Structure Thinking To Become More Logical
(PD) Wang Ximeng's A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains (Cropping, text, and modifications by Larry Neal Gowdy)
Copyright ©2023 April 18, 2023
Within a social group that has an interest in high IQ and Mensa, an individual recently asked how to structure their thinking in a manner that would enable him to think more logically. It is a productive question that more people ought to have for themselves.
Several individuals had previously answered the man's question with common answers, including those of playing chess and reading books. The individuals' answers did not relate to the man's question, but the answers' errors are useful for pointing at logic.
Chess is indeed good for exercising the mind's ability to analyze known variables, but, before a person can analyze the variables, the person must first know what the variables are.
You must first learn what the rules of chess are. If you do not know the rules of how each chess piece is permitted to be moved, then you cannot accurately analyze a chess position.
Everything everywhere in all of Creation is based upon ingredients, including knowledge and logic.  Before a person is able to play chess, he must be able to mentally analyze chess moves.  Before a person is able to mentally analyze chess moves, the person must know the rules of how chess pieces move.  Before a person can know the rules of how chess pieces move, he must acquire information of how chess pieces move.  Before a person acquires information of how chess pieces move, he must have a desire to learn chess.
The general ingredients are  a firsthand desire to do a thing,  a self-willed self-effort to acquire knowledge,  a self-acquired knowledge of chess rules, and then the person may be able to  exert the self-effort to analyze chess moves.
Logic begins with one's own self-desire and self-driven choice to do a thing, and logic relies upon the individual possessing firsthand knowledge of the topics that are weighed by logic. No one can apply logic to chess if the person does not know what chess is, and similar applies for everything else in Nature: without the firsthand knowledge gained through firsthand understanding, which itself is gained through firsthand experience, accurate logic cannot happen.
Reading a chess book, to learn how chess pieces are permitted to be moved, is useful as an ingredient that helps to establish variables that can then be logically weighed, but reading the book does not and cannot enable the reader to structure their thinking to become more logical. Within the game of chess it is logical for a white pawn to move to D4, but the logic itself arrived from one's own personal self-effort to learn and to physically self-participate in a game of chess.
Memorizing words from a book is of no value if the words are not used for real-world self-participation. Books alone cannot enable nor improve logic. The enabling and improvement of logic is self-willed through the self-participation of self-effort.
Book words rely upon the reader's imaginations. Only when an individual has firsthand experienced what the book words imply, only then will the individual understand. There is a township named Valle De Oro, but you cannot know nor apply logic to the township of Valle De Oro without your personally having lived there. There is an animal named horse, but you cannot know about horses unless you have lived amongst horses, where you see, hear, feel, smell, taste horse hair, and observe horse behaviors. Regardless of how many book words are read, you can never apply accurate logic to the information unless you have firsthand understanding of each topic's variables.
Applying logic to unknowns (book words), is an act of imagination: it is an act of imagining a logic of imaginations, while believing that the imaginations are true-real. (The medical term for the behavior is named dementia.)
[a] The self-driven desire to self-achieve logic: without the self-driven desire to achieve logic, accurate logic will never occur.
[b] Self-driven choice to self-learn the topics through firsthand observations and firsthand sensory perceptions.
[c] Self-driven self-effort to personally acquire firsthand experiences. If no effort, then no logic.
[d] Acquire firsthand understanding of topics by firsthand experiencing the topics oneself. Self-exert the self-effort to devote oneself to self-participating for years in the topic while self-exerting the self-effort to observe, sense, learn, and firsthand understand how the topic applies to one's self. If a person is unable to describe the aroma of a horse or a road runner bird, then the person cannot apply accurate logic to the topics of horses and road runners.
[e] When in possession of a large quantity of firsthand understandings, only then might it be possible to apply an accurate logic to the desired topic.
Self-Devotion to Self-Participation
It is an acceptable ballpark estimate that it requires at least about 10,000 hours to achieve a useful understanding and/or skill of a topic. Three to four years to study one religious book, five years to learn what a 19th century lifestyle may have entailed, four to five years to begin acquiring a useful skill with ancient languages, plus numerous other skills that required a lifetime of self-effort since birth.
Accurate logic cannot occur without the prolonged self-effort to self-learn through self-participation within firsthand experiences. If the desire to be logical, is firmly centered within the heart (忠), then the individual will devote several years of their life to attain logic. If the ingredient of desire is high, but there is no ingredient of devotion, then the product of self-effort will not exist, and the individual will never obtain logic.
Most people desire to be smart, but few people possess the self-will to exert the self-effort to be smart; no 忠 devotion.
The man's question was casually asked without enough desire, nor with enough devotion, to lead him into his own self-driven self-effort to self-participate in his own life.
An interesting angle of logic, is that once a correct logic has been obtained, there is no longer a need for new desires to acquire additional understandings: the self-choice for accuracy becomes the stimulus for future choices. Rephrased, new goals arrive without new desires, but rather, the goals are merely the logical choice of what is the right thing to do: the perpetual desire is to be correct.
Even The Ancients Knew That
Humorously, around 2,500 years ago, portions of the Chinese book 大學 (Da Xue, Great Learning) spoke of similar ingredients: desire comes first, followed by the achievements of one's desires. Jung and Wilhelm repeatedly called Chinese people "primitive" (e.g. The Secret of the Golden Flower and Philosophical Natures - Absence of Accuracy and Empiricism) and yet those 'primitive' people were more advanced with psychology than Jung ever was, and what modern psychology ever will be.
The idea of ingredients is not new, but, it is new to individuals who have been told to believe that western science is the one and only true truth on earth.
If a man were intelligent, then he would be able to self-observe his own memories and to self-rationalize how to structure his thinking to be more logical. Instead of exerting the self-effort to self-participate in their own self-learning, some people sluff-off the responsibility to other people. Lazy people will likely never attain rational logic, but, that is normal for normal people.
Yes, the ingredients of logic are extremely obvious and simple, but, not everyone is able to recognize what is obvious, possibly because never in their life did they ever self-participate in their own lives.
From 荀子 Xunzi 勸學 Encourage Learning: "...not ascend high mountain, not know sky (it) high... Not descend deep gorge, not know earth (it) thick-substantial".
A person can imagine heights and depths all the person wants, but he will still not know what 'high' means, nor what 'deep' means. The proof is found in the person being unable to intricately describe what "high" and "deep" mean.