In Thought as a System theoretical physicist David Bohm takes as his subject the role of thought and knowledge at every level of human affairs, from our private reflections on personal identity to our collective efforts to fashion a tolerable civilization. Elaborating upon principles of the relationship between mind and matter first put forward in Wholeness and the Implicate Order, Dr Bohm rejects the notion that our thinking processes neutrally report on what is ‘out there’ in an objective world. He explores the manner in which thought actively participates in forming our perceptions, our sense of meaning and our daily actions. He suggests that collective thought and knowledge have become so automated that we are in large part controlled by them, with a subsequent loss of authenticity, freedom and order. In three days of conversation with fifty seminar participants in Ojai, California, Dr Bohm offers a radical perspective on an underlying source of human conflict, and inquires into the possibility of individual and collective transformation.
In Bohm’s view, we have inherited a belief that mind (or thought) is of an inherently different and higher order than matter. This belief has nurtured a faith in what we call objectivity—the capacity to observe and report neutrally on some object or event, without having any effect on what we are looking at, or without being affected by it. Historically, this perspective has given us a scientific and cultural world view in which isolated, fragmentary parts mechanically interact