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My two types of thoughts (active and passive thoughts)

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I sometimes notice that I’ve basically got two types of thoughts. Let’s call them active and passive thoughts for now. Active thoughts are my thoughts, where I feel I’m actively deciding to think these thoughts, whereas passive thoughts are, well, passive. They just pop into my head. no effort required.

I don’t always notice the difference between the two of them. I think I notice the difference most when I’m trying to speak fairly loudly. Then active thoughts feel louder in my head, whereas the passive thoughts are still pretty quiet. I don’t know if this is always the case, I only remember such details from the most recent time I noticed this. That time I was trying to speak to someone while we were walking in a park.

I also remember I noticed these types of thoughts a few times a long time ago. Back in secondary school I one time described the passive thoughts as someone, kind of giving me the
answers to certain test questions and one of my fellow students asked a bit more questions and I did admit it was probably just my own thoughts. Back then, I was also very into star wars and eventually started to think of my passive thoughts as a long-dead Jedi knight who was being reborn in my body… I don’t think I actually believed this most of the time, but it was an entertaining thought.

I also described these types of thoughts to a friend once during University. I think not much after I noticed the difference between them again. He was quite interested, but I don’t think the conversation lead me to any new insights.

I quickly googled (or in my case ecosia’d, since that’s my default search engine) a bit while writing this. Just to have a look if other people have written about this as well. Turns out they have, so maybe I’ll write another blogpost about this with some perspectives from other people (or maybe even some research into the phenomena).