Behind every successful man, there is a brain. The brain is where all the thinking happens and Wisdom is born. Wisdom is very important for a person to succeed be it Spiritual or Material. This Wisdom is the result of the thinking process. There are two kinds of thinking processes one is Calculation and another one is Contemplation. Understanding these two is very important for us to gain wisdom and be successful in all endeavours we undertake.


Sleep and Calculation are very much underrated. When we go to sleep, we do nothing but there is so much that happens within our body. The Calculative mind does for thinking what sleep does for our body. We just input data and our minds calculate every possible scenario.

History is full of examples of this calculative mind. Archimedes shouting “Eureka” after he finds that the Volume of water displaced is equal to the volume of the body is a classic example. He had lots going on in his mind and when he started to relax in the bathtub his calculative mind finds the solution. He was quick to grasp what was happening around him.


Almost all life forms can only calculate, only humans can contemplate. For a normal life form, its senses collect information about its surroundings, forms memory, attaches emotions according to the importance and then its mind calculates. That’s all they can do. Only humans can contemplate.

Buddha is known for meditation. But many are not aware of his contemplative meditation. Even in the previous example of Archimedes, his calculative mind would have given many possibilities and his contemplative mind would have found that the idea could work.

What should we do?

In many ways, our brain works like a computer. It too has input devices and using the inputs it calculates and gives results. What happens if we open too many tabs and keep feeding it with data? The system hangs. We need to give it some time so that it calculates. In the same way, we need to sit in silence to allow our brain to work. Be it Calculation or Contemplation both need us to sit in silence. In this mobile era which gives us never-ending dopamine with social media, mobile games and other entertainment, we seldom sit in silence. Eating in front of the television, Speaking to friends while constantly checking social media, working with constant breaks replying to email and attending calls, fully packed weekends with shopping, movie and dining out. Holiday trips are the most hectic ones. We always live in war mode.

The calculative mind finds all pieces of a puzzle and the contemplative mind finds meaning by properly arranging them. The calculative mind will always be in a hurry. For it, time is precious and tries giving more options. During the process of finding all possible ways, naturally, all negative options do rise. This is how negative thoughts are born. We need to be aware of these thoughts analyse them to check the possibility of its happening. When we do not spend time, contemplate and find a solution. The same thoughts come back repetitively. These negative and repetitive thoughts are the ones that drain us a lot. This can be solved by spending some time on contemplation. As the Contemplative mind needs focus and patience again here too sitting in silence becomes a prerequisite.

Both the Calculative and Contemplative mind are not contradictory but complementary, neither is superior they are just different aspects of our mind. If we want a solution for our problem or If we want inspiration to create, all that we need to do is to ask the right question and be in silence. Our Calculative mind will keep giving all permutations and combinations, many times it will be giving results according to the mood we are in. Our Calculative mind doesn’t know what is right or wrong, it doesn’t know what is Dharma or Adharma, it just keeps giving us options. Our Contemplative mind is where all the analysis as to if the options are right or wrong happens. When both the aspects of our brain works well that is when wisdom starts flowing. We will solve every issue that we face and we would be creating many solutions. The resultant wisdom will give us success in every endeavour.

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Rajesh Kumar Ragothaman

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