Thursday, December 27, 2007

Dare to Not-Know

As I go through my day, I have to constantly remind myself that all the information received has been filtered in some way for some purpose by some body. That's the definition of propaganda, isn't it? The answer is yes, I looked it up. You can too, if you wish. While I see no way around it at this time, there is a mind game I made up that has helped me to realize that what is being presented is only one version of a universe of possibilities. I called it Dare to Not-Know.

It started like this: for one day, I tried to have no set opinion about anything. When a topic came up--usually of the emotional kind--instead of thinking the usual, habitual thoughts about it, I tried running with the opposite (see previous blog) or thinking of something really far-fetched, maybe ludicrous about it. If I went to the extreme, I tried to have no set opinion at all, but merely observed the subject from as many angles as possible. I played with it; relished the new found freedom and clarity of vision this new way of thinking presented. Jim now plays along with me too, and that is particularly fun.

In the beginning, this exercise was quite difficult and the success rate low. Withdrawal was emotionally excruciating--after all, set opinions are the foundation of who we are. Or so we think. But the trial was kept up and something magical started occurring. Freedom of thought, or should I say freedom FROM habitual thought, began slowly replacing the usual mental patterns and then an added bonus occurred: intuition had a chance to get a foothold. By daring to not-know, intuition began to take up residence and a whole new mental world opened before me.

I can hear the arguments now--especially from mental types: "But if we don't have opinions, our whole world will crumble." Hum, if we go back to the premise that almost all we know is from propaganda of one sort or another, filtered in more ways than we can imagine, we come to the realization that our opinions are not our own anyway. Thus, you could say that we are enslaved in someone else's made-up world. If you like that state, you are welcome to stay there. If you don't, you might give Daring to Not-Know a try. You've got nothing to lose--after all it's free, may be fun, and can be done in the privacy of your own brain where ever you are. Windshield time provides lots of opportunities to practice.

Just for the record, I'm no expert at this not-knowing myself, but would sure find it interesting to engage in conversations with folks who have tried it or have become practitioners of not-knowing over time. If this new mental way caught on, the world might be changed for the better--at least in our own minds.

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