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I noticed that I usually think in a very abstract manner, without images, just words and ideas. When I try intentionally to think visually, only then does lustful or worry-related images pop up. And, only then can I seemingly redirect my attention from these images.

If a person thinks very abstractly, is it possible that cravings or worries don't arise in consciousness? What is going on here?

  • Where else would they arise? Isn't the subconscious the consciousness that one has yet to see clearly? – Lowbrow Oct 28 '19 at 15:51
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I believe Tibetan Vajrayana lays more emphasis on visualization as against abstract thinking, as a means towards final liberation. Recommend utube discourses by Professor Robert Thurman and Lama Govinda's classic 'Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism' for starters. Its likely to be a long haul.

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Abstract thinking intself is a form of fast-imagination.
Imagination and Creativity are linked with each other.

The ability to contemplate things that are not actually happening can contribute to mental health problems such as anxiety and delusions.-- see imagination in above link.

When I try intentionally to think visually, only then does lustful or worry-related images pop up
It's with everyone, not something special. Only thing is, person here is able to know that he is the one, who is developing these visualizations.

Conclusion:: If a person has high abstract thinking, he is more prone to cravings, delusions, worriness, if he is not fixated in sīla.

Reason:: He has more access to thinking process, hence without equanimous awareness, he will become more prone to unwholesomeness.

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I am not entirely sure about this, but my understanding is that what you are calling abstract thinking is just regular conceptualization as a way of knowing. Training in visualization is necessary to facilitate practice in direct mental perception rather than just conceptualization.

In my experience, cravings and worry arise all the time with conceptualization.

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  • Are you saying that when visualizing, one isn't engaging in mental fabrication? – Eggman Jan 16 at 13:04
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    No, I think most visualizations are pretty poor and involve mental fabrication. But it is a practice for developing that ability to mentally see things directly. I could be very wrong as I have not taken minds and mental factors in awhile. – Yeshe Tenley Jan 16 at 13:13
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If a person thinks very abstractly, is it possible that cravings or worries don't arise in consciousness?

No, that’s not very likely seeing as cravings present themselves in a variety of bodily, emotional, as well as behavioral formations. Our way of thinking is by no means the end-all-be-all proof of our attachments.

What is going on here?

There is no cookie cut way that consciousness should act. There are ever so many variations in how consciousness behaves, and what thoughts that may pop up or not. It’s just the way the mind works.

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