Dear reader, as you're sitting down and reading these lines I suppose you're feeling comfortable. You should.
The more you'll read the more you will deepen in essence. Your concentration will progress to comprehend what follows.
By the time you will have reached the end you'll be happy to have invested your time wisely.
Even if you're probably on social media or "spending" your time somewhere on the internet.
The monetary exchange in our digital era is information.
The same exchange has always existed and it continues to have a huge value in society.
High-quality information is more beneficial and valuable than all the money on earth.
Open "source" information leads to an open society.
We have access to all of the information which we'll ever need.
The ancient thinkers would envy us for the great access we posses to all of the data and ideas. Everything is just a few clicks away. There is, however, one slight problem.
We don't use this information at all. We prefer useless information which occupies all our time and energy instead of searching for information which will help and heighten us.
Information doesn't help anything if we're not using it how it properly.
Daily we're wasting two of the most valuable and exhaustible resources. Time and attention.
King Solomon put wisdom at the highest rank. Information without wisdom equals zero. All the philosophers from antiquity priced wisdom more than anything in the world.
There is a long road from information to wisdom. Read on and follow the path.
My intention is to make you aware how easy it is to start thinking for yourself and think on your own.
Arming yourself with the necessary information and making decissions on your own without letting yourself be influenced by what you're hearing, reading or seeing.
There is only ONE road from understanding to wisdom.
Wisdom is the superior capacity of understanding things.
Wisdom implies a deep knowledge of reality, experience, and balance. The spirit of anticipation. Temperence in judgment.
It's the most complex virtue and quality humans could ever attain. Wisdom is the attainment of perfection. It;s never attained since there is always more to do, more to learn. More to attain.
You'll find all of the comfort in the world by re-reading the above definition again so you can internalize it. You will need it later.
Where did these ideas come from?
Now let's go back to ideas. We live with ideas. We're marked by ideas and we react on the basis of ideas and ideologies.
From here it's important to start looking for the definition of ideology in a dictionary.
- "A manner or the content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture"
- "The totality of ideas and concepts which reflect the interests of a class or social norm which serve to consolidate or change existing social relations"
Any idea which passes by us. Whether we accept it or not is like a sugestion. it gets internalized somewhere in our subconscious.
Therefore we're the result of all ideas, ideologies and everything we've ever read, heard or talked about.
It's no wonder that some say that we're the average of the 5 people we interact the most with.
For ages humanity thought up and processed multiple ideas, some which can be combined:
- That we've excaped dictatorial regimes. Some are happy, others cry after it. Everyone after his or her own ideology. Or after the fears which some endured. In case someone cries after a totalitarian regime it's important to count the number of people who died. (If you ever think Communism was great, please visit The Pain Memorial from Sighetul Marmatiei, Romania)
- That we're blessed with liberty, equality, fraternity, capitalism, happiness and trickery.
- That elsewhere it's better and that all our problems get solved if we run away from them. Problems get solved when we're united and actually solve them.
- Most politicians (country leaders) are "thieves", "corrupted" and "evil" - There are good leaders in the world too, they just don't get a following because their ideas involve other principles and values including integrity.
- That there is a conspiration against us the people by someone. (Conspiracy Theories)
The list can continue. It's a list of things I always hear. I could write full articles about each point with potential solutions and provide answers to all of those problems.
However I won't do that, because the root of all these problems is usually the same.
Depending on which country you live in the aspects of thinking has been affected by wars, socio-economic status and various other things including the governing regime.
When I talk about a "regime" I mean all of the political parties in history, the governing body of a country and all it's parts. Including everyone and everything.
What's important to know is that during most wars in the world many people with potential have died. Potential which could have changed the world.
With every "political" advance new social changes occured which in some countries destroyed and destabilized inner peace of the country and of each individual as a whole.
Most political regimes keep people busy fighting with each other by following fake and stupid ideologies. Some regimes are so severe that they eradicate any contrary beliefs.
Most regimes don't know to collaborate with all of the parties involved. Opossing ideas are crushed without being analyzed.
