Shards of Consciousness

Question Everything

Question Everything

If I had my way, this would be in front of every classroom in the world, one of those fifteen second public service announcements that gets shown several times a day, and one of the first phrases to teach infants as they learn to talk (right after teaching them to sing Who's my little whosit :) ).

A big lesson in growing up is realizing that no one, including us, has a monopoly on the truth. Many physical adults haven't learned this. They often end up damaging those around them.

Another lesson in maturing is realizing that what we know is the biggest obstacle to getting closer to the truth. If we know something, we've stuck a pin in it, killed it, and mounted it for the world to see. Unfortunately, it is no longer the truth.

Of course, if you want solid answers, that's okay. The world has gotten along, if not well, then passably, for millenia on the basis of solid, accepted answers. This may be related to our tendency to herd.

The tendency to herd is there for a reason. It allows us to exist, if not prosper. There's safety and security in being part of the herd. The people who leave the herd tend to have opprobrium heaped on them by the rest of the the herd.

You can't do that.

That's dangerous.

Everyone knows it's true.

No one will like you.

I don't understand you.

It's wrong.
Often, those who leave the herd do suffer from their waywardness. They suffer physically. They suffer economically. They suffer socially. Usually, they wander off into the darkness, never to be seen again. Sometimes, they return and manage to change the direction of the herd, even if just a little bit. The herd is able to grow, or eat better, or have a wider range.

Question everything.

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4 Responses to Question Everything

  • Good post, Rick, and timely too, with all the political posturing and "truth" spouting. Asking questions is essential to hit on the multiple dimensions of truth. There is never just one truth.

    Applying this to ourselves can be useful too. What question can I ask myself in a particular situation that could move me forward by surfacing multiple truths? Sometimes when I put myself down as a blogger because I don't have "x" number of daily visitors, I look at what else is true. Okay, my visitors have tripled in the last 2 months. I also figured out a tricky technical aspect to my blog by myself. Those are also additional truths. Asking questions can get me from fixating on one aspect.

  • Hi Deb!

    Thank you.

    Sometimes I wonder why the word 'politics' has more than four letters.

    Congratulations on your increased number of readers (that's a HUGE increase for two months) and figuring out the thing with your blog. Applying this to ourselves may be one of the most productive uses of questioning, especially when we're not feeling as if we're making the changes we would like in a particular areas. If we're able to look askance at our selves, we can see how we actually are changing or progressing, even if it isn't in the way we planned.

  • Great post Rick. And Deb is right on in pointing out that the timing could not be better. It's so easy to fall into a pattern of believing what we read and hear without bringing our own intelligence to the issue.

    And, Deb, the way you're applying this to your own inner dialogue is beautiful. Not only do we fall into the trap of accepting the external voices without question, but we also buy into our inner voices in the same way. Much better to question those inner voices of doubt.

  • Hi Ed!

    When my children were growing up, I told them Don't believe most of what you hear and only half of what you see. And for goodness sake, if you know it's true, think about it again. I would much rather they be skeptical than obedient.

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