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Archive for July 3rd, 2012

Spiritual practice aims to awaken us, to see ourselves with clarity and to pursue the truth. Right living is more than prayer and meditation, attendance at religious services, and blind fidelity to corporate beliefs. Critical thinking is essential. Our faith must grapple with doubt and all our beliefs should be tested and examined. As Socrates would have it: “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

So, anything that would call for suspension of critical thinking is predicated on the superiority of ignorance and spiritual blindness over the quest for knowledge. Such attempts at suppression of reason are also extremely dangerous.

History shows that a campaign to control thought is too often a strategy of those motivated to protect their own power from challenge. This was the case in Hitler’s Germany, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, Stalin’s Russia, Mubarek’s Egypt, Assad’s Syria, Gaddafi’s Libya and many other examples can be included. With lesser lethality but no less manipulative intent was this Nation’s communist witch hunt during the Macarthy era. Tragically, we can also add the recent Inquisition ordered by Pope Benedict to chastise wayward nuns for deviating from the principle that only men should have Priestly vocation in the Church. In each instance, rhetoric, sloganeering, propagandistic machinery and corporate sanctions aim to trump critical thinking and reasoning.

Enter the 2012 platform of the Texas Republican Party and it’s plank on educating our children:

” Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority. ”

In other words, children should be required to think in pre- determined ways. They should not examine assumptions but accept what their authorities tell them to think. This is nothing new but is an anti- intellectualism that seeks a society of sheep who are made thereby more tractable and manageable by their elected shepherds.

We need to keep this trend in our sights. It is a gathering darkness. Already, we are a Nation in which the majority fails to vote which increases the odds of extremists populating the halls of Congress and becoming majorities in our State houses. In a survey published this morning, 41 % of the U.S citizenry don’t know that the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act.

It is an act of critical practical spirituality to help others to awaken and unplug from the “matrix”. It is an act of evil to work deliberately and systematically to keep people ignorant and to maintain the illusions that render them pliable.

Let us awaken and see clearly and inspire others to do the same. In the name of God and goodness, let us educate our children to challenge, test and think for themselves.

© The Harried Mystic, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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