Regimes add ideas and ideologies which persist for long periods. Sometimes going down in generations from grandparents, parents and children. Ideologies and ideas which persist and denaturate our behavior and thinking. This is why countries which lived more than 40 years under communism have a hard time getting back on track.
People who had great ideas were seen as different where marginalized or exterminated from the face of the earth.
Some of them gave up the futile fight to prove a point since they saw that their energy was better spent somewhere else.
Today we're left with those who have nothing to prove. They lack knowledge, information and wisdom yet will fight untill the bitter end to prove "the truth". Oftentimes proving the wrong things for the wrong reasons.
Whose truth we may ask? Certainly not mine and not yours.
The more uncertain a person is the more they will fight to prove their point.
People who are certain about things won't spend the time arguing or proving things. Their actions are more powerful.
Unfortunately, this makes the others think they've won a dispute. This is one of the reasons why rotten ideas spread.
Let's get back to ideas. I'm certain you say to yourself (and to others) that you have hundreds of ideas and opinions.
Thinking that they're your own and that you think on your own. That you're behaving the way you want and that you're doing what you want.
That you have liberty of thought and that you're right.
Now take a deep breath. The truth will shock you. Truth is a thunderbolt of revelation.
What I'm interested in dear reader is that YOU understand one single thing.
The Truth about ideas
No idea which you believe in is truly yours. It has been inoculated in you since you were a small child.
During your lifetime new ideas have been added, somewhere modeled and others remodeled.
We can form our own ideas and thinking by making connections between existing ideas. This requires an open mind analyzing everything without preconceived thoughts.
And this is though, and probably only a minority of the population can do.
This is part of nurturing and schooling. Not quite the same with education. Education is something different. Education is the search for wisdom. It's done solely by you without biases from anyone else. To achieve "education" you need to quit a plethora of ideas, ideologies, and preconceptions you might have.
We can say that truth is relative and we can agree on this. Relative until we find out all of the viewpoints. Then we can choose the most viable and real thing as "The Truth".
Now, who can do this without emotional bias?
Let's get back to ideas. From an early age, ideas have been "suggested" to you by your parents, other children, friends, teachers, politicians, journalists, etc.
Ideas which you've integrated in yourself. You became those ideas. You are what you think. But what you think is what you've heard and seen and which you help propagate further. Actually, you're not thinking for yourself, others do this for you.
Try to prove this to yourself. You will soon discover that everything which you believe in, buy, do and say has been inoculated from somewhere.
You are not yourself. what you think comes from somewhere else.
We take ideas, integrate them, throw them away. Everything after a pre-established set of primordial ideas which have been "shared" with us since we where little.
George Orwell in his classical book 1984 envisioned a totalitarian world. His world was metaphysical. A world in which our thoughts are controlled. Once you dare to think for yourself your life will change.
Edward de Bono said that "Studies have shown that 90% of error in thinking is due to error in perception. If you can change your perception, you can change your emotion and this can lead to new ideas."
Who is Edward de Bono? I invite you to find out. He has written quite a few interesting books. He also created a system of 60 thinking tools called Cognitive Research Trust. CoRT.
If you aren't thinking for yourself then who is truly thinking at all?
By asking yourself this question then you're starting to have a sparkle of wisdom start somewhere. Who truly thinks?
Hmm, other questions seem to follow.
- What does it mean to think?
- Who are the thinkers from whom we can learn something valuable?
- Why should you think?
- When should you think?
- Where are you when you're thinking?
- What's your internal state?
- Who can you think with?
- And now the most important question of all:
- How does it feel to think for real?
- How do others behave around you? How are your ideas viewed?
If you can do only one thing which will change you and the world.
Stop sharing ideas that are not your own and which you haven't fully researched. (In other words stop sharing crap on social media, better yet quit social media!)
Reserach means looking at a viewpoint from all angles. Asking yourself who wins and who losses if I support this idea.
The more you will think about it the more you will understand that you can't probably posses the truth.
Then you will understand that ideas are cheap and the fight for "truth" becomes irrelevant.
What becomes relevant is HOW can you think and avoid being taken advantage of.
To be continued
Heading image by @jeztimms