Thinking isn't viewed very highly by lots of spiritual (or pseudo-spiritual) folks. Especially those on the Eastern side of the religious divide: Buddhists, Advaitists, Neo-advaitists, Non-dualists, Taoists, and such.
Likewise, I always smile when someone leaves a comment on one of my blog posts that says something like, "Brian, you've got to go beyond words," or "Brian, you need to love more and criticize less."
Oh, I think, like you're not doing yourself, dude.
Scientifically-minded guy that I am, I find it hard to believe that after millions of years of evolution, somehow nature has screwed up and produced humans who -- gasp! -- are endowed with a horrible attribute of thinking that we now are smart enough to realize isn't adaptive for our species.
It seems much more likely that thinking, or rationality, is a really good thing to use in certain circumstances, while not in others.
For instance, in the last Tai Chi class I went to another student and I were practicing a semi-complex "pushing hands" exercise. Hands, arms, and torso all had to work together in a sometimes non-obvious way.
I was doing fine until my partner started explaining some insights he had gotten into the exercise. He then proceeded to break down certain of the movements, telling me how it would be better to do this at such and such a point, and then that.
When we began to push hands again, my thinking was getting in the way of my doing. Our instructor came by and asked, "How are you doing?" I said, "Fine, until I got thinking about this." I then proceeded to forget my partner's advice about what to do and simply do it like I had been before.
Same basic rule applies to dancing, music, athletics, sex, typing, public speaking, and a whole lot else.
Dividing ourselves into someone who is analyzing what's going on, and someone who is getting on with what needs doing -- that way leads to variations of the well-known analysis paralysis.
Letting go... flowing... trusting yourself. That way feels much better.
Unless the situation demands thought, consideration, pondering, staying put until the right way forward becomes clear. Which leads to one of my basic rules: there are no rules.
What I find annoying about so many spiritual, religious, and mystical teachings is their dualism. Even when they claim to be espousing oneness or non-dualism. Thinking bad, intuition good. Calmness good, excitement bad.
And so on and so on.
In my experience, reality appears much more as shades of gray than black and white. We have the ability to think, and also the ability to not think. Knowing when to do each, that's part of being wise. Not in any objective sense.
Wise for us. I've known people who say they hardly ever stop thinking about something or other. And thrive. Other people sure seem like they hardly ever think at all. And in their own way, also thrive.
I do agree that most of us cogitate more than we need to.
It's easy to get caught up in a complex thought-web of our own making that, almost surely, bears little resemblance to how a situation actually is. When someone is driving way slow on the two lane curvy road into town, and I'm late for an appointment, there is virtually no chance that they're doing this just to make me crazy.
But it sure can seem that way.
So I resonate with those who advocate various forms of mindfulness and meditation practices that can make us more aware of when our thinking-mind is going on autopilot, leading us into mental realms that aren't pleasant, productive, or necessary to carry out what needs doing.
On the whole, though, I'm fine with thinking. Couldn't have done what I just did without it. But now it is time for a dog walk and a big dose of not-thinking.