on mountain top challenging the cultural narrative

Questioning the Cultural Narrative

“The starting point to freedom is to begin questioning the cultural narrative you have been sold.” — Bryant McGill

Tools to question the cultural narrative

Questioning the cultural narrative is indeed the first step in freedom.  This step also a consequence of the awakening process.  And, it requires a great deal of courage and personal resolve.  You may be marginalized and isolated from your current circle of friends and even family when you start to question the cultural standards and boundaries. In some cultures, you may even put yourself in physical danger.  As a heretic or an outcast, you may find it the path of solitude is the best and only option. However, in the end, you will find the freedom is worth the cost. Question everything; government, religion, cultural standards, commercial practices on all levels. This will bring about the real independence of thought, even if you cannot fully exercise it in all actions. So, many people undertake this journey solo or with others on the same mission. 

Correct use of logical reasoning

One of the starting points is the correct use of both deductive and inductive logic.  Learning the application of logical reasoning is one of the core spiritual technologies we use in our blended learning process.

Inductive reasoning is a way of investigating phenomena using valid data to supply evidence for a probable set of conclusions. This is in contrast to deductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning presupposes the conclusion (answer) and selectively obtains data (while omitting or ignoring any proofs that contradict the conclusion) to support the initial conclusion. The conclusion of a deductive argument is often couched in terms of absolute or “proof certain,” whereas, the conclusion of an inductive argument is always in terms of probabilities.

Inductive reasoning may appear less accurate on the surface because it provides only probabilities (or a range of probabilities). However, it is inductive reasoning is the basis for science and most of what we know. The Scientific Process utilizes inductive reasoning. Seeking the best explanation for the data which is valid, and then making predictions based upon it. The process of validating data must also be obtained based on inductive reasoning. Otherwise, using data which is skewed or prejudiced will result in false conclusions. For example, our knowledge that the sun will rise tomorrow is based upon inductive reasoning. The data used to validate this is the history of “sunrises.”

False Premises

False premises are most prevalent in spiritual arguments.  When most people undertake the use of correct logical reasoning the “false premise” error pops up almost immediately.  This is because most people would assert that their current spiritual “position” is based on inductive reasoning and logic. However, as we begin to examine the way their proofs are presented in an argument, we see it is often couched as “absolute proofs.”  This is the form of deductive reasoning.

Unfortunately, the proofs for deductive reasoning are often based on circular or false premises (facts).  Uncovering this type of thinking can be quite an emotionally challenging exercise.  This because it tends to trample upon the “sacred ground” of religion in general, but especially for those who have belief systems preoccupied with the Western theological construct.  The dominant cultural narrative often employs this type of circular logic.

A Little Logic Goes a Long Way

Here’s an example of how to spot the improper use of deductive logic and the “false premise”.  We’ll use the Supreme Being known as Odin for our example.

First of all, don’t attempt to prove something without corporeal form doesn’t exist. That is “prove that my God Odin doesn’t exist.” Most importantly, the burden of proof is on the person making the claim for the existence OF something. This is especially true for entities without corporeal form.  Proving a negative or negative proof is false proof for existence.  The absence of a physical substance (the absence of milk in a bowl) and should not be used as an analogy to prove the existence of a Supreme Being based on the absence of evidence that it doesn’t exist. In other words, the absence of proof is not proof of absence.

You can’t prove gods don’t exist but that doesn’t mean that they do. You can’t disprove that Apolo, Zeus, Mythra, Dyonisys or any other god doesn’t exist. But, simply because there is no proof that they don’t exist doesn’t mean that they do.  Similarly, anecdotal evidence is not sufficient to prove the existence of gods.

Continuing with our example of Odin.

Proving Odin Exists?

Let’s assume that when we challenge them to provide evidence for the existence of Odin we get the following response: First, no ice-giants exist.  Odin promised to wipe out the ice-giants.  So, this since there are no ice-giants this is proof of Odin’s existence.  Secondly, Odin is prolific in early paganism dating back through oral traditions in Germanic mythology.   Odin (from Old Norse Óðinn).  The evidence is prevalent in early forms of paganism, Odin was known in Old English as Wóden, in Old Saxon as Wōden, and in Old High German as Wuotan or Wodan.  With so much evidence from so many authoritative sources it is obvious that Odin exists, right?

The answer, no, you’re Wrong. This isn’t evidence of the existence of Odin.  Sorry, but the absence of imaginary creatures does not represent evidence they ever existed.  Nor is it evidence they were extinguished by Odin.  And, the recounting of stories, no matter the age or supposed authority of origin does not suffice as proof for the existence of Odin. These points apply to all gods.  Not just Odin.

Use Emotional Checks When Engaging in Research

To ease the emotional aspect of challenging the  cultural narrative we employ the use of “emotional checks.”  Here’s how it works. 

  • Step one.  When you encounter something that challenges your cultural narrative (your beliefs), especially those about spiritual reality stop.  When you have a negative emotional reaction, stop.  Otherwise, your research will be less than accurate. 
  • Step two.  Wait. Ask yourself, why do I automatically reject this?  What is causing me to have such a negative reaction?  You’ve probably encountered something that is challenging your boundaries. 
  • Step three.  Don’t return to further research until you’ve regained emotional equilibrium.

Using this type of emotional break will save you time in the long term.  It will also help you in your research and personal growth as you break down barriers.  

What are Spiritual Technologies?

In essence, spiritual technologies are methods of developing your potential.  In short, these mental tools focus on expanding awareness and consciousness.  And, these processes stand up to the test of science – repeatable and measurable. Anyone can use them. It’s like baking a cake. If you follow the directions, you get something delicious. We call the practice of these processes Spiritual Exploration.

Of course, there are several ways to list these processes. It’s important to note some of these tools could easily be in more than one category:

  • Logical reasoning is one of the first tools we study. This includes the companion tools, spotting logical fallacies and logical axioms.   Above all, these are essential tools for any spiritual explorer.  They are able to sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction.
  • Another important basic toolset is the “inner work” methods like The Enneagram Personality Profile.  These help us to understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instincts. They also provide a doorway to understanding the virtues and gifts of the spirit.
  • Progressions of seated meditation are the heart of the practice.  This includes a range from Basic Mindfulness Meditation through Japa Meditation and the Siddhis of Patanjali.
  • Next, progressions of moving meditation. For instance, several methods of energy collection, like Forest Bathing, Qigong, and Tai Chi.
  • Awareness and consciousness expansion pathways such as  Lucid Dreaming and the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation.
  • And last but not least, several healing modalities, such as Reiki, and Shiatsu.
In Conclusion

If this article resonates, there are more on our blog.  Also, you may be interested in learning about our blended learning process.  This is our curriculum which we use to teach several mind-expanding tools.  It also aligns the Hero’s Journey.  This is the term Joseph Campbell gave the pattern of consciousness development.  Our learning process is available in two forms.  You can take part in the virtual learning module or in our workshops.

While you are here please also check out our page FAQ for information about our mission.  And, please consider donating to support our mission of providing these ancient spiritual development tools.

Image by Unsplash.

 

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