There’s a difference between being a good thinker and being smart, being smart doesn’t mean you know how to think, it just means you can weave more complex webs of arguments, which can actually make it even harder to think clearly. Imagine the picture below is a representation of an argument that begins with one core idea.
If the core point was wrong the easiest web to unweave would be the imbecile’s web, there just isn’t a lot of bullshit to sift through, but with the smart guy’s web, it’d take far longer, and maybe never.
Thinking clearly is the ability to navigate through the bullshit to find the root of whatever it is you may be analyzing and verifying if it’s true. My experience in navigating life and trying to figure things out has been this process over and over again, cutting through the complex layers on the surface of things and going back to the root.
All that’s required to be a good thinker is honesty and openness, which isn’t always easy to do since you are what’s at stake. The consequence of being wrong is the death of a part of you, which is terrifying when all we are is a bundle of beliefs glued to us by fear, and deep down we know it, we just do everything we can to ignore it. The last thing you want is for your beliefs to dissolve because you dissolve along with them. Death is the root of all fears and death is at your core.
People hold on to their identities, their beliefs, to give them meaning and justify their suffering in the face of a meaningless existence. Nothing hurts more than to know your pain is for nothing, why not kill yourself then? Why hurt? This is what I’ve asked myself throughout the years, this is where it all began for me when I was suicidal, and in a way, I did kill myself. I deconstructed all my beliefs, though at the time I didn’t realize I was slowly making my way to death’s door. The end is not the end, but a new beginning.