1. The Joy & Freedom of Independent Thinking!
Jump onboard to the New!
Oh, the joy and the freedom to think for one’s self! For the independent thinker only, does real freedom flow. Orthodoxy, status quo, dogma, and the rest of the dead life are anathema to the freedom of independent thinkers. Those who know the delicious taste of independent thinking never forget it’s tempting flavor, even those whose fears never allow them to once again imbibe that dangerously delicate taste. Independent thinking created this world and creates it anew. Orthodoxy offers nothing new. The stagnancy of orthodoxy runs counter to the changeable nature of Nature Herself.
Children are nature, are natur-ally independent thinkers connected to no less than the cosmos. When we listen to the children, listen with the big “L”, with our full beingness, we gain in glimpsing the future. Children who are put into the boxes of orthodoxy succeed in this Provencal culture of staid, insipid ideas yet lose their very maturity in the process. To be alive is to be free. Freedom comes from being who one truly is. When aligned with soul forces, the Individual soars from integrated oneness.
Thinking Independently shields one from the deterioration of societal ways based on false paradigms of materialism. Transcending matter one arrives at wholeness.
The orthodoxy of food science is so poor a diet one accepts the ever-growing ills of cancer, obesity, heart disease, and all the other ills which a proper diet remedy. Food science ignores the soil, and the soil is where robust health generates. The joy of eating food from robust soil is unmatched.
The orthodoxy of prescription medicine is so dangerously illogical one accepts that the harm done, through “side-effects” to the very thing that heals us, our immune system, is acceptable. Whereas the cures of Nature, without any side effects, is considered antiquate and naive. Homeopathy is the freedom seekers response to illness, like cures like. But conventional medicine forgets this truism and fills its vaccines with substances not at all alike with our bodies. To forgo the harmful-substance-filled vaccines is ultimate freedom.
The orthodoxy of education, of dead learning, of memorizing dead facts and regurgitating back what one has been told, is the antithesis of thinking for one’s self and allowing curiosity only to be the true guide and teacher of education. Mother Nature is the only teacher. And she gave us inspired curiosity to propel our individual learning. Learning really is fun, in spite of the trite sayings plastered all over children’s educational settings; children do not need to be told this, they know it instinctively. Children revel in curiosity, the motivator of learning.
The joy and freedom of being an independent thinker is unparalleled in Life. Love embodies joy and freedom and the independent thinker is a lover first and foremost. Love flows from the curious one. Love is the automatic connector of human and Nature. Love can only come from an individual experience of authenticity. Orthodoxy is dry and devoid of juicy natur-al love.
The value of orthodoxy lies in its dank emptiness which prods us to look beyond. The static orthodoxy is great as a motivator to grow beyond it. When used properly, orthodoxy is our jumping board, we jump-start the further thinking and free ourselves from the death grip of repeating old thinking.
Each fingerprint is individual. Perhaps ten billion persons have come and gone on this planet, who knows, but each and every one of them had something totally unique and individual: their very lives, of which the fingerprint alludes to. We are not the same. We are not equal. We are not alike. We are built from the same cloth but only to arrive, from the first cellular division onward, to a highly individualized character like no other. We are each unlike each other. We are born with gifts and talents that arise and develop from our tuning into our individuality. Some gifts are profound and move mountains while others are humbler and abide in quiet solitariness. To equalize these traits is to flatten the peaks and valleys of Life.
Independent thinking has brought us the new knowledge of the ages. This is where Life is most lived, at the edges of individual spontaneity; so far afield from single file lines, one-size-fits all man-made laws, institutions of indoor dry learning, and passed down conditioned responses of habits created by others.
