So in yesterday’s post we discussed the mind viruses in organized religion. I challenged you and asked what made your religious beliefs “the truth.” And then asked you if you got your beliefs from critical thinking or programming.
The reactions varied from thoughtful and intelligent, to judgmental and condescending….
A perfect example was a message I received on Twitter. The man who sent it told me he was unfollowing me because he could no longer follow my beliefs. Of course that is fascinating, but certainly