This mentality is not the product of ignorance (nor is it caused by lack of
intelligence): it is self-made, i.e., self-arrested.
In the brain of an anti-conceptual person, the process of integration is
largely replaced by a process of association. What his subconscious stores and
automatizes is not ideas, but an indiscriminate accumulation of sundry
concretes, random facts, and unidentified feelings, piled into unlabeled mental
file folders. This works, up to a certain point—i.e., so long as such a person
deals with other persons whose folders are stuffed similarly, and thus no
search through the entire filing system is ever required. Within such limits,
the person can be active and willing to work hard. . . .
A person of this mentality may uphold some abstract principles or profess some
intellectual convictions (without remembering where or how he picked them up).
But if one asks him what he means by a given idea, he will not be able to
answer. If one asks him the reasons of his convictions, one will discover
that his convictions are a thin, fragile film floating over a vacuum, like an
oil slick in empty space—and one will be shocked by the number of questions it
had never occurred to him to ask.