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May 25

The Lost Art of “Entertaining the Thought”

By Tim Bryant | Guest writer for Wake Up World

The-Lost-Art-of-Entertaining-the-Thought-350x219“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle 

From the moment of conception, the human mind is like a sponge, soaking up all the available information in its vicinity in an evolutionary attempt to form some concrete lens in which to perceive reality. Simply stated, people’s minds are instinctively programmed from a young age based upon the information of which they are exposed to. Some information comes from personal trial and error; some information is passed down through authority figures; and some information just comes from the subtle queues hidden within a culture that are picked up on, often unbeknownst to the conscious mind. Either way, each human being will develop their way to view the world.

Information is inevitably the true power behind the mind, and the foundation on which human consciousness is built. Failing to gather good information leaves one vulnerable to the evolutionary process known as natural selection, in which the strong thrive and the weak are weeded out. Unfortunately, many people fail to realize that much of the information they might have downloaded during their formative years, and believe to be true, is actually painting a picture of reality that isn’t quite so accurate. In fact, sometimes it’s completely flipped upside down. However, many people simply don’t know that they don’t know, yet still go around boasting confidently, willfully ignorant to the great illusion they’re under.

It should come as no surprise anymore to our readers that the road to truth is littered with false idols and misconstrued ideas, which often nudge people down paths that ultimately lead toward dead ends or negative feedback loops. Sometimes this is just the accident of a well-intentioned but misinformed source; sometimes this is the deliberate deception of a skilled con artist; and sometimes this is just you conning yourself by not understanding the limitations of your own mind.

Whatever the reason, far too many people become indoctrinated into a mindset of false “facts,” all of which combine like a web of strings to tie the mind down into a very small range of reality with little wiggle room on either side for which to expand outwards. Society further reinforces that this narrow band of perception is real and right, and people learn fairly quickly that exploring outside the set parameters often leads to social and academic isolation. Wandering minds are not tolerated and quickly placed back into the standardized box the system deems appropriate. If not, a quick prescription of Adderall or systemic intimidation is there to wipe up the remaining mess and removes all traces.

As alarming as this sounds, this is not always the case. In fact, the unbounded free-thinker is often the one who pushes the commonly accepted knowledge base forward, bringing taboo knowledge onto the main stage and into the mass consciousness. Great scholars have long known about this art and it all revolves around the concept of “entertaining the thought.”

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