Of all things that irritate me, the worst must be this: that a thought has to be thought anew over and over again: by different people and by the same.

At once evoked, the next moment forgotten. Thoughts recurring, the thinker sometimes unaware of their recurrence.

I can repeat a truth a thousand times. As long as I haven’t internalized it, I am perfectly capable of having thoughts incompatible with this truth and deem them none the less true.

While having two different thoughts coexist in the mind is not a bad thing per se, the logical fallacy of this baffles me. No stringent thought can be formed when humans do as they have always done and try to keep as many doors open as possible, for fear they may have walked through the wrong one.

But isn’t the declination of one line of thought up until the end before moving on to the next line of thought the surer path to wisdom? Rather, we work with a million tabs open, merely glancing over each one, never having enough brain power at our disposition to finish a single task.

And yet, even when I find myself brooding over something particular for weeks or even months and then convince myself that the hypothesis is wrong, this doesn’t stop me from starting the same thought process all over again two weeks later.

Some things, we know intuitively to be true. Some things take more work to understand. I have found, however, that there is no correlation between the time it takes to understand something and the ease with which one internalizes the result of the thought process.

I am, to some extent, incapable of trusting my own work product and thus, like a physicist too amazed at his new discovery to believe it, I do the same calculation over and over again, in the hope that I may find the mistake eventually.

This doesn’t answer my inability to accept even that which is intuitively true, however. It might just be healthy scepticism and the logical consequence of the aforesaid, that, if what I have spent years thinking about is impossible to believe, then that which has not been thoroughly dissected deserves to be viewed with even more distrust.

Thoughts can be disquieting. Constantly thinking the same ones is simply horrifying.

 

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