Observing the freedom of Improv actors, from their first bite to their learning to swim in the deep waters of the unknown, is thrilling for me. The throwing away of habitual thinking/responding while authentically listening and impulsively responding is a view of unshackling and reaching toward freedom. For the sixty minutes of class these actors, who are people from the “real” world, get to play and delve into the lost freedom of childhood carefree Life. There are no rights and wrongs, which only serve orthodoxy, yet all, being on the edge of the scary unknown, know it serves them individually as much as collectively to respect one another and show each other love. That does not need to be taught. It is realized Nature-ally by risking being one’s self. Unfettered individuality is pure joy. Treating people equally with respect is native to being real, honest, authentic, and wildly spontaneous with curiosity for Life.
Moment by moment humans live, that is inescapable. But how dead those moments are when knowing is present? Once you think you know you’re dead. Once you think you know your child, you’re a dead parent. Once you think you know your lover, you’re a dead piece of furniture. The curiosity of the Zen Beginners Mind brings with it the juicy spontaneity of discovery. To discover your child anew each day asking who is this child, is a rebirth of independent thinking and joy. Same for one’s lover. Each millisecond millions of tiny cellular deaths occur while millions of new tiny lives occur – this is the truth of our bodies: ever flowering into newness, never the same twice, honestly, never a dull moment. The unknown is ever present for us to observe and experience. When we bring independent thinking to each moment we expand into intimate and ultimate human freedom and joy.
2. Why the free thinker is dangerous for society.
And why you need to be free.
Critical thinking skills are a virtuous commodity for sale amongst educational institutions. They hang this commodity on their advertisements, in their mission statements and in their class descriptions. Parents, usually swayed by what they read from these trusted and desired institutions of accreditations, then parrot the virtuous valuations of the resultant critical thinking. But just like the disconnect of the slogans plastered around schools and textbooks regarding respecting the earth while RoundUp is sprayed on their grounds, there is a similar disconnect between the desired critical thinking and the actual practice of teaching students to parrot back what they learn while asking them to memorize the right and wrong way to spell, speak, write, research, add, subtract, and even think.
Oh, right, some schools, and even cities, like Miami, are actually not allowing Roundup to be sprayed any longer on their grounds since the courts have claimed that the Monsanto/Bayer product causes cancer and millions of dollars are being given to the injured. Yet this proves the point that critical thinking isn’t actually occurring in schools. The schools and their students could’ve known of the carcinogenetic problems of Roundup long ago had they actually thought about it. But for those of us who brought this up years ago, we were ridiculed and thought of as backwards. Earth Day is often a ritual of empty-handed superficial acts and thoughts that undermine the real severity of the destruction of our home’s waters, soil, and air. Just consider the unsustainable materials that schools are built with and explain that disconnect.
Independent thinking skills are almost nowhere actually cultivated in our educations. When does the teacher ask the student what they think? I don’t mean asking the student if they have an answer, which is why most students raise their hands. I mean asking the student for their opinion. Kids have amazing opinions because they are closer to truth. They are as of yet conditioned to think correctly. They have not yet been so indoctrinated with parroting back what they’re taught as to cover up their own opinions. Kids know that adults accept and value wars all the while saying killing and murder are bad. Kids know that spirits and imaginary friends are real, at least until they are talked out of it. Kids know that plants have feelings. Kids know that learning is fun until they learn that learning is arduous and a necessary goal to get into a good college and get a good job. Kids who are appropriate activists, supporting the status quo like climate change or vaccinations, are pushed ahead and propped up by the very status quo they are parroting. But when is the last time you saw a child who questions these issues being hailed as a heroine?
In my own experience, I was belittled and even beaten for thinking and acting differently. Of course, this was the 1960’s and the right and wrong schools taught then was very different than what they teach today. Isn’t it startling that school’s “right and wrongs” change so often? That in itself ought to humble educators and their dogmatism about citations, respect, materialism, equality and the rest.
Thankfully my parents let me skip higher education and get to New York City at eighteen to experience real life and the rich and valuable education that flows from doing what you want in the place you want to be, living the life actually, without theories and single file lines.
But even in the wild world of show business I learned that unless I played the game and did not rile the waters with opinions and actions that did not support their status quo, it was impossible to succeed. This is clearly why women might lose their centers of integrity when desiring to make it in show business and may be swayed by the powers that be to do things they otherwise would not do. The pressure is strong. To be independent and authentic is a Herculean effort in show business just as it is in education and in corporate America.
