Google dictionary for critical thinking says: “Critical thinking is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.”
It is very common and ordinary to be semi-conscious, or mostly unconscious about what is going on within one’s mind in this world.
I think ordinary thinking happens when the attention of the individual is not directed very consciously, intentionally. The mind jumps from thought to thought and the attention of the individual focuses on different locations within themselves in a more patterned, conditioned way based upon their past or more accurately, their subconscious activity.
When critical thinking is exercised, attention is more consciously, intentionally applied on a specific area within oneself.
When we experience something with awareness/more consciously we gain deeper insights about that experience. Our understanding evolves more rapidly when we are more conscious.
And when focus is applied in a certain area, the knowledge we gain will be more about that area, as we will be more aware of that area.
Critical thinking reminds me of these two above mentioned qualities: Relatively Greater Awareness/Consciousness/Presence than normal and Intentionally Directed Focus. However it is common in our times that presence is not high enough to completely transcend the thoughts and have a totally silent mind. The individual is not at this level of consciousness yet. But in critical thinking there is a heightened state of awareness and this in turn leads to increased insights about the area that is being focused on and one’s understanding will evolve about this area of their mind/of the world; consequently one will have more evolved thoughts/greater wisdom reflecting this understanding, which can be said to be the goal of critical thinking.
Ordinary thinking reminds me of the state of mind which is more commonly found in this world. The common man in the ordinary state of mind is semi-conscious and also is not particularly focused very consciously on an area. So the qualities of ordinary thinking commonly found in this world are: Ordinary Level of Awareness/Consciousness/Presence and Mostly Subconsciously Directed Focus. (focus still is directed but patterned by the subconscious content of an individual’s mind, and it is directed mostly subconsciously, not consciously)
However, as an individual advances in awakening to the full depth of themselves, they will in due time transcend both critical thinking and ordinary thinking.
How so? As one awakens to their true nature, their focus will be more and more directed towards this experience, and a greater and greater inner silence/creative energy/intelligence will be experienced by the individual in their ordinary state of mind. The mind’s jumping from thought to thought will be reduced and even come to a point of stopping in highly advanced persons. Objective analysis of critical thinking begins to transform into the experience of oneness with the objects, and mental analysis naturally develops into inner peace. The subconscious patterned way of semi-conscious ordinary thinking transforms into freedom from patterns and experience of the eternal creative being that we are, and the subconsciously directed focus gets settled/established in the experience of our Higher Self.
To reach greater understanding about critical thinking and ordinary thinking, and for more information about how understanding evolves in the mind and about the Higher Self you can study these resources: