See why the world needs more freethinkers and learn how to become one.
What is a Freethinker?
Leo Tolstoy (1) is the first to use this term to describe someone who can think and reason without overt cultural interference.
“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
“A free thinker used to be a man who had been educated on ideas of religion, law, morality, and had arrived at free thought by virtue of his own struggle and toil; but now a new type of born freethinker has been appearing, who’ve never even heard that there have been laws of morality and religion and that there are authorities, but who simply grow up with negative ideas about everything, that is savages.” ― Leo Tolstoy
Freethinkers are those with the ability to step beyond the programming of cultural folklore. They are adept at identifying bias and prejudice in their thinking and the cultural narrative. They cultivate critical thinking and observational skills. It is not a belief system but a lifestyle of investigation. This lifestyle results in a balance of intuitive and analytical reasoning. It’s the best of both worlds, which creates a well-rounded, healthy skeptical mindset.
Why We Need More Freethinkers
- There are three goals or reasons why we need more people to think freely.
- We need people who can identify and reject the negative bias and prejudice in their thinking and the cultural narrative.
- The world needs logic and reason to confront the enemies of progress.
- Make better decisions based on verifiable facts.
Some people think these goals or guidelines are impossible to reach. If this is your conclusion, then you are right. It means you are not in a place where you can move beyond the cultural narrative’s programming boundaries. Many people find themselves in this situation. Self-hypnosis and group hypnosis prevent many from considering anything beyond their closely held bias and prejudice.
However, if you think these guidelines are attainable, you are also correct. It is possible to break the shackles of the cultural narrative. We need more freethinkers who can do this. We need more leaders who are open-minded and not persuaded by religious bias and prejudice.
Common sense and logic underly this level of perception. If you ask most people, they would say I use common sense. But is this the case?
The definition of reason and common sense are becoming fuzzy. We only see what we expect. If we are under the cultural narrative’s influence, we automatically reflect its bias and prejudice. In this case, we assume many 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 would say yes because we all break some human-made law at least once a day. Thinking with more clarity is about moving beyond the cultural narrative, but this isn’t easy to do.
Freethinkers Are Hard to Find
People live under the constant bombardment of propaganda. We are continually 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. It requires diligent and regular inner work. Inner work involves the use of 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 strength. So, a Freethinker learns to train their brain like an athlete. They study and practice the use of reason and logic. You don’t need advanced mathematics to understand when an argument is likely true or false. The world disparately needs more freethinkers to society’s complex problems.
Practicing inductive logic and other analytical methodologies will give you a substantial edge in life. They refer to processes with these qualities as the scientific method.
What is the Scientific Method?
Science doesn’t care what you believe. Instead, it bases conclusions on evidence. The scientific method is a systematic way of exploring and investigating phenomena.
Humankind uses this method to gain new knowledge or correct and integrate previous knowledge. The scientific method has given the world all of its modern conveniences. We can describe this process of inquiry 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 develop conclusions
These Six Steps either confirm the hypothesis or lead us to more questions. The ability to make accurate observations is also essential for personal development. A skeptical mindset provides the foundation to learn other critical skills. Freethinkers are healthy skeptics.
Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, they share the same features of the process above. Here’s a suite of three methods to help you discern the facts from the fiction.
The first tool to help sort out the facts is logical reasoning. It is the backbone of critical thinking.
Next are the truth-seekers axioms. These are formulas to help you understand logical and illogical arguments. The last toolset will help you spot logical fallacies. It shows us the most common tactics to misuse logic. These are the antidotes for the sickness of negative bias and prejudice within the dominant cultural narrative.
How to Become a Freethinker
Learning to be open-minded requires a multidisciplinary approach. But don’t worry. You can use several processes to expand awareness, increase your critical thinking ability, and even investigate other states of consciousness.
The application and practice of reason, common sense, and logic are just one set of necessary tools. Logical is not the only ingredient needed.
Enhancing your observational skills will help you see things more clearly. It will help you see reality without overt prejudice and judgment. You probably won’t be able to eliminate 100%, but you can remove the most obvious negative bias and prejudice. This perspective allows you to investigate ideas outside of your worldview.
You’ll also need to nurture the connection with your intuitive mind. Albert Einstein said his intuition gave him the insight to develop his most profound conclusions. Observation led the way to provide data, and his analytical skills helped him to explain it.
Freethinkers hone the ability to control the programming of the mind. The culture programs us to see what it wants us to see. A freethinker does not automatically fear what they don’t understand.
They can see the mechanisms behind customs, beliefs, and paradigm boundaries of all types that others simply cannot. It is a skill you 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.
Spiritual technologies are methods for exploring human consciousness; they comprise a diverse body of practical mental tools. You can use these tools to develop your potential, expand awareness, and reach higher states of consciousness.
These tools differ significantly from religion. They do not require faith or belief in any religious doctrine. Anyone can use these processes to develop their full potential. All you need to do is follow the process, and it’s just like following the recipe for baking a cake. If you combine the right ingredients in the right way and you get something delicious.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our blended learning method. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. They are repeatable processes, and several produce measurable effects on our physiology. These changes include increased brainwave coherence, lower heart rate, and increased skin resistance. Changes like this prove these partitions of consciousness differ significantly from waking, dreaming, and sleeping.
We divide these tools into four major categories:
Everyone can use these methods to create their unique spiritual path, and you can start with any of these methods. The more of them you use, the faster your progress.
The Results of Practicing Spiritual Technologies
When you practice these types of processes, you will discover several things about yourself. For example, the Enneagram Personality Profile will identify the programming that has affected your personality and instincts.
Comparative Analysis is a scientific process of comparative religious study. It will help you investigate your religious beliefs. Here you will see how bias and prejudice are a part of religious sectarianism.
What do you think? We hope you agree the world needs more Freethinkers. Do you want to be one? Are you on the way? We hope you are. The world needs more people who are open-minded thinkers.
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(1) Leo Tolstoy, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia