Namaste Crew Members,
As we navigate the sea of information of the world-wide-web, we often cross paths with untruths in the form of cunning deceptions, scams and lies. These untruths can range from benign, to down right dangerous and enslaving. As a fellow truth seeker, I strive to share what wisdom my path has distilled upon me in hopes that I may be both of service to others, and corrected when in error. If what I share bellow resonates with you, please take it upon yourself to learn it for yourself. If you don't find value in what I have to say, follow your own truth and continue on your path.
To iterate the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The only thing sacred after all is the integrity of ones own mind." No belief, organization, leader or idea should be so sacred as to not merit careful investigation and scrutiny. Any and all information you come across should first be verified through careful analysis of the supporting evidence before being accepted as true or worthy of adaptation. If something is true
, it will be substantiated by verifiable evidence, logic, and reason. As Buddha himself once said, "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who has said it, not
even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense".
One potential problem with much of the New Age genre of information is that it is not always substantiated with hard evidence, leaving us to more or less act on faith in place of logic. Fortunately we can use the tools of logic, reason, the scientific method and some basic psychology to help us avoid deception.
If something is true, such as the force of gravity, it will be mostly consistent, verifiable, and not require belief in order for it to be true. It just is. One thing we have to watch out for is our personal biases. Is something true because it is self evident and verifiable, or does it only seem true because you believe it is? Our minds have the capacity to create illusions of truth, where little to none exists. Just as an example, one might believe they are cursed and made to suffer due to a mishap in a past life. This person would then look for things in their life that affirms this belief. Their focus on the bad things that happen to them, while ignoring or rationalizing the good things enhances this potentially false reality. However, if they were to perform a less biased review of their life, or even get the opinion of another, they would likely see that they are just average and have the same good/bad experiences as anyone else. This phenomenon is known as "Confirmation Bias"
: "It is the peculiar and perpetual error
of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by
negatives" - Francis Bacon. For this reason, feelings alone should not be trusted to confirm whether something is true or not. Feelings and intuition can give us hunches in the right direction, but they should be corroborated with both the physical evidence and the application of logic and reason.
Another psychological phenomenon that can either deter or lead us closer to the truth is cognitive dissonance
. This is the uncomfortable feeling that we may feel when we are presented with new information that contradicts our current beliefs or paradigms. If we allow this discomfort and anxiety to scare us away from further investigation, we could potentially forgo the opportunity to arrive closer to the truth. However, if we investigate with the attitude that knowing the truth is more important than remaining comfortable, we can then hope to find out if this new information is closer to the truth than our current paradigm.
One thing that can complicate things is that there are different types of truths
as well as differing definitions and adaptations there of. Laws of nature (physics, mathematics etc) could be considered one type of truth, while metaphysics, spirituality, and psychology would fall under other types. Some truths are based on facts (2+2=4), while others are more subjective (philosophy, spirituality etc). If someone is attempting to take advantage of perceived truths, there are some warning signs worth noting to hopefully avoid being deceived:
- Unreasonable cost for services (is it all about the money?)
- Devotion, loyalty or worship to the leader
- Abandonment of family, friends or non-believers
- Superstitious or magical thinking required (goes against logic, reason or science)
- Contradicts verifiable evidence or witnesses
- Questioning or further investigation is discouraged (faith only etc)
- Contradicts intuition or gut feelings (follow your hunches through to further investigation)
One last item worth mentioning is the potency and subtlety of mind control/thought reform. Without knowing the patterns and methods of mind control, we can potentially be converted into dangerous cults, false religions, or into false thinking. This Wiki
will provide a good introduction of Mind Control.
The above represents tidbits of what I have personally experienced and crossed paths with. Your mileage may very. You may take it or leave it.