Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Slow Thought Manifesto

I am on Aeon’s mailing list to receive three essays from its archive each day, three more items to scan in a daily stream of emails from aggregators that together present several hundred ideas or articles as candidates for more thorough attention. It’s really too much - a skimming of the surface of things, like a water fly zig-zagging across a pond, preoccupying my limited attentional assets with brief and superficial chunks at the expense of lingering and thinking a bit more deeply about something. As my day progresses this process can accelerate to a debilitating pace.

So…. I woke up this morning recalling an article that I swished past yesterday with only a glance. It apparently had made a subliminal impression, and joined the unresolved issues visited during my nightly sleep.

It is a piece from Vincenzo Di Nicola, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, writing on the Slow Food and Slow Cities movements, part of a broader cultural meme called the Slow Movement, that moves on to champion the slowness in human relations that is required to support a sense of belonging. I suggest you read the article, and here pass on his summary seven proclamations:
1. Slow Thought is marked by peripatetic Socratic walks - face to face dialogue.
2. Slow Thought creates its own time and place - Refusing the time constraints of 30-second media soundbites...not sequential in time, but structured by the slow logic of thought.
3. Slow Thought has no other object than itself - allowing us to live more fully in an atemporal present, freed from the burden of an imperfect past or the futile promise of a redemptive future.
4. Slow Thought is porous - non-categorical, improvisational
5. Slow Thought is playful - creating its own time, rules and sense of order, a discontinuity in our lives.
6. Slow Thought is a counter-method, rather than a method, for thinking as it relaxes, releases and liberates thought from its constraints and the trauma of tradition
7. Slow Thought is deliberate - not rushing thinking.

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