Thought Form III: Thought reflexes
Just as we can buy every single thing with money, we also look at and interpret every single thing in the form it takes through money: as value among values, as quantum of uniform worth, the same one worth of which everthing else is also a quantum of. We don’t have to think for a second about the highly abstract and very specific form of this interpretation; we really don’t need anything about it clarified at all. Nevertheless, simply because we routinely look at things as merchandise, and thus as monetary value, that form becomes one of everyday thinking – and that shows itself in many ways.
Applying the same scale to thoroughly different things
One example is the by now almost compulsory exercise of applying the same scale to thoroughly different things. Thus, quite dissimilar things are presumed to be manifestations of the same thing, differing merely quantitatively. Pain, for example, is experienced quite differently than is pleasure. But psychologists manage to apply the same scale to both of them assuming they were just different values of the same kind of sensation just at the opposite ends of the measuring scale. Better known and very widespread is the classification of every shade of political conviction on a scale between right and left: There is a midpoint and whatever deviates from it does so as a value moving to the right or to the left along this scale only. An insight in political issues that someone advocates – however sharply it might diverge from left or right positions – constitutes, at most, an extreme, is extremism, and belongs to the same given spectrum. Accordingly it cannot and may not perceive anything other than what is forseen for this spectrum.
Thus content, as specific as it may be, will be indifferent – conceived to be indifferent. And this indifference makes sense to everyone: It appears to us immediately justified, and to correspond to reality in precisely how it quantifies and thus ignores the specifics of any given thing or being. In the same way, as a consequence of money’s indifference to the content for which it can be freely exchanged, content yields to the way in which it is mediated. Communication as such becomes more important than what is being communicated. Or the method – that is, in which way, we get certain content – takes precedence over the content that is to be determined in this way.