Have you ever wondered how some people can see through the veil of established norms? They are the freethinkers who walk their own path in life. Are you curious about the skills needed to become a freethinker? It’s not as hard as you think. Come and learn how to become one yourself.
Leo Tolstoy described freethinkers as those with an innate curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. These are the people who have a deep desire to understand the world around them and live life on their terms.
Most importantly, they are not bound by societal bias, prejudice, or prescribed ways of thinking. Critical thinking and focused intuition are their tools. A superficial or popular answer won’t do. They question everything with scrutiny.
Choose to Be A Freethinker
Free or independent thinkers aren’t always easy to spot. They are not like celebrity sports figures who are in the media. However, many people believe they are more important.
“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
What happens when you choose to think freely without prejudice? Getting beyond or above the bias and prejudice that fills our culture isn’t easy. We are bombarded with hateful rhetoric coming from religion and politics. So, one needs a proven skillset to be able to sort out fact from fiction.
Freethinkers adopt a healthy, skeptical mindset. It is not a belief system. The primary ingredients of this mindset are critical thinking, observational skills, and intuition. All one needs to do is study. It’s simple. So, why are Freethinkers hard to find?
According to the Freedom from Religion Foundation:
“No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah.” ― Leo Tolstoy (1)― Leo Tolstoy (1)
To conform means to copy the beliefs and actions of others. Conforming is following the group. This can lead to groupthink behavior, where you do things that violate your morals to join the group.
Is freethinking simply the lack of conformity or the absence of religious beliefs? Does that make every atheist and agnostic a freethinker? No, that is not accurate. You can be a bigot, racist, xenophobic, or chauvinist without belonging to a religion. Religion is often involved in promoting these mindsets. However, religion is not a requirement for an unhealthy mindset. (2)
Morality existed long before organized religion tried to claim it as its high ground. Morality is what brings people together to work toward common goals. It is the foundation of mutual trust and respect.
“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 has been appearing, who’ve never heard there are laws of morality and religion.” ― Leo Tolstoy
How do you have morals without guidelines and laws? Simple. By returning to our natural state of innocence before we were brainwashed. We are born without beliefs. Why choose to be a freethinker and return to this state of mind? It sounds like it’s hard, and it takes a lot of work.
The path back to our natural state is a process of deconstructing false beliefs. The more your mind is controlled by religious hypnosis, the more work it takes to get free. The path to this freedom is worth the effort.
Skills Needed to Become a Freethinker
Characteristics are the qualities exhibited by something. A skill is the ability to do something. So, here are the skills, characteristics, and actionable steps to enhance your freethinking. Don’t be discouraged if these principles seem foreign. Our popular culture avoids them when they can.
Sometimes, they degrade or make fun of people who are trying to make the world a better place. In a world of conformity, freethinkers challenge and push the boundaries of thought. Identifying who they are may not always be easy. But once you understand the traits that define them, you will be able to spot them amidst the crowd.
1. How to Become a Freethinker? Spark Your Curiosity and Creativity
An insatiable curiosity drives freethinkers to explore new horizons and challenge established dogmas. Nurture your inquisitive nature by embracing a wide range of interests. Go to the public library and scan through books on new subjects. Seek out diverse perspectives and constantly questioning the status quo. Engage in lifelong learning. Make reading a part of your culture. Surround yourself with curious minds to fuel your desire for unconventional thinking.
Learn as many of the ancient spiritual technologies as you can. Each one helps you expand some area of consciousness and awareness. A good place to start is with the simple two-step seated meditation. There is a free article on our website to learn this process. Then, learn additional techniques as qualified teachers become available.
Here are some links that take you to the grounding articles.
Curiosity leads to creativity. A curious mindset is looking for new ways to understand things. Looking for new ways to understand leads to new ways to express oneself. Expressing oneself is the essence of creativity. Freethinkers channel their creativity to form unique connections and innovative solutions. Cultivate creativity by engaging in creative pursuits. Go to new places and try new experiences. Allow your imagination to roam freely, unburdened by societal norms.
