top of page


Updated: Jan 17, 2020

Not long ago i ended up clicking into a David Bohm interview. And found a lot of it to be interesting. But, the one thing which i would like to talk about was his interpretation on how thinking and thought differ from each other. In that very interview he says,"Thinking is an active verb, think-ing. It means you are doing something. One thing you are doing is criticizing your thoughts, seeing whether they cohere. And if they don’t, you begin to change them and experiment with others. You get new intuitions, new insights."

Through which he exclaims that thought is a completely different aspect of interpretation of human idea. Thought is not that active and Bohm calls it conditioning. In order to explain what he means he takes the example of Pavlov and his dogs.

"The dogs would salivate when they saw food. He rang a bell and the dogs associated it with the food, so later, they began to salivate just by the sound of the bell. So, there is an elementary thought here, which was, whenever a bell rings. The first reflex was whenever food is there, salivation occurs. That may have been built in instinctively. The second reaction, which is conditioned, is, whenever the bell rings, salivation must occur."

As a result there are these are two steps in a process. The first step is called reflex. Something that is build in, a natural characteristic of humans as well as animals.

The second step is conditioning. Something that might not be build in itself, but because of a certain evolution it is still a very basic quality of, again, humans as well as


And, according to Bohm, thought is nothing more than a form of reflex and condition.

"So, if you say, whenever this happens, I need to do this, whenever X happens, I need to do Y. Now with that, you don’t have to think. Immediately when X happens, you are already doing Y, right? It is a reflex. Now, that is the nature of thought. And one reflex leads to another. You say, whenever I think this, I must conclude that. Whenever I conclude that, I must go to the next step, you see, it may be established by association, or by other ways, like reasoning, where you try to organize it logically, or by similarities – association in time is the simplest, association by similarity, or a connection by logic. But, once it is done, it is all the same, it is a reflex, you see, logic is a reflex."

He even calls logic a reflex. Logic in itself is not proof of reality.

20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page