Reflection 4: The act of reflecting
In previous blog posts we referred to personal preferences relating to reflecting. We suggested that some people might prefer to have some structure to enable them to think effectively whereas others might prefer a more free-flowing approach to this process. We proposed that two types of opportunities for engaging in reflective activities; these are formal sessions where groups of people might get together to reflect on specific issues or there may be more opportunistic moments that occur to reflect informally under more solitary conditions.
Continuing with the dichotomy of preferences, let us turn now to the granular aspect of reflection; the act of thinking or cognition. How we think is an integral aspect of reflection. Cognition has and continues to be of interest to various disciplines, including among others, Neuroscience, Philosophy and Psychology. Antonio Damasio, whose professional interests span all three areas attempts to explain the concept of consciousness, as without it humans would not be able to engage in acts of cognition. Due to technology and non-invasive procedures, it is now possible to look into a living brain and observe neural pathways as they activate when a person is thinking about something, which in the context of these blog posts is what we refer to as reflection; therefore to be able to reflect draws on the need to be conscious.