Tuesday 11 July 2017

Thought Picnic: In search of the rational mind

Winning the freedom to be
It is becoming clear that the greatest battle to fight is one for the rational mind, one that is open to ideas and engagement, one that is willing and ready to jettison orthodoxy, tradition and beliefs for a newer understanding of things.
To be able to free oneself from the norms and chart a path of individuality risks ostracism and excoriation. Unique as we are in our beings, the need to belong even if belonging is inimical to our well-being is one of the poor sacrifices we make in conformity and securing ourselves in our comfort zones.
We create insurmountable boundaries in our minds and imagination, narrow our horizons to the perfunctory and limit our expectations to things either already in our grasp or the old laurels that gather dust in a backwater of irrelevance.
Slaves of superstition
Rather than unlearn, we reinforce the subjective at the expense of the objective and idle the mind to being spoon-fed the witticisms of lesser people we have given the power, means and authority to lord it over us and abuse us in our fawning subservience.
Our minds have become the raging mob with those readily incited to the reprehensible and in our subconscious that eventually gets acted out, we diminish the greatest resource of our humanity to becoming mere humans.
We are, by terms, the slaves of superstition – the widely held but irrational belief in supernatural influences, especially as leading to good or bad luck, or a practice based on such a belief.
Beyond reason
In that, we lose the trail of reason, out of which we could find a reasonable purpose of exercising every latitude of reasonableness. A mind governed by superstition cannot be questioning, inquiring, challenging, inquisitive, and precocious or ever dare to be irreverent.
We accept things as they are beyond which there is no other progress but to repeat the vicious cycle of bad traditions disabling our capacity.
It has to be a conscious decision to break free, to ensure that in seeing we observe, in hearing we listen and learn, in touching we feel, in interactions we begin to understand and appreciate other views. When presented with the prism of life, every incident of light brings new perspectives, if we are seeing just one thing, it means you, the prism and the source of light are not moving, we might well be glass-eyed.
Seeking the rational mind
The beginning of rationality in plotting the course from being steeped in superstition is to read and to comprehend. Comprehension requires exposure to mechanics of language, inflexions and intentions, context and usage, there is a world of ideas that would not fall off the trees onto our heads jolting us into conscious revival.
We need to desire that sense and determination of individuality that can change not only ourselves but those around us. Nothing is sacred or sacrosanct, facts must be scrutinised constantly for flaws, data is a jumble to be made sense of and opinions are just what they are opinions.
Yet, we can dare to be original, take initiative even in a crowded field without fearing to think differently from the accepted or what has been deemed the acceptable. We have to battle our idols, our anxieties, our misgivings, our doubts, slaughter the sacred cows and barbeque the steaks for a feast of emancipation.
We war against the superstition that has held us hostage for too long and set out on an adventure into the unknown, searching for new truths, debunking old myths and laying the legends to rest where they belong, in stories, in fables and in fantasy.

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