Find out how enhancing analytical thinking can help you in all areas of your life. Learn why common sense and logic are essential for your journey.
Using The Weight of the Evidence
The field of spiritual exploration might seem like an odd place for the study of analytical processes. However, these vital reasoning tools are essential for life. Studying these skills will enhance your awareness and increase your problem-solving ability. It will help you avoid many common roadblocks in your day-to-day activities.
What we think affects “how we think,” and how we think affects the health of our mind. One way to measure our mind’s health is by the breadth of our awareness. Awareness enables one to be open-minded, a freethinker who can consider and analyze additional information. They can change their worldview based on new evidence. When we establish our thinking on the weight of the evidence, we increase the likelihood of making better decisions.
“Your life experience can only be as deep as your awareness.” — Bryant McGill
When we learn how to think more clearly, we make better decisions. We use four primary components to make decisions; our ability to reason and use common sense plays a significant role in the quality of our thinking and mental health. To do this, we need a good grasp of essential critical thinking skills.
“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” ― Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian
Critical or analytical thinking skills can play a significant part in making our decision process accurate. These skills don’t override our intuition or emotions, complementing one another.
“I believe in intuition and inspiration. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.” ― Albert Einstein, On Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms
What Are Essential Critical Thinking Skills?
This type of thinking is a step-by-step method of gathering, analyzing, validating, and testing data. The focus is on using sound evidence and logic to make informed decisions. There is our main principle again, “the weight of the evidence.”
You would think everyone would want to enhance these skills. However, organized religion sees this as a threat to their customer base. If you think critically, you will start asking questions about the contradictory, illogical, and inhumane doctrines. Organized religion does not want you to use these analytical tools to investigate their system.
So, for religion to keep you a customer, they rely on tactics we know today as groupthink manipulation. These are the tactics of propaganda and censorship used to control thinking and values. These strategies allow someone to program your mind in ways that violate your natural abilities of common sense.
Our essential critical thinking skills are a unique set of mental strategies that promote rational thought. They improve your overall ability to determine facts from fiction. They help you sort out what is valid from the illegitimate, and this is precisely why organized religion wants to control what you see and hear. They want to keep you away from facts and logic that undermine their hold on you, their paying customer.
If the above definition of critical thinking sounds like science, you’d be right. These are the tools that are at the heart of the scientific approach. But it’s not just for scientists. It comes in handy and day-to-day life. And it’s available to almost everyone who can use common sense. The only thing that hampers it is the blinders of religious belief that create unhealthy bias and prejudice.
Studying these skills will also increase the clarity of thought and problem-solving abilities. So, enhancing these skills is a way of improving your mind’s health. A healthy mindset is less susceptible to the tactics of groupthink manipulation. It is a vaccination against bias and prejudice. It’s the kind of reasoning that gives us all the advances and achievements of the modern world. That means learning to think critically is good for you and the world.
Essential Critical Thinking Toolbox
These tools help us make decisions that yield accurate outcomes because they help us make decisions based on the weight of evidence and facts. We think they are essential today more than ever. You’ll need them when swimming the waters of spirituality, but it is also vital in our day-to-day living. Religion and politics are at the forefront of our lives.
Using these tools will help you spot errors and fallacies in many areas. They allow you to discern fact from fiction and metaphor from mythology. You can use them with almost every type of social media, from the internet to TV. These tools are beneficial with news and religious programming.
The first tool, Logical and Rational Thinking Skills Reasoning, helps us see how people use arguments to sell us everything from toothpaste to ideologies. It’s one thing to buy the wrong toothpaste. But, if you buy into a harmful ideology, you can harm yourself and others.
The second tool, Spotting Logical Fallacies, shows us the most commonly misused forms of logical arguments. If we learn to recognize these ploys, we are less likely to be persuaded by illogical propositions.
Last but not least is The Spiritual Axiom. It’s a list of practical principles to help you identify the misuse of reasoning in religion and politics. Again, if you learn to spot common sense and logic abuse, you are less likely to be sold on a bad idea.
These tools will enhance your essential critical thinking abilities so that you can discern facts from fiction. Mark these articles in your favorites so you can return to them regularly to refresh your skills. They help you determine the weight of the evidence, no matter the subject.
Comparative Analysis is another valuable analytical tool; it’s a systematic approach to comparative religious study based on the scientific model. It’s a process that can change your entire outlook on life.
This process introduces the challenge of comparing their beliefs to other worldviews. Here we also learn why it is so important to use emotional checks. It helps us research with the least amount of bias and prejudice.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and Comparative Analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use in religion and politics, it is also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
We all have unique life stories. And so, everyone starts their spiritual journey in a different place. Similarly, there isn’t one path that fits everyone. However, we think you should start with learning about yourself. Several tools will help you in this aspect of self-discovery.
One tool we like for self-discovery is The Enneagram of Personality. This tool uses a questionnaire to show you your Ego’s default setting. Your Ego includes the elements of your personality and instincts. Besides our Ego, we also have the programming of the cultural narrative. Together these mechanisms make up our worldview or paradigm. It’s the filter through which we experience and value everything.
Finding out about these default scripts, values, and programming will give you the power to change them. It will prove to you we are not our Ego. It’s just a necessary tool for awareness and consciousness; it is a good starting place for your spiritual journey.
Finally, our perception isn’t just about the physical world. It’s also a reflection of our thoughts, emotions, and dreams. Learning about who and what you are is key to your spiritual development. Above all, trust your intuition, common sense, and logic to lead you to the right teachers and sources. Seek those who can teach you processes. Learn techniques for expanding awareness and exploring consciousness.
Essential Critical Thinking skills are a platform on which you build a better life. Studying and using them is good for us and the world. They protect us from falling prey to the tactics of harmful religious ideologies.
Are you interested in spiritual exploration? Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. We offer this curriculum through our individually tailored virtual learning academy and our traditional face-to-face sessions. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey (1). Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission.
Some other excellent resources to enhance your essential critical thinking skills include:
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus 471st ed. Edition by Ludwig Wittgenstein
The Undiscovered Self: The Dilemma of the Individual in Modern Society by Carl Jung
The Basic Writings of Nietzsche (Modern Library Classics)
If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! The Pilgrimage of Psychotherapy Patients by Sheldon B. Kopp
The Holographic Universe: The Revolutionary Theory of Reality by Michael Talbot (Author)
E=Einstein, His life, His thought and Influence on Culture by Donald Goldsmith and Marcia Bartusiak
Models For Critical Thinking: A Fundamental Guide to Effective Decision Making, Deep Analysis, Intelligent Reasoning, and Independent Thinking by Albert Rutherford