It’s difficult to maintain an inquiring mind – one willing to change course and even reject previously held notions if that’s where the evidence leads. This takes a measure of humility, brutal honesty and courage.
We tend to form beliefs, become defensive about them and then find evidence to support our positions, shunning all other information that may draw this into doubt. On one level this is understandable. It’s exhausting to stay open minded, especially when it comes to issues that deeply impact our lives. What if the evidence points us in radically new directions? Will we be required to live differently and give up old practices? How will friends and relatives react? What will become of us?
The sense of honest discovery is born of a fundamental belief that the world is given to us…
Regardless of the consequences, those who wish to know and live in the truth must remain ever vigilant – questioning not only others, but also one’s own opinions and motivations.
I’m not saying we should become so open-minded that our brains fall out, but there is a healthy nimbleness of mind that fosters a sense of adventure as we truly discover (rather than make up) the truths about this world, ourselves and our Creator.
This sense of honest discovery, however, is born of a fundamental belief that the world is given to us – this includes our very bodies, the natural world and our final destination. In a very real sense, we are subject to this reality. We cannot change it, but only live in conformity to what is real and true. All of this exists outside of our subjective experience, and when we live in conformity with the truth we thrive and grow into better people.
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Unfortunately, we often live in echo chambers with all voices chanting the same mantra. When those echo chambers are large enough – think social media giants – alternative voices are banished and cancelled, not with better evidence, but with brute power and overwhelming influence.
Let us not become beholden to these avenues of inquiry. Read the old books, talk for hours around the fire, ponder the meaning of creation, and always be willing to take the narrow way, off the beaten path, to find the truth.