Embracing Dorsal Thinking

All thinking is mainly frontal. We hardly turn back and do what may be called dorsal thinking. We are enslaved by strict forward linearity that is thought to be embedding our thoughts. But we cannot be blinded by the apparently forward thrust of this thinking. We need the right to hold back and side and look at the running stream of frontal thinking. like the gap between the two breathes, we have to open ourselves to both frontal and dorsal thinking. We need to come to dwell in the space between two breaths. We have the challenge to interrupt the frontal force of our thought and not simply live under a presumption that our thinking is leading to progress and emancipation.

Frontal thinking deals with the see-able/ visible and the foreseeable. It does not deal with the invisible and the unforeseeable. This is why we need to turn back and ring in what may be called dorsal thinking and enrich our frontal thinking. Although the frontal thinking appears to be unstoppable and inevitable, we can still halt its forward thrust`. We can initiate a turn that can become a turn to the back. We can interrupt our submission to frontal thinking alone. We can turn to the back and not just to face that faces and promotes frontal thinking. we have the uncanny challenge to face our back.

We can break the stream of thought generation that only depend on frontal thinking. To do this we have to abandon the geometry of our frontal thinking. The geometry of frontal thinking is a line. We have to turn to the turns of the circle and come to integral thinking. To integrate our thinking, we have to step into the circularity of thinking and step out of or aside from its shallow linearity. This means we are to give ourselves the chance to open ourselves to the unforeseen and the arrival of the other that can take us by surprise. This openness to what comes from behind is out of range of the field of our oculo-centric thinking. It has the power to unsettle our confidence in the status quo or indebtedness to the sameness of our thinking that chains it to the familiar sameness.

The surprised arrival of the other in our thinking can become a creative leap for our thinking. Thus, dorsal thinking certainly exceeds our frontal thinking. The arrival of the unforeseen on the backs of the dorsal thinking adds to the length, breadth and height of our frontal thinking. Today we urgently need dorsal thinking as the unforeseen and the unforeseeable are already at work behind our backs. The world of Big Data analytics collects and interpret the footprints that we leave on the platforms of the internet via our smartphone. All this happens behind our back. Hence, the need to turn to dorsal thinking is more urgent and even inevitable as even our democracy is dismantled by the virus of corporatization.

Our frontal thinking can only show us what is happening in front of us. That which happens behind our back is dorsal. It remains open to the other that cannot be assimilated or totalized into the sameness of the frontal thinking. It does open possibilities of generating adequate thinking for the challenges of our time. What is coming from our back on the wings of Big Data Analytics and corporatization of Politics is dark and often sinister in character. Hence we have to become alert to the dorsal. It remains invisible to the eyes but does come through other senses. We can smell it and often sense its touch or hear its sound. This is why we have to assign its proper place to the oculo-centricity of knowledge.

The dorsal turn of our thinking, therefore, becomes alert to the other sources of knowledge other than the eyes that have become the mainstay of our frontal thinking. But we need to stay beyond simple binary opposition of the visible and the invisible and come to sensible that stays open to the insensible too. Hence, our frontal thinking is haunted by the dorsalarity of our life. There are several things that we cannot see coming. Future that we cannot see coming is truly a future. It is not a future of a past or a present. Such a future is unknown to us. The Future that we did not detect coming is truly worthy of being named as the future. It displaces our frontal thinking and challenges us to reposition its modes as well as premises of thinking. Hence, by being attentive to the impulses and pulsation from the back, we can plunge into dorsal modes of thinking.

Impulses from the back are often counter-impulses to frontal thinking. This is why turning to the back is not just turning to safety but it is turning to novelty and creativity. In fact we turn to our ownness and open possibilities of other ways of thinking and being-in-the-world. Embracing dorsality without rejecting the frontal thinking we open ourselves to radical Ex-tasis of life. This Ex-stasis rises out of the juxtaposition of frontal and dorsal modes of thinking and has the promise of infusing new energy into our thinking. It will generate transformative thinking that will open possibilities to usher in that which remain unthought in the frontal thinking. Hence, we have the challenge to embrace dorsal thinking without dumping the frontal modes of our thought.

The coming together of the hindsight and the front sight can produce profound insight producing piercing leaps in our thoughts. The challenge, therefore, is to abandon the frames of frontal thinking and open ourselves to the osmotic porosity of hindsight or dorsal thinking. This turning to the dorsal thinking that is coupled with the frontal thinking will open new ways of thinking, ordering and organizing our experience as beings-in-the-world. Working this path we will come to appreciate, value and embrace as well as generate otherness. The challenge to step back and come to the ex-stasis that embraces both the frontal and the dorsal modes of thinking will make us inventive and creative. Turning back and turning front will turn our thinking into a transformative and emancipative synergy.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao