Monday, 20 May 2013

Spiritual Seeker? Be A Critical Thinker

In the beginning of a spiritual journey it is very easy to take spiritual messages and teachings at face value. I remember in the first five years of my spiritual path I was like a sponge, keen to absorb everything and anything. I loved the metaphysical and new age, and I met a lot of people with the same interests. However, I lost my critical thinker. I guess I wanted so much for techniques, messages, training to be for me that I simply believed everything.

Already my world had opened and life felt and was so much more expanded. I was open – minded and a bit too gullible.

This can be a big part of the spiritual path, learning and gaining new knowledge because we may want an easy way to change our lives. It is probably an essential step on the road back to wholeness. 

One thing I learned after following many channelled writings, teachers, methods, processes, law of attraction techniques and manifesting messages, is that there is no fast track to change. It takes time and commitment. And I also began to question those teachers, so much so I even posted a video on YouTube (here) that received such a huge response (mainly attacking my video) and I had to eventually stop comments. It was hard to let go of certain teachings because of my human need to belong. Once I put a critical thinking cap on I no longer belonged, I was my own person with a differing viewpoint. 

Critical Thinking, Critical Thinker, New Age

My own experience has helped me realise how important questioning the message is. If something brings up conflict within you ask yourself why. One thing I always question is best-selling books. I prefer to use my own judgement than to have faith that the reviews on the back of the book are correct. Many bestselling authors, metaphysical and self help books have what I call "the rat pack" authors. The same authors commend and praise the other authors' books and vice versa. 

Many a time they may have not even read the book. So trust your own experience. I recently began reviewing books which I really enjoy doing and I find the key thing when reviewing a book is offering the reader a balanced perspective. I personally don't believe all positive reviews. So I try to critique as best I can as a reader and writer.

What has become clear for me recently is understanding that when we read something on the Internet, in newspapers or books, or see it on television, something that resonates with what we already believe, we tend to accept it as being true without thinking about it. This is where it is most important to think critically, because you have got to actively search out the opposite point of view to the one you resonate with, and you will resist.

If you're just starting out on your spiritual journey, seeking out knowledge and wanting change, allow your heart and mind to work together in unison. The critical thinker may get a bad rap in the quest to be open-minded, but it can stop you getting indoctrinated into a group or teachings that may not work for you. Trust your gut and question.

Happy exploring!

*Photos shared via Creative Commons reuse policy
Top photo by By AlicePopkorn
Second photo By jakecaptive


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