2. Common Sense: Why Critical Thinking Matters for Freethinkers
Freethinkers are skilled in deciphering valid arguments from misleading ones. This is done by applying rational and logical thinking. One of the skills needed to become a freethinker is enhanced critical thinking ability.
You can enhance your critical thinking skills by studying logic and rational thinking. Actively seek new perspectives, question assumptions, and engage in rigorous debate. Taking the time to study basic analytical skills will help you to make better decisions.
You’ll be able to analyze information with greater objectivity. Evaluating evidence and assessing the reliability of sources will become second nature. The reason why critical thinking matters for freethinkers is that it provides a solid foundation for thinking.
— Spotting Logical Fallacies. This tool shows you the ten of the most commonly used fallacies in our popular culture.
— Spiritual Axioms. This outlines twelve formulas that help you avoid being decided or misled.
3. Open-Mindedness: Embracing the Unknown
One way of identifying a freethinker is to look for those with an open mind. Having an open mind makes you receptive to new ideas, even if they challenge your existing beliefs. You expand your intellectual horizons by exposing yourself to people with different backgrounds. Traveling and talking with people from different points of view helps you be more open-minded.
This one is hard. Learn to suspend judgment and actively listen. Listen to their complete viewpoint without interrupting. Listen with the goal of understanding what is being said. Don’t formulate your responses while they are talking. When they are done, ask for time to think about it or jot down notes. This will foster mindfulness. Even if you disagree with the other person, they will respect you because you took the time to hear them out.
Fostering open-mindedness helps you challenge your assumptions and consider alternative perspectives. It will also make your responses more accurate and concise.
4. Independence: Celebrating Individualism as a Freethinker
Freethinkers place a high value on individual autonomy rather than following accepted beliefs. You cultivate self-reliance by embracing solitude. Spending time in reflection and exploring encourages independent thinking. Prioritize self-discovery and trust your judgment when formulating opinions. Embrace your independence, leveraging it as a source of strength in the face of societal pressures.
Be aware that many social institutions like organized religion frown upon individualism. Celebrating individualism as a freethinker will put you at odds with these forces. Extremists infiltrate the government with the goal of installing backward and regressive policies. You’ll likely come face-to-face with people who are against equal rights. They are bent on restricting the rights of women and people with non-traditional lifestyles.
That means you must also learn discretion. Know your audience. Be prepared for strong pushback, but always think about safety first. People with religious fundamental backgrounds can be violent. Don’t place yourself in harm’s way.
5. Courage: Embracing Uncertainty and the Unknown
Courage is one way of identifying a freethinker. Courage means they challenge harmful societal norms. You’ll find them advocating for equality, equity, and justice, regardless of potential backlash.
So, join them. Step out of your comfort zone by voicing your opinions, even if they differ from the majority. Embrace intellectual conflict and engage in respectful debates. Help push boundaries and dismantle oppressive ideologies. Remember, progress often requires discomfort and the willingness to stand up for what you believe.
6. Resilience: Weathering the Storm
Often overlooked, one of the skills needed to become a freethinker is persistence. Freethinkers face scrutiny and may encounter resistance along their journey towards independent thinking.
Develop resilience by viewing setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning. Surround yourself with a supportive community of like-minded individuals. Learn to celebrate your failures and leverage them as stepping stones. Embrace challenges as catalysts for intellectual and emotional growth. These activities will make you an even stronger independent thinker.
7. Skepticism: Challenge the Status Quo
If you choose to be a freethinker, then start questioning everything, even commonly accepted ideas. Never take anything at face value. Constantly question the information presented to them, asking why and seeking evidence. Embrace the spirit of curiosity and never stop asking “why.”
Develop a healthy, skeptical mindset by stopping to think. Learn to evaluate information, analyze arguments, and seek evidence to support or refute claims. Remember, questioning does not imply denial but rather a search for truth. What exactly is a freethinking skeptic?
a. Those who reject the negative bias and prejudice in the cultural narrative.
b. Someone who promotes processes for developing the virtues of the human spirit.
c. A person who supports science, rational thinking, and logic. (3) They demonstrate the ability to make decisions based on facts and evidence.
