Not So Common Sense — Irrational Thinking in Recovery From Religious Trauma No Substitute For Common Sense

Not So Common Sense — Irrational Thinking in Recovery From Religious Trauma

Most people believe they think rationally, but this isn’t true.  About half of the population uses a not so common sense approach to make important decisions.  Finding out what you use to make decisions is We need breakthroughs of insight to solve complex problems.

In our modern culture, many believe the problem is between logical thinking and intuitive insight.  This isn’t the case.  Analytical thinking confirms the ideas we get through intuition.  They complement one another.  Together they give us the “gut feeling” that we are on the right track.  There is no substitute for common sense rational thinking or uncorrupted intuition.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” — Albert Einstein

Let’s clarify this issue before we get to the real problem.

There is No Substitute 4 Clear Thinking

The first thing we need to do is realize there isn’t a battle between logic and intuition.  Some people are naturally inclined to approach things from an analytical mindset.  Other people take an intuitive approach.  Both methods are effective when they are used in the proper situation.  You are likely to make better decisions if you can use or combine both.

Logic is the capacity to make sense of things through precise checks and balances.  Logical thinking applies the scientific process to an argument.  Logic and the scientific process go well together.

Intuition is gaining knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning.  It is a leap of understanding we call a eureka moment.  It is your intuition at work when you find an answer or develop new insight into a problem without knowing how the solution was derived.

Using Not So Common Sense Plus Intuition

It turns out that common or good sense isn’t really common; rather, it is uncommon.  Putting logic and intuition together results in what people call wisdom.  This ability has its foundation in logic.  Logic uses the principles of reasoning we find in the scientific process.

It is easy to confuse intuition with instinct, truth, and even belief.  The word comes from the Latin verb intueri, which means to contemplate, so intuition and reason might seem like two different roads.  But perhaps not.

There is No Substitute For Common Sense and Logic

The basis of common, rational, or good sense is logic, and nothing expresses the framework of logic better than the scientific method.  The scientific method (1) is a systematic approach to investigating phenomena using evidence.  This process follows the following steps:

1) Systematic Observation
2) Measurement
3) Experimentation
4) Formulation of Hypotheses
5) Testing
6) Modification of Hypotheses

This process involves deriving predictions from data to form a hypothesis.  Those seeking the truth develop conclusions and predictions using this process.  It’s a never-ending process.  They continue to conduct experiments based on those predictions to see if the results are repeatable.  They expand their knowledge and revise conclusions when they find new data.

A hypothesis is a prediction about how something will act.  It can be narrow or broad.  Scientists test theories by conducting experiments.  Under modern interpretations, a scientific theory must be falsifiable.  In other words, the hypothesis must be something others can replicate.  This process helps us learn how to reject preaching fiction as truth.  If there is no proof, the conclusions are invalid.

We highly recommend reading three short articles that will give you a solid foundation for critical thinking.  You won’t need math or physics, just common or good sense.

Check out these resources: Logic and Rational Thinking is an essential toolbox explaining the proper way to make arguments based on facts.  Two other parts of this mental toolset help us identify the misuse of logic, the Spiritual Axioms and the ten most common logical fallacies.

Common sense and logic are keys to the mind’s analytical powers, but this is only half of the story.  There is another way of gaining knowledge that is just as powerful.  The other tool for obtaining insight is intuition.

There is No Substitute for Intuitive Thinking

Scientists who study the phenomenon of intuition disagree on its function and definition.  (4)  However, they can at least agree that it involves some mysterious non-conscious processing.  In other words, we aren’t aware of any thinking processes as we would with analytical thinking.

Yet, at some point, a thought rises to the conscious level.  So, scientists postulate that this non-conscious processing occurs, but it is not under our direct control.  Some people seem to have a better connection with this non-conscious problem-solving process than others.

The intuitive process is often unexpected and spontaneous.  But, the idea or hunch is often too profound or powerful to ignore.  The people who have more of these Eureka experiences say they cultivate them.  Some use music or meditation; others use strenuous physical activities.

There is some difference of opinion as to the difference between the Eureka “aha” sudden realization and the slow cooker’s intuitive feelings that bubble up rather than explode into awareness.

Our intuition is always turned on.  The good news is if you want more connection with this kind of thinking, you can cultivate it.  You have to find what helps you connect.  Let’s see how Einstein did it.  The bottom line, there is no substitute for common sense and intuition.

Some Eastern traditions regard intuitive thinking as a spiritual connection with our soul or source.  It’s a form of thinking using contemplative thought instead of an analytical process.  The intellect cannot access subconscious information directly.   So, we access intuitive thinking through meditative awareness.

