The Beginning of Critical Thinking
I watched Fox News the other day, to challenge myself. Be open-minded. I tried to listen, looking for agreement, to see if they might have a point underneath the rhetoric. I squirmed at the way they spoke about my people. I thought, “They don’t understand. They don’t believe us. They think there’s an ulterior motive with everything we do.”
Then I watched my beloved Rachel Maddow. My heart sank. Same tone of voice, same snark, she said almost the same things, only about the other side, she even adopted the same wink-wink about how we know what’s really going on over there.
What is really going on? I mean, anywhere.
There’s no way to know. That’s just a fact, not a frustration.
There is so much news coming at me from so many directions and so much of it is horrible and out of my control. News organizations have to make money. They have to weigh telling the truth with how much of it to tell, and what the impact will be. They have to tell the truth the way they see it, but the way they see it may not be the way it is. How do I sort this out? Who am I supposed to believe? And why?
For a while, I shut down. I close my ears. I don’t check the news. I let the Covid numbers rise and fall
however they want without my knowing what they are. I wear my mask, sanitize my hands, and move through each day however I can, looking down at my shoes.
But now for me there’s a little pathway opening up. I‘m starting to get it that nothing out there is actually true. Only what I myself see, hear, taste, touch and feel on this day, in this way, is true. And even that is highly suspect because of how unreliable human perception is.
So. Nothing is true.
Images and actions are intense, disturbing, or inspiring, imaginative, and motivating. Or all of that and more. But nothing is actually “true.” There are too many people looking at the same thing in the same moment for there to be any one truth.
I am afraid for the future, for my country, for my family’s lives. But that doesn’t mean that what I’m thinking will come to pass. This is when it helps to remember nothing I think is true.
And in that same way, no one in the world is wrong. Not even him (you know who I mean). We are all behaving according to our current level of evolution and awareness. We can’t possibly do otherwise. It helps to remember that, too.
I’m as good a person as I know how to be, from day to day, given what’s in front of me to do. That’s all I’ve got. And I’ve learned (though it took me decades)
that it’s enough.
May all beings benefit. May all beings awaken to their own true nature, which is an inexhaustible source of love, compassion and wisdom.