8. Ethics: Identifying a Freethinker by their Principles
Freethinkers align their actions and decisions with their ethics and personal values. Continually assess your moral compass. Strive for ethical consistency, and actively shape the world around you based on your principles.
You don’t need to join a religion to have positive guidelines and morals. In fact, organized religion may be the worst place to look for morality. Its doctrines are filled with endless contradictions, inconsistencies, and fallacies. So, one of the skills needed to become a freethinker is walking your own path.
9. Empathy and Compassion: Understanding Diverse Perspectives
While challenging the status quo, freethinkers never lose sight of their values. The importance of empathy, compassion, and understanding are their guiding principles.
Practice compassion and understanding. Listen to opposing viewpoints and empathize with the experiences of others. This will foster an inclusive and tolerant society. These are the traits identifying a freethinker.
10. Reflective Thinking:
Engaging in introspection is a key characteristic of freethinkers. Take the time to reflect on your own beliefs, actions, and biases. Consider journaling your thoughts, meditating, or seeking solitude for self-reflection. Spend time in nature. Learn the walking mindfulness technique called forest bathing. This practice will enable you to challenge any assumptions that may hinder your ability to think freely.
Why Choose to Be a Freethinker?
Here are five great reasons to join the freethinking fan club.
1. Bye-bye, Conformity.
Our world pressures us to fit into molds. The culture wants us to follow preconceived ideas and prejudice. Freethinking allows you to question and challenge the status quo.
Embracing freethinking frees you from the shackles of conformity. It empowers you to explore fresh ideas and bring about positive change. Say goodbye to following the herd and venture on your own path of endless possibilities!
2. Critical Thinking Superpowers
Critical thinking enables you to analyze data objectively. This is a superpower in today’s culture, which is filled with propaganda and fallacy. It promotes independent thinking and making informed decisions. From everyday decisions to social issues, critical thinking skills help you make better decisions. This will make you stand out from the crowd as a true problem solver.
3. Embrace Your Individuality.
When you choose to be a freethinker, it enables you to celebrate your uniqueness. Now, you have the freedom to embrace diversity. By rejecting stereotypes, freethinkers foster an environment that promotes inclusivity and acceptance. You become a beacon of individuality, encouraging others to embrace their true selves.
4. Broaden Your Horizons.
Freethinkers are like adventurous explorers of knowledge. They are always hungry to learn, question, and seek truth. As a freethinker, you have the freedom to expand your horizons beyond what others see as ordinary. Dive into scientific theories and explore the mysteries of the universe. The world becomes your intellectual playground!
5. Empowerment to Change the World.
Freethinking isn’t only about personal growth. Freethinkers are a catalyst for societal progress. Throughout history, freethinkers have been at the forefront of revolutions. They are advocates for human rights, gender equality, and social justice. By choosing to be an independent thinker, you become an agent for change. You can be an inspiration for others.
Being a good person is a beacon of hope for a better tomorrow.
Let today be the beginning of a transformative phase in your life. Start a journey filled with self-discovery and newfound independence. If you are having trouble identifying a freethinker near you, then become one. Be a part of those who make society better. Learn to think critically and challenge the norms that limit your potential. This path will enable you to embrace your individuality. It will broaden your knowledge and be the change you wish to see in the world.
As the philosopher Marcus Aurelius said, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth”. So, let your freethinking spirit soar and carve your path of intellectual independence!
Let your freethinking journey begin today. When you choose to be a freethinker, you start to shape your destiny. Cultivate the practice of questioning everything. Then, watch as the world unfolds before you. Remember, freethinking is not just a choice. It is a path of evolution that will empower you to shine in all aspects of your life.
(1) Leo Tolstoy, Wikipedia.
(2) Freethinkers, Reason, and Religion, Freedom of thought and evidence. Psychology Today
(3) Freedom From Religion.Sage Publications