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Is there a meaningful difference between a Toolbox thinker, and a Law thinker who is "careful to understand the context and the caveats: when is the right time to think in Law, how to think in Law, and what type of problems call for Lawful thinking"?

Kegan's model?

I see. Having now briefly read about Korzybski on some web pages, I'd venture to say that consciousness of abstraction is a very sophisticated way of organizing what you do and say when you're not Looking.

Since we're talking about the behavior of comment threads, I hope you won't mind me mentioning here that I would love to be able to collapse a comment from below its nested replies in addition to the top of the comment. I'm finding that I often am scrolling down a chain of nested replies to see if anything new has been added, discovering that nothing has, and then scrolling up to collapse.

EDIT: never mind, that's what the green bar is for! I just hadn't seen any new comments yet :D

Do you count your personal identity and history as abstractions?

Interesting. One of the terms that is used in Buddhism is "ego-identification" -- this is the belief that all of my perceptions come through a specific physical body, and therefore I am this body. I'm probably oversimplifying, but my understanding is that this belief should be understood to be erroneous, and actually seeing through and letting go of this belief is a major milestone. It occurs to me now that ego-identification is a kind of perceptual chunking, perhaps the most fundamental one.

You may find it worthwhile to read Loch Kelly's book Shift Into Freedom. It's a relatively quick and easy read and teaches a style of practice oriented around "small glimpses" which don't take much time. It doesn't focus on developing concentration, which it sounds like you have a lot of already.

The fact that you recognize you have unresolved stuff that drains energy is actually evidence in favor of you having what Val is pointing at. It's much better than being completely unaware of it or believing that it's just how the world is.