Effortless Implicit Thinking
Sufficient sleep is vital to speed up higher brain functions effortlessly. However, different sleep patterns/stages have different effects on thinking:
• Stillness: A still body automatically leads to an active mind (the mind speeds up when the body slows down, and vice versa). When stillness is impossible, we "slow down" instead. Stillness is difficult in a tense body, so one must relax first to make stillness natural. We relax by avoiding physical tension: having relaxed muscles, light stomach & digestive tract, etc. We also relax by avoiding/ignoring mental tension, caused by sounds, sights, smells, movement, conversation, watching news ... all of which lead to mental disturbance and distraction.
• Physical & Social Pleasures: One can mix thinking with them to stay alert and motivated, when knowledge is not exciting enough. Social learners learn while they talk, by hearing their own thoughts while seeing the reaction of other people to them. Audiovisual learners, e.g. those gifted in arts, can process ideas faster when they associate them with shapes, sounds, etc. Some visual learners can even think without words. However, all "socio-sensual" pleasures should be used moderately, lest they lead to distraction instead of stimulation (by having minimal speech, movement and audiovisual disturbance).
• Self-Hypnosis: Not everyone can do this. It takes much practicing to hypnotize oneself (as difficult as surprising oneself), requiring determination, a vivid imagination, a relaxed body, and a safe environment while one is hypnotized.
• Imagination: Imagination creates momentum that speeds up thoughts automatically. It stretches the mind to absorb maximum knowledge indirectly, before applying logic to filter such knowledge. One can freely imagine different applications of any new idea, however absurd they are, before arguing for their possibility in practice.
• Reminiscing: One can give up oneself temporarily to memories, which will guide them to "new" ideas they will discover down memory's lane, using minimum brain energy. After returning to the present, one can make relationships between the previous experiences one had and present ones. Like an implant, the brain needs to accept and not reject the knew knowledge. One may start an argument/discussion/lesson by counting what one knows (que sais-je?) to prepare for what one doesn't. Then one may proceed immediately with the lesson, starting off slowly, then gradually speeding up.
• Brain Exercises: such as puzzles, games, trivia, humor, ironies, etc. especially prepared for, or made up on the spot to accompany an idea. They are meant to prepare logical skills before using them with the actual knowledge.
• Attitudinal Pleasures: Like a muscle we warm up before exercise, we prepare our brain before getting into any subject, by such thoughts making it more flexible, ready for the new knowledge and paving the way for the new guest. Such are easy appetizing thoughts to nibble at before the main course/subject.
Slow thinking gradually leads to fast thinking. It's better than not thinking at all, that we do sometimes when we sacrifice reason for passion. Slow thinkers are not necessarily slow learners.
We voluntarily slow down the mind by first controlling what causes it to think: the words, images, sounds, conversations, stories ... it had received and led to thoughts. If we control thoughts we gradually control emotions too: our likes, dislikes, and even instincts (just refining, not changing, them, as they are inescapable). Good emotions lead to good thoughts, and vice versa.
In learning, when it's difficult to understand a complex/abstract/esoteric/boring subject, it's better to approach it slowly:
Slow thinking is preferred at the beginning and ending of deep mental activities. Otherwise, for most of the time, there is no need to slow down one's brain, esp. after having enough preparation, resting, sleeping, eating ... and other survival necessities we have to do without much thinking. Rather, we should fully use and enjoy that great organ we have, to change our life with, by working, learning, observing, etc. Mental speed and physical slowness work in harmony together, as the brain is better qualified to take the lead and decide our fate than the body, even though both are needed. A mentally-fast, physically-slow mode of living should be predominant most of life.
Logical thinking saves time, not effort, as arguing itself is tiresome. However, a short temporary tension saves so much energy afterwards wasted on wrong illogical ideas. Logic is the roadmap everyone needs to speed up life and save one's energy.