What makes a thought deep?

For most of my life when I write, speak or communicate in any form. People react with “that was deep.”

It always takes me by surprise because I usually just rant on about something that seems accessible and right in front of me. But I am beginning to realize that the fact that the thought maybe right in front of me is because I have been pondering it for a while maybe actively but most definitely passively.

On the giving end of “that is deep” as a response to other people’s thoughts/ideas, I have noticed that their thoughts tend to have these characteristics:

  • Unobvious: not a word, I know but I like to stick it to English for having limitations. A deep thought to me is a thought that I have to dig for. It’s a thought that even after hearing it, it took some moments ruminating on it before it connected in my medulla oblongata. It doesn’t matter if it’s obvious to everyone. To me it is deep because I had to dig. I guess in literal sense, most deep things in physical life require digging.
  • Layered: a word. A thought is deep when it’s a puzzle. It required a strong grasp of many concepts strung together beautifully to reveal a new entity or idea or well, thought. Really, in summary, I’m saying a thought is deep when it takes work to put it together logically and it takes work to process it. It takes following a trail of thoughts or bread crumbs in a particular order to arrive at it. Comparing it to the process of digging, it takes many lined up shovel hits to the ground to arrive at the treasure. The logical connection is analogous to the path the shovel travels from the ground surface till the treasure is hit.
  • Clear: the deepest thoughts are the ones that not only did they take a lot of digging to find, yet they now appear very clear when presented whilst still encapsulating the web that led to them. Think of a puzzle that at quick glance you can see the amazing picture or map the puzzle was hiding maybe even a 3D puzzle but the completed puzzle reveals all the pieces strung together to create the fascinating breath taking piece.

I like deep as a feedback. It makes me feel hardworking in thought (who needs to be hardworking in deeds). As a result, I want to write more work that evokes that compliment because it also suggests to me that the thoughts presented have been useful and helpful. It says to me that the thought presented captures the level of effort the recipient appreciates. As I wrote in my first medium piece, my purpose for writing is to be useful and thus must focus on not merely articulating my thoughts like art but articulating them in ways that transfers an idea, message, inspiration to the reader. I think deep is an acute feedback that indicates inspiration received.

We don’t have audio and visual cues like websites and software. When you send an email and it leaves your machine, you get that sound indicating it is sent. When you send a text message and it is read, you see that “read 12:00” indicating that it was received. My device collected my thought, hopped on the internet carriage, knocked on your device’s door, passed the none-threatening detection system that then encouraged your device to let it in, notified you of a message, the preview connected your curiosity AND you opened the message.

That process sounds deep now when I think about it but I digress. I have none of that technology at my disposal but I want to learn from you. This is a conversational piece, help me understand what ”deep” is to you. What words come to mind when you classify communication forms – thought, article, art – as deep? I want to hear from you in the response section!

You can respond with a word. A phrase. An analogy or even a deep thought! Go!