storytelling. It's analysis and trying to find answers, and that I do NOT enjoy
 
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#17
I stopped doing that shit when I started writing stuff down. When you look at the notes later, you realize how repetitive, circular, and ultimately useless all those thoughts are.

Eventually I even stopped doing verbose notes – and being verbose in general – because ultimately, words are mostly a source of confusion.

Brevity is the soul of wit
What kinds of things did you think about, that you felt were useless? I want to see if it is the same kind of stuff
 
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#18
Reading your previous threads, I'd say there is such a thing as thinking too much. You try to rationalize and think your way out of every situation. Have you asked yourself why you spend so much time thinking about these issues? Have you asked yourself how it works in your favor?

I might be very wrong, but to me it seems you are compensating for your lack of understanding of the human mind. You spend all this time thinking and analyzing because you don't understand humans. From your previous threads, it seems to me you have a weakens in how you perceive people
I think this seems accurate. A lot of the topics I think about are related to emotions and human behavior. Even the example I gave was ultimately about that: why does X feel worse than Y.

I don't have a grasp on my emotions or what causes them, and trying to understand them delves deep into psychology (which I am not an expert on) so it becomes difficult to figure out. If not psychology, it delves into deep philosophical questions on ethics, etc. which, although I am knowledgeable about philosophy, it is still difficult to figure out because those are questions without clear answers. I guess understanding human behavior, and why other people do things, deals with all this too.

So a lot of my thinking is desperation in trying to understand, but frustration in not being able to

it's pure torture
 

Puffy

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#19
To an extent, I think it's a question of whether this stimulates you or not. If you enjoy analytical thinking then it doesn't matter what others are doing on the weekend, you're spending your life doing what you like and there are plenty of outputs for that like writing as other's have suggested. Art has helped me a lot.

Your tone comes across like this is a more torturous process though of having to get through a mental list 'or else.' I'd suggest trying to find daily anchors that ground you in activity and take you out of your head like cooking, exercise, hobbies, etc. There may not be answers to these questions and it's okay to park them for a few hours while you do other things.
 
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#20
I think this seems accurate. A lot of the topics I think about are related to emotions and human behavior. Even the example I gave was ultimately about that: why does X feel worse than Y.

I don't have a grasp on my emotions or what causes them, and trying to understand them delves deep into psychology (which I am not an expert on) so it becomes difficult to figure out. If not psychology, it delves into deep philosophical questions on ethics, etc. which, although I am knowledgeable about philosophy, it is still difficult to figure out because those are questions without clear answers. I guess understanding human behavior, and why other people do things, deals with all this too.

So a lot of my thinking is desperation in trying to understand, but frustration in not being able to

it's pure torture
I read my earlier post to you and realized I was being patronizing. I apologize for that

This is a probably an offensive thing to ask, but have you ever considered whether you have asperger? You're obviously intelligent, so I'm puzzled by the contrast between understanding people and understanding complex ideas. When someone can understand ideas, but struggle with understanding human (feelings), sometimes there's a reason for that. Philosophy are ideas with certain rules and structures, humans tend to be more context heavy, which tends to be a common weakness in asperger
 
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#21
I read my earlier post to you and realized I was being patronizing. I apologize for that

This is a probably an offensive thing to ask, but have you ever considered whether you have asperger? You're obviously intelligent, so I'm puzzled by the contrast between understanding people and understanding complex ideas. When someone can understand ideas, but struggle with understanding human (feelings), sometimes there's a reason for that. Philosophy are ideas with certain rules and structures, humans tend to be more context heavy, which tends to be a common weakness in asperger
It's okay, and thanks. I don't think I have aspergers. Feelings work differently than logic so being good at one doesn't mean you'll be good at the other. A lot of people who are very in touch with their feelings can't make a proper logical argument. Others, like me, tend to think very logically and it's hard to fit feelings and people into that framework

It might be about my lack of understanding or it just be that I try to understand things that no one really understands. For example, "why does x feel morally wrong?". For most situations, people don't have an answer. (Even if they do, if you ask 'but why' enough times, taking it back to the foundation, they eventually reach a basic premise that can't be explained) Ultimately, they just say it just feels wrong, they know it's wrong but cannot explain why. With me, I try to find the root answer which leads me into deeper philosophical questions on ethics and morality. It also leads to questions that require knowledge of psychology because what we think is wrong or right has to do with concepts like empathy, etc that we subconsciously base our morality off of.
 

Serac

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#23
It's really quite simple. If you are really interested in these problems as a means to achieving something in the real world, as opposed to just engaging in masturbatory philosophising, you should sit down and rigorously interrogate these problems - hopefully with the aid of some good literature on the topic - and devise a set of principles and heuristics based on that. Then you interact with the world and let these principles and heuristics becoma a part of you as a person, so that you don't have to think for 2 weekes about every little problem you encounter. Otherwise you cannot really function as a human being, just like you would not function as a human being if you would have to solve a system of differential equations in order to know whether it is safe to cross the street.
 
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#24
No it doesn't. You can know plenty of things without bothering with those things. The majority of humans who have ever existed have probably never thought of any of those things for more than ten minutes over the course of their entire lives.
This seems to be the crux of the problem. I don't trust anything I think or feel unless I am able to prove it to myself from scratch. It's like there's an inner voice that plays devil's advocate with myself, and I have this internal argument where I'm trying to prove the devil's advocate wrong and justify my position.

But like I mentioned, the problem with that is I eventually lose because I reach a point where I can't explain something.

I agree with you, that most other people don't think about this. They just go with what they think without having to justify it to themselves.

But I don't understand how that's right? If you know something, if you are right about something, you should be able to explain it. If you can't explain it/justify it how can you say you know it?
 

Niclmaki

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#25
Maybe it is an addiction.

If it IS important to do, how come no one else does it? And if they don't, are they lacking anything in life due to the absence of this?

What do you think about? It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one that does this, and how other people handle it. But you say you enjoy it rather than it being something you just do because you need to? When I daydream for fun I enjoy that. But the thinking I'm referring to in here is different because it's not fun fantasy storytelling. It's analysis and trying to find answers, and that I do NOT enjoy
Well I don’t think anyone is in a position to tell someone else they’re lacking something in life because of what they choose or don’t choose to do. An imperfect analogy could be one who never exercises and becomes obese and dies young. You could argue they missed out on life, but they could have still lived how they wished and wanted for nothing.

To continue the analogy - I can only imagine you as someone who exercises all the time (albeit mentally). It wouldn’t really feel proper to tell someone that it is BAD to exercise a lot. Rest is quite important though. But it sounds like you’re under some sort of compulsion to do it, and you actually dislike doing it.

Curious. I have very few experiences of that. It wasn’t a state that was constant to me. I just remember getting consumed by it once. I was supposed to be studying one subject, but instead wasted my whole night reading another.
 

Absurdity

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#26
But I don't understand how that's right? If you know something, if you are right about something, you should be able to explain it. If you can't explain it/justify it how can you say you know it?
Questions will always outstrip answers. You can either keep pursuing them forever or not bother. Either way, being right isn't the only thing that matters in life.

Baseline human functioning (survival, socializing, basic tool-making and craftsmanship) has no need for that kind of advanced interrogative reasoning. A lot of abstract thought (religion, aesthetics) doesn't either. Science is a good process but places very sane and conservative epistemic limits on itself. Philosophy, with its complete lack of guardrails outside of pure logic and mathematics, plunges easily into madness or nonsense.

I used to wonder about a lot of this stuff. Wanted to have some kind of framework built on principles for understanding all of reality so that I could engage with it sanely. But you can only understand reality by engaging with it, and you'll never have perfect knowledge. It's better to operate as a system of anti-fragile feedback loops than an immaculately constructed robot built of glass.

Pragmatic wisdom helps with that. I got a lot out of Stoicism and Buddhism and some Christianity (essentially in that order). YMMV
 

Yellow

for the glory of satan
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#28
This seems to be the crux of the problem. I don't trust anything I think or feel unless I am able to prove it to myself from scratch. It's like there's an inner voice that plays devil's advocate with myself, and I have this internal argument where I'm trying to prove the devil's advocate wrong and justify my position.
This is normal
the thinking I do isn't the kind of passive thinking people do when they sit on the beach and watch the waves while thoughts pass in their mind. It is VERY focused. I cannot be watching waves or anything because of how much deep concentration I need. I cannot even breath.
This is not.

I'm not sure it's a question of value at this point. It's a question of quality of life.

People toss the term "OCD" around a lot -- to the point that it's lost most meaning in casual conversation. When brought up seriously, few people think beyond neat-freaks and hoarders. There are other manifestations, though, like scrupulosity. What you experience seems more along those lines (existentially.. not literally).

In your descriptions, I see the following: both obsession beyond your direct control, and compulsion beyond your comfort; a need to ruminate that seems to be disconnected from the subject of your rumination; and rumination that occupies vast swathes of your time, to the detriment of your ability to lead a "normal life".

These all indicate a loss of control.

To be perfectly honest, most ruminators I've known prefer sedate themselves half to death, rather than fight for control of their minds. I've only met a handful who even wanted to try for actual recovery, once they found out about benzos and booze.

You seem the type who could fight and win, if you wanted to.
 

Rixus

I introverted think. Therefore, I am.
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#29
It's really quite simple. If you are really interested in these problems as a means to achieving something in the real world, as opposed to just engaging in masturbatory philosophising, you should sit down and rigorously interrogate these problems - hopefully with the aid of some good literature on the topic - and devise a set of principles and heuristics based on that. Then you interact with the world and let these principles and heuristics becoma a part of you as a person, so that you don't have to think for 2 weekes about every little problem you encounter. Otherwise you cannot really function as a human being, just like you would not function as a human being if you would have to solve a system of differential equations in order to know whether it is safe to cross the street.
Came onto this thread to say something like this.

Thinking and understanding is important. Knowledge is important. But this knowledge and understanding holds no significance if it is not something you can usefully use in the real world. It's of no use binding that knowledge and understanding within your brain and letting it go unused.

I overthink a lot. Sometimes I'll be pacing while I'm thinking, often I'll be engaging in some low mental energy activity while thinking. Like driving or cleaning or whatever. Often, I'll overthink while I'm working. But it's important to know when we must engage with the real world, it's important that the things you think about must be useful to you in the real world. And remember to use what you've figured out.
 
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#30
Well I don’t think anyone is in a position to tell someone else they’re lacking something in life because of what they choose or don’t choose to do. An imperfect analogy could be one who never exercises and becomes obese and dies young. You could argue they missed out on life, but they could have still lived how they wished and wanted for nothing.

To continue the analogy - I can only imagine you as someone who exercises all the time (albeit mentally). It wouldn’t really feel proper to tell someone that it is BAD to exercise a lot. Rest is quite important though. But it sounds like you’re under some sort of compulsion to do it, and you actually dislike doing it.

Curious. I have very few experiences of that. It wasn’t a state that was constant to me. I just remember getting consumed by it once. I was supposed to be studying one subject, but instead wasted my whole night reading another.
That's not what I mean. I'm not suggesting that those who don't think are lacking quality of life itself. I was wondering whether they are lacking the very thing I am gaining by thinking. If they are, then I know my thinking has some value because I am gaining something I wouldn't have without it. But if they are not, that means my thinking is useless because I could gain it without having to think (like the others do).

Using the weight analogy,

If I spend all my time working out in order to maintain a healthy body, whether my working out has value or not depends on whether others who do not work out lack a healthy body. If those who don't work out lack this, then clearly working out has some value. By working out I am gaining something - the healthy body - that I would not have otherwise. BUT, if those who do not work out also have a healthy body(maybe they gain the healthy body by other means, such as diet, some pills, etc) then, my working out is a waste. I don't have to force myself to work out to gain the healthy body because working out obviously isn't necessary to have a healthy body.
 
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#31
That's not what I mean. I'm not suggesting that those who don't think are lacking quality of life itself. I was wondering whether they are lacking the very thing I am gaining by thinking. If they are, then I know my thinking has some value because I am gaining something I wouldn't have without it. But if they are not, that means my thinking is useless because I could gain it without having to think (like the others do).

Using the weight analogy,

If I spend all my time working out in order to maintain a healthy body, whether my working out has value or not depends on whether others who do not work out lack a healthy body. If those who don't work out lack this, then clearly working out has some value. By working out I am gaining something - the healthy body - that I would not have otherwise. BUT, if those who do not work out also have a healthy body(maybe they gain the healthy body by other means, such as diet, some pills, etc) then, my working out is a waste. I don't have to force myself to work out to gain the healthy body because working out obviously isn't necessary to have a healthy body.
You build up structures and deconstruct structures you make up in your head to map out the validity of theoretical models that result in better models/structures. Perhaps you rediscovered Existentialism but then found out it has existed 200 years and you believe your thinking was wasted but in fact, it gives you an advantage because you have your own point of view ready to compare with the literature. You may even get to the point that you start studying epistemology and center your view around what the mind is capable of knowing. Rationality and cognition and reflective thought. The number of books on this is widespread given it all points too philosophy. And a slew of unanswered questions and books.

Your problem is the questions you think about maybe in some book but you cannot find that book and so you reinvent the wheel. I never saw this as a problem because I will never be able to read all books, I just read what I can find and work on what I believe is most important to me to think about. Anything I think of will be of benefit if it matches an exterior source that I can use as a reference. I only go half deep into any subject because I am more concerned with applying my knowledge by first understanding it theoretically in the mental structure I have combining everything into one model. I am inductive in my creativity, you may have trouble with unresolved deductions so create layers and layers of logic to sift through.

My mind is a high dimension graph (Ne) that sorts analogically my ideas as similar and dissimilar. Deduction, as you have, (Ti) has to make sure (Ne) follows a completeness vs. My consistency (Te)induction. You want perfection and I want everything (Ne) to fit in the model being made along with all other models I am making at the same time. (Te) takes (Ne) as legos it can build with. (Ti) takes (Ne) and sorts all items as the logical order of connections and disconnections. Illogical connect are severed and all connections are set to follow the deductive order as a hierarchy. (Te) takes (Ne) and instanciates connections that resemble traces of spaghetti code that works as a model. It is not a total organized perfect structure of (Ti). Models are an assortment of random nodes and connections at any size to fit the new original creation: (Te) and (Ne)

You think and think (as Ti) to make your constructs perfect. I make mine so they plausibly my work. And frankly, I have random thoughts loosely connected and most have to do with Introverted Feeling. My memories of ideas I have had can be tied to the emotions I had at the time I created them. Webs of divergent thinking of ideas concepts and emotions tones. I know the reason Neo could manipulate the machines outside the matrix and it is not because of the theory that the matrix was inside a second matrix. I am able to understand esoteric concepts rejected by rational people because mysticism is beyond their understanding of how reality could be. My Fi allows me to do this. Ti is a way to understand reality but because it seeks perfection then overthinking happens. The solution may be for INTP's is to become ENTP's like Socrates. He was the wisest man in the world at the time and it is because he questioned the foundations of what people believed about reality. Epistemology wink wink.
 
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