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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Expert Advice Can Drive You Crazy!

In Metaphysics, Mind Power, Motivational, Philosophy, Religion, Self Help, Uncategorized on June 28, 2013 at 11:51 pm

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In America, many of us believe that if a person has a “PhD” behind his or her name or a “Dr.” in front of it, they’re an expert. An expert in what you may ask? Well in anything… It’s frowned upon to disobey the doctor. In school you will be exiled for questioning the accuracy of a PhD’s version of history, the basis of the PhD composed curriculum or even the lunch items served as determined by a select group of nutrition PhDs.
Well, what’s wrong with all of these doctor and “expert” recommendations? After all, don’t they know more than us? Shouldn’t we trust them to tell us what to eat? Shouldn’t we drink fluoride in our tap water because they say it’s good for us? And shouldn’t we believe Columbus discovered a continent with millions of people already living on it and evidence of visits from other cultures? Okay yeah, I’m joking a bit with the last one… Well, sort of. Having worked many years in the construction sciences, I have several friends with PhD’s in the civil engineering and geotechnical fields. I would call them in a heartbeat if I needed to know the specific gravity of a 4000 pound per sq. inch slab core. But I’m not fond of calling “experts” to tell me how to live my life and to blindly follow. In the technical design of a building, the numbers either work, or a wall starts to crack. Either way, the proof is obvious and no one usually gets hurt. When it comes to people telling you what to do with your life however, the results may not be obvious, and you’re always the one that stands to get hurt. Do you remember doctors in the 1950’s advertising for cigarettes which they then considered safe? (I’ve even heard stories from older men of how the doctor would examine them with a lit cigarette in his mouth…)
My point is that experts have their place. The information they provide can be extremely useful on the path to being knowledgeable to make our own decisions that work for us. We can allow expert advice to drive us crazy when we don’t understand that not all advice works for everyone, and not all of this advice is accurate and without bias. This is easily proven when you look at the fact that experts often times don’t agree with other experts on the same subject. Even getting a second option from another physician can yield two completely different medical diagnoses. Experts debate each other regularly, challenge each other, and some even disprove and denounce their own long held beliefs.
It’s okay to think, question and challenge. I often find that the best way to make informed decisions is to consider the most obvious popular advice, then find and study several findings that state the exact opposite or something completely different. You will usually end up with a much more complete and balanced view. For example, I grew up eating and drinking a lot of dairy. Back when I drunk cow’s milk my body suffered and did not handle it well. Yet still the “experts” who created the food pyramid recommended I drink a glass with every meal. If I blindly took their advice instead of doing my own additional research, I would have never known that people can live well past one hundred healthy years without drinking milk from an animal. I would have needlessly suffered and probably would have been clearing out rooms left and right (if you know what I mean).
Frankly, I don’t know how we got so comfortable relying on other people tell us what to do. How much of this just stems from the laziness of not wanting to do what it takes to gain knowledge (i.e. research) ourselves? How much of it is a fear of challenging authority that was deeply ingrained in us from childhood by our governments, religious institutions and schools? And who benefits the most from all of this expect advice anyway? It almost seems to be people, groups and agencies in every direction telling us what to do and not to do. It is difficult for me to believe that these groups all have my best interest at heart and not the best interest of their wallets and personal agendas.
With any advice however, a red flag should pop up around anyone who desires to plant a seed of fear in you to get you to do what they tell you to do. Government agencies, news outlets, and many religious sects have long been experts at these kinds of scare tactics. Remember however that installing fear and nurturing ignorance is the recipe for control. The more personal knowledge you have pertaining to important life issues the more freedom you will experience.
You were born with a brain for a reason. Do you really believe it was to have someone else do all of your thinking? Clear rational thought and consideration leads to better decisions than those made quickly in the midst of fear and panic. Let us stop taking everything we watch on television or read in a magazine as the gospel truth. This is indeed the quickest way to drive yourself crazy.

Javis White of Seekers House. Thanks for reading.

God Defined

In Metaphysics, Philosophy, Religion on June 6, 2013 at 8:52 am

Our language often creates confusion when it comes to the very concepts that we attempt to express using that language. People fight wars over their “gods” and take on various titles such as atheist, theist, and agnostic. Not to mention the scores of religions with their own specific view of god. The problem comes when we began to define god. A quick Google search will pull up Merriam-Webster’s definition. This definition is really a series of definitions which denotes a deference in the definition of god when used capitalized or by a Christian Scientist. In various parts of the definition, a god requires human worship. God can be a spirit or just an infinite mind. Things get even more interesting when we see that god can be defined as a person or thing of supreme value, or a powerful ruler. Does this make certain people, dictators and politicians gods? And for “supreme value”, doesn’t value depend on who’s doing the appraising?

The truth is, two people can say that they believe in god. They will both be pleased in their bond as theists unless they realize that they mean two different things when it comes to god. A Jewish person may believe god is Yahweh, a deity characterized by blood sacrifice, wrath and envy (according to the scripture). A Muslim person might determine that a Jew does not believe in god because god is Allah, a god as equally vengeful with an eternal need to be worshiped. Yet still a Christian will likely consider Allah to be false and the Jew’s Yahweh to be outdated; claiming that Jesus is god, a Holy Spirit is god, and God is god, but they (he) no longer goes by Yahwah. In non-scriptural views, hermetic philosophy might define god as everything that is (sometimes called the All). To a Wiccan, god might include both male and female energy. And a metaphysician might define god as pure energy. This is a bit of a stretch. From the almost human-like god described in Exodus as “a man of war” named Yahweh, to the very energy that is primal and existing in every bit of the universe; what god is depends on who’s asking and who’s telling.

Javis White of Seekers House. Thanks for reading.