Philosophy

The Duality of Human Life

Human beings have a unique characteristic, or perhaps better said, a unique capability: thought.

I prefer the term thought rather than thinking or mind as the latter two terms are, for me, more abstract. But you may use whatever term you prefer. I define thought as the product of mental activity (n) or the act of thinking (v).

In addition to the above abstract definitions of thought, I would add rational. Thus we arrive at the product of rational mental activity and the act of rational thinking. I restrict my usage of thought to rational thinking, which, from my perspective, is at a different intellectual level (rational rather than emotional) than, say, the thought, “I want to eat an apple.” I am not a biologist nor an animal psychologist (yes, there are such people!), but I can imagine (think) that a cat might have the thought, “I want to climb a tree.” I wonder if cats have such thoughts, but I doubt that cats could think (have the thought), “I will build a bicycle today.”

Now, on to the second aspect of human life, physicality. Merriam-Webster defines physicality thus: intensely physical orientation: predominance of the physical usually at the expense of the mental. In other words, a concern with the physical aspects of life, like food or walking or rain. Therefore, “thoughts” that arise from emotions or are closely related to physicality, like “I want to eat an apple (because I am hungry),” even though they are a form of mental activity, are not thoughts in the sense I explained above.

Thus human life can be divided into two realms: thought and physicality

As a human being, you can decide which aspect will dominate.
For many years, I have chosen the realm of thought

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