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Thought as a System (Key Ideas) Paperback – 18 Aug 1994

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; Reprint edition (18 Aug. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415110300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415110303
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
This is the transcript of a weekend seminar David Bohm gave exploring the nature of thought as a process. Bohm rejects the notion that our thinking processes report neutrally on what is 'out there'. Thought actively participates in forming our perceptions, our sense of meaning and our daily actions. Collective thought and knowledge have become so automated that we are in large part controlled by them, with a subsequent loss of authenticity, freedom, order.
With active audience participation over the course of several days, this fascinating set of ideas complements some of Bohm's other books ("Wholeness and the Implicate Order", "Unfolding Meaning", "On Dialogue") exploring this area of his philosophy.
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Format: Paperback
Bohm's ideas have been terribly overlooked.
In this book he manages to summarize much of his extensive conversations with Jiddu Krishnamurti, in a very clear and non-intellectual fashion.
Essential!
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By Robert on 18 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gives a good introduction to D. Bohm's ideas. Could be better if it was a bit more specific on some items. I don't like the interview style of writing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 20 reviews
106 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bohm Off Running With Krishnamurti's Ball 1 Jun. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is the result of Bohm's collaboration with Krishnamurti, which lasted for over twenty years. David Bohms background as a proven physicist enables him to explain K.'s thought to the West in a more systematic, clear fashion that even K. could. This book was put out after Krishnamurti's death, and so it represents the results of their collaboration from Bohm's point of view. The implications of this analysis of thought are profound. It out does phenomenology in depth as well as it's avoidance of the hideous academic jargon. The only other thinker to take as in-depth a look at "Thought" is Rudolph Steiner (see 'Intuitive Thinking As A Spiritual Path'). This book brings a focus and clarity to a subject that never quiet graduated beyond the experimental dialogues between Bohm and Krishnamurti. Bohm also took the dialogue format (very similiar to Socratic) as his methodology (see his book on communication). Bohm felt that Krishnamurti's greatest contribution was his ideas about the "observer and the observed" and the nature of thought. Bohm had already had intimations of these ideas in sub-atomic physics. Excellent stuff!
100 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How thought manipulates us 1 Nov. 1999
By Frank Bierbrauer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A superb book with Bohm investigating the nature of thought in all its subtlety through a dialogue approach used by Bohm in several other books. Bohm's remarkable way of dialogue investigation assumes nothing except his internal investigations of his own thought processes which are explained in a manner allowing free discussion, ie nothing is assumed, set in its ways and everything is open to question, similarly he doesn't create any sophisticated terminology which could confuse the issue or the people who are asking the questions. The talks are in the words of every day people and use their everyday experiences for understanding. Thought is dissected in all its aspects, the creation of the `subject' and `object' and the underlying self, how thought gives rise to the structure of society and its problems, where is thought appropriate, these and many other questions are studied with no final answers allowing a deeper search to be performed by the reader. A book desperately needed to brush away the cobwebs of terminology, systems, fantasies and other claptrap so prevalent in our society.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought as Participatory reality 1 Aug. 2008
By Herbert L Calhoun - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In this wide-ranging set of discussions (an actual continuation of those started in his previous set of Ojai Conference discussions, recorded in his book "Unfolding Meaning"), Professor Bohm strays what seems like light-years away from his main interest, Quantum Physics. Yet, the ideas revealed in his "Wholeness and the Implicate Order" that deal explicitly with the relationship between mind, thought, consciousness and matter, and how they come together to make up an unbroken whole, provide the background, if not the subtext of these discussions.

Bohm takes a much deeper human, rather than just a purely Physicist, look at the subject of thought and how its mechanical functioning is turned into meaning and knowledge at every level of human functioning and what that all means. From cognition, to mimes of meaning, to perceptions, to introspection, to individual awareness and personal identity, all the way up to culture and civilization as a whole, he ruminates on how this fragmented view, which we take as an exact objective mental replica of what, is "out there" ultimately affects how we see and act in the world, and in fact (as he argues) how the world becomes.

At one end of his argument -- that we have inherited a belief that mind is of an inherently different and higher order than matter and as a result we feel justified in placing our faith in what we think is objective reality -- Bohm in principle agrees with Freud and other psychologists that human thought is more re-creation of ones internal emotional states, than an actual reflection of what is really "out there." At the other end of this argument, he concludes that as a result of our unwarranted faith in what we think is objectivity, we have missed the many Heisenberg effects of our own collective, self-reflexive but ultimately fragmented thoughts.

While our thoughts actively form and drive our individual and collective perceptions, its knowledge base, and our collective behavior (which ultimately is derived from them both), in the end they are only all part of a larger fabric of reality, which is a continuous and connected whole: that is, they are only a part of the implicate order.

Bohm's main point is that thought is "participatory reality," not a "spectator reality," or a mere "report on reality." What we see is not a report on reality, but is reality itself. How we see the world affects how the world is. The individual and his private thoughts are just an idiosyncratic component of a larger movement of values, meanings and intentions. Our private sense of individual control is a neurotic illusion.

His final conclusion is that the collective cultural mind and its associated knowledge base have become so automatic that we are in large measure controlled by its invisible hand. And as a result we have become prisoners of a "collective stream of consciousness:" one that is robbing us of our authenticity, vitality, freedom and sense of order.

In this book, Professor Bohm's ideas come through much cleaner than in either "Unfolding Meaning," or in "The Implicate Order," where he straddled the fence between quantum interpretations of mind and the physics of matter in such a way that the reader was left to his own devices to make the inferential leap and connections from mind to matter. Not so in this book which as noted above begins where those discussions left off and is much more understandable and digestible.

Five Stars.
52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A crucial book for understanding thought and its effects 23 Sept. 2001
By Jason G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was introduced to Bohm through his video dialogue with Krishnamurti in The transformation of Man. He is one of the most honest, clear thinkers I have ever read. This book is really a transcript of a group discussion of thought with Bohm at the head. If you ever wonder why you get angry for "no reason" or why people get so upset over ideas, then read this book. And if you have an insight into the way thought works, you'll never be the same.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perceiving the false with David Bohm 16 Jan. 2009
By John H. Newton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In this remarkable book, Bohm demonstates the falseness of concepts such as "I" and "me", and how these concepts are the inevitable product of a system - the system of thought - that is created when thought is allowed to dominate consciousness and produce all the incoherence and dysfunction we experience in a culture where it is implicitly assumed that thought is the only means of perceiving reality. The process Bohm uses in the book is a dialogue with a group of 30 or so people. As was the case with his friend Krishnamurti, Bohm avoids assuming a position of authority since this would be to fall into the trap of thought and the authoritarianism inherent in the illusory - but to the system of thought necessary - concept of "I" as "thinker". Instead Bohm creates and sustains a dialogue with the people in the group through group reflection. Bohm hints at something transcending thought but does not attempt to define the undefineable. Rather the dialogue demonstrates the falseness of the idea of thought and "thinker" as the means of perceiving the real thus aiding the participants to open to what may lie beyond thought.
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