Monday, January 14, 2013

Don't Believe Me? Good.

Cultivate rigorous uncertainty.

Be especially cautious with anything 
you want to be true -
are you aware of all the reasons 
why you want it to be true?

Can you notice as your mind 
leapfrogs to each new lilypad of evidence, 
accumulating justifications from only those sources 
it is inclined to agree with?

Do you feel the difference between 'truth' as it exists
in the rabbitwarren of your brain,
reflecting itself at skewed angles off mirrorlined tunnels
and skittishly startling in a new direction
at ever unexpected noise...
do you feel the difference between that so-called 'truth' 
and the truth of your own firsthand experience?

Be curious, most especially as you begin to poke and prod
at things like politics, economics, and 'history.'
The more you turn these things upside down and shake them,
the more different versions will come tumbling out.

A few tips - 

* Be wary of dualistic oversimplifications

* Be skeptical of anyone who makes their living 
peddling their version of the truth

* Be very skeptical of second, third, and fourth-hand accounts

* Pay attention to body language and tone of voice

* As much as possible, adopt a disinterested stance 
of contemplative curiosity

Above all, 
remember that peering below the surfacelevel of life
is best done with your own two eyes, 
within the context of your own individual experience.

Truth is there to be found,
though often it's not what we want it to be 
and usually we find it in unexpected places.

These kinds of truths are not math,
and are not as simple as 2 + 2 = 4.
The outcome depends on the relationship
between 2-1 and 2-2, which is, of course,
dynamic and everchanging.

Remember that authentic intuition 
rarely rockets enthusiastically in just one direction:
if you are quick to latch on to any one particular story
it's probably because you've wanted that to be true 
for a long time, 
and you've been waiting to hear it said
by someone other than you
so you could prove it to yourself.

Intuition can sometimes come in the form 
of a solid, gut-felt feeling: a clear "Yes" or "No."
...but it can also be gentle, vague, and dreamy -
soft stream currents 
unhurriedly drifting your boat first one way, then another.

Try to tune in to the most subtle movements
and do not let your overly-distractible mindrabbit
dash in all directions,
dragging your emotions along with him.

Cultivate a steady spaciousness,
be expansive and slow to come to a conclusion.

Question everything. 

Especially this.

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