Everyone thinks they are open-minded. Many people fancy themselves, Freethinkers. What is a Freethinker? See if you are, or what you need to do to become one.
This is a self-test. Try it yourself. See if you reach the level of thinking proposed in the following definition.
Some people think the guidelines are impossible. If this is your conclusion, then you are right. You are not in a place where you can move beyond the boundaries of the programming of the cultural narrative. Many people are in this situation. Groupthink manipulation prevents you from the possibility of thinking beyond bias and prejudice.
However, if you think the guidelines are possible, then you are also right. It is possible to break the shackles of the cultural narrative.
What is a Freethinker?
This is someone who can see the bias and prejudice in the cultural narrative. More importantly, they can leave this negative programming behind. They cultivate the use of logical reasoning and common sense. They improve their observational skills. This study results in a high level of intuitive and analytical reasoning.
The underlying elements of this level of perception are logical reasoning and common sense. Here again, if you ask most people, they would say I use common sense. But do they really?
The definition of reason and common sense are becoming fuzzy. We only see what we expect. And, if we are under the influence of the cultural narrative, we reflect its bias and prejudice. So, we assume a lot of things that are not factual. They are value judgments on a sliding scale.
For instance, ask a group of people if they are law-abiding citizens. 100% will answer yes. But then ask them if they went over the speed limit in the last week? Most people break some man-made law at least once a day.
Leo Tolstoy is the first to use the term and define it.
“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking…” ― Leo Tolstoy
So, being able to think with more clarity is about moving beyond the cultural narrative. But, this isn’t easy to do.
Why are there so few Freethinkers?
People live under the constant bombardment of propaganda. We are constantly being programmed not to think in terms of common sense or logic.
If we are to shift perception, we must first fix the negative programming. This requires diligent and regular inner work. Inner work involves one or more consciousness-expanding techniques. Stepping outside of the programmed messages, suspending our constant internal chatter is like a reset button for the mind.
The Mind is a Muscle
The mind is like a muscle. It needs to be training to be strong. People do resistance training to build the strength of their muscles. So, what is a Freethinker? It is someone who trains their brain. They study and practice the use of reason and logic. You don’t need advanced mathematics to understand when an argument is likely to be true or false.
Practicing the use of inductive logic and other analytical methodologies associated will give you a huge edge in life. They refer to these processes as the scientific method.
What is the Scientific Method?
Science doesn’t care what you believe. The scientific method is a systematic way of exploring. It’s a process for investigating phenomena. We use it to acquire new knowledge, or correct and integrate previous knowledge. To be scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical or measurable evidence. And, it must subject to specific principles of reasoning. We can describe this process in six steps:
- Make an observation
- Record and communicate the observation accurately as possible
- Form questions concerning what we observe to find out more
- Form a hypothesis based on the evidence and what it could mean
- Conduct an experiment
- Analyze the data and draw conclusions.
These Six Steps either confirm the hypothesis or lead us to more questions. The ability to make good observations is also essential for the development of other skills.
Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, they share the same features of the process above.
So, here’s the process that will help you find the facts from the fiction. Study and use of logical reasoning, logical axioms, and tools for spotting logical fallacy. These are the antidotes for the sickness within our cultural narrative.
Want to Join the Freethinkers?
Learning to be a Freethinker includes several processes we call “spiritual technologies”. These are processes for expanding awareness and investigating other states of consciousness.
The application and practice of logic and logical tools is just one available aspect. The logical mind is just one of these technologies. Learning these skills of observation and analysis will help you see things more clearly. It will help you to see reality without overt prejudice and judgment. You probably won’t be able to eliminate 100%. But, you can get close. It’s a perspective that allows you to investigate ideas outside of your world-view.
Freethinkers have a unique ability to suspend the programming of the natural mind to see only what it expects to see or understand. They don’t automatically fear what they don’t understand. Or, fear ideas outside of their paradigm. They can see the mechanisms behind customs, beliefs, and paradigm boundaries of all types that others simply cannot. This is a skill you too can cultivate. It’s well worth the time because it will open doors to move beyond the programming you’ve accumulated living in our modern culture.
What is a Freethinker? Are you one? Do you want to be one? Are you on the way? We hope you are. And, if you not that you are on your way to becoming one. The world needs more people who are open-minded thinkers.
Interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
Leo Tolstoy, Wikipedia