If you don't speak English and you want to know all about this term, you might thnk it is related to thought, but it is hardly ever used that way. Usually, thoughtless means without regard for consequences, often consequences undesirable to others. However, I would like to explain how the word can be used with a less ugly meaning.

I came up with this word when I was trying to verbalize the quality of people who often zone out. If you take a long drive by yourself, you may discover that several minutes have passed during which it seemed that you were not there. This can happen in other situations too. It may be a state we all pass through on our way to being asleep.

Thoughtlessness replaces the state of mind we have to be in to learn something when we have learned it so fully that there's nothing more to learn. It makes room for other thoughts. For example, once you have tied your shoes many times, you do it without thinking. We shoe-tying experts are usually thinking about other things when we tie our shoes, but every so often, we do it in complete thoughtlessness. Unfortunately, we sometimes perform other tasks thoughtlessly, such as changing lanes, closing doors, yelling, or even noding. This should be avoided at all costs. One path to avoiding such thoughtlessness is to work on having lucid dreams (search that node for "lucid living").

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