My passion to be real and authentic override my ambitions for show business. My Broadway experience left me feeling rather tawdry and soulless. Hence, I decided to go it alone, make my own way, and see what I could do. In short, to stick with my independence.
Although doing my work my way brought me much more personal satisfaction, it also brought criticism for rocking the boat. For example, teaching private voice lessons to students younger than puberty age was looked at as wicked and not appropriate from the “accredited” class of academic vocal pedagogues. Whether here in East Lansing or in New York, the lambasting was the same. Curiously, nowadays, many years later, this is a more common practice.
Going back to school, as a man in his fifties, I was again pushed in line by my professors at the State University of New York, where I earned my BA and MA. I did what I had to do, I learned the “proper”, “right” way to write, research, and answer questions. But I also tried to challenge what I thought was either incorrect or short-sighted, or both. That was rarely appreciated. No good discourse came of that unfortunately. But a request from my professors to stop interjecting and stay in line lest they kick me out of the course became standard fare. My master’s work was hardest because I was in a “Liberal Studies” program and I mistakenly took that title as truthful. But the studies were anything but liberal. They were dogmatically leftist thinking. “liberal” in their minds and in the paradigm of the department meant “leftist”, such as gender as a social construction, psychic phenomena don’t really exist, and our world is ruled in material, mechanistic ways. Anyone who questions these dogmas is damned.
While “liberal” education spouts off about the value of interdisciplinary learning, in reality there are dogmatic limits and precise boxes as to when and where and how one might interconnect these diverse fields. Even in theatre, while in academia, one must not talk of certain subjects. It was not allowed for me to enter into the conversation subjects like health, quantum physics, epigenetics, and other relevant topics. I had to limit my thinking in order to succeed. I had to research and write their way: the boxed-in, specialized, jargon-filled, disconnected “liberal”, “right” way to express my opinions.
In another irony of higher education, my professor for an Advanced Playwriting graduate course gave me an “A” for the course while admitting she never read my play – which was the criteria for my grade. Had she read my play she would’ve seen it was not politically correct at all and even if she had liked my writing, she would have demeaned the content as happened so often in the course of my studies to earn that esteemed “Masters of Arts”.
Funny that when one investigates the history of ideas one finds that it is the outliers, the nonconformists, the independent thinkers that have changed the world with their fresh insights and research. The anomaly is where the good stuff starts yet the anomaly is most often left aside in academia as researchers push on to prove their preconceived hypothesis. If anything, the research assistant gets a jab at the anomaly, but it is not valued for pointing out a new direction or possibly being an important missing piece of truth – it is considered errant and random instead. Hmmm?
But when I look around at the world, I see destruction everywhere. As stated earlier, we have destroyed our air we breathe, our soil from which we grow our food, and our waters: these are the living necessities of health. We live in a consumer nightmare of materialism that runs roughshod over the deeper, richer truth of invisible interconnectedness through various, numerous fields (electromagnetic, gravitational, psychic, etc.) that keep us all as one. Clearly some great independent thinking is necessary to retrace our steps, fix what we can, and manage our living completely differently toward not a slogan but a real understanding of sustainability.
For example, forget climate change and all the breathless spewing and inaction and disagreements, and focus on the simple fact of pollution. Nobody argues about pollution. That would be an excellent starting point to reverse our dangerous ways. And of course, that starts with the biggest of us all, the corporations. From big government institutions to Apple to Google to Amazon to Verizon, etc., we must have them do their part and drastically alter the pollution they and all the others commit. Surely, we can all agree to that, but that would be too easy and would eliminate the divisive character that serves the powers that be who want to retain their power more than actually execute solutions.
Tesla, the great independent thinker, offered humanity free energy. But he was murdered. The list of dead independent thinkers is long and ominous. Careful what you want for your kids.