Albert Einstein (3) talked about his process and coined “intuitive thought.” While at a physics conference in Kyoto in 1922, he explained how he used contemplation, images, and music to solve problems.  So, intuitive thinking and logic are not opposites but complementary ways of finding the answer.

Einstein’s insightful leap forward in physics did not come from analytical reasoning or mathematics.  Intuitive insight gave him the quantum leaps of discovery.  These tools became the medium for the communication of these concepts.  The actual formula concept appeared out of nowhere.  The analytical mind then learned how to explain these quantum leaps of insight.

Einstein says, “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I conclude that the gift of imagination has meant more to me than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge.” He did not see it as common or good sense versus intuition.  Instead, it was a matter of using analytical thinking to understand his intuitive insight.

The art is learning how to use the analytical mind intuitively to get answers.  The only way to do this is by trial and error.  Above all, find those eureka moments, the sweet spot between intuition and logic.  There is no substitute for common sense and intuition working in harmony.

Irrational Thinking in Recovery From Religious Trauma

That’s right; religious beliefs can cause trauma.  Some, like those of Western theology, are based on fear.  You are taught to fear God.  You fear eternal punishment in hell because you are born with sin; you are hellbound unless you are in good standing.  You do this by following what they tell you, what to value, who to hate, and making regular financial contributions.  This is spiritual extortion.  The same God that promises you heaven also promises you hell if you don’t comply.   It makes recovery from religious trauma a difficult journey.

Prejudice and bias are also part of the mix.  If you are in good standing, you are one of those chosen by God.  That gives you the right to mistreat others who don’t believe as you do.  This gives you someone to hate.  Hate is the force behind religious superiority.

It is difficult to overcome this kind of thinking based on fear and prejudice.   Reprogramming irrational thinking in recovery from religious trauma is an emotionally challenging process.  But, the result is a breakthrough in insight.  You discover the freedom of thinking unencumbered by religious prejudice.

Intuition is another way we can achieve breakthroughs of insight.  You may have experienced that Eureka moment when you find a solution.  It is that moment when you understand mathematics, algebra, and statistics.  When you finally “get it,” that’s what you’ve been trying to figure out.  That’s the Eureka moment.

One reason irrational thinking in recovery from religious trauma is so difficult is these beliefs are programmed into the subconscious mind.  Western Religion uses powerful “group and self-hypnosis” as tools to program thinking.  So, mythology and superstition become substitutes for common or good sense and logic.

The “Not So Common Sense” of Religion

We’ve saved the real issue after providing a foundation of rational thought and intuition.  The real problem isn’t using logic or intuition; it’s substituting religious ideology and prejudice for logic and intuition.

We’ve also discussed how Western Religion is based on fear.  It is a tactic used to gain and retain customers for generations.

The Fallacy of Different Facts

Surprised Woman Breakthroughs of Insight

Today some people say they have their own set of facts, but this is a fallacy.  What they mean is they have different opinions about something.  Generally, they are people who are otherwise not qualified to make these kinds of assertions.

“You’re entitled to your own opinions.  You’re not entitled to your own facts.” — Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Fact-checking is necessary.  Anything from extremists fueled by religious fervor is suspect to critical inspection.  They embellish and contort events and scientific data to fit ridiculous accusations.  (2)

We bring this phenomenon into the conversation of common or good sense and logic because it is a current example of how people who are given stages to speak will use social media masquerading as factual news to propagate outright lies.

You can spot people caught in this mind game.  They are champions of the latest conspiracy theories about Hilary Clinton.  Or how China intentionally developed COVID.

False Logic

False logic is any flawed, deceptive, or false argument which does not stand up to the test of accuracy.   This kind of flawed thinking uses a variety of techniques, from circular logic to improver deductive or inductive arguments.  In all cases, the conclusions reached are inaccurate.

Today we find many propaganda sources in the media that portray themselves as news organizations but, in reality, are proponents of sectarian ideologies that paint skewed narratives and inaccurate data to support extremist agendas.  Because so many people are exposed to this kind of radical thinking, recovery from religious trauma is difficult.

In Conclusion

Many people realize that intuition complements rational thinking.   It’s a matter of learning that these two aspects of the mind work together.  When you use both together, they are synergistic and powerful.

We must learn to avoid or overcome the “not so common sense” of false logic and fallacies that permeate Western organized Religion and right-wing political rhetoric.  Irrational thinking in recovery is a problem in general, but the volitivity of extremist ideologies compounds it.

We don’t care how we get the answer to the solution.  Enhancing your critical thinking and intuitive insight will result in the best results.


(1) The Scientific Method, The Oxford English Dictionary.
(2) You are not entitled to your own facts
(3) Albert Einstein
(4) The Process of Intuitive thought and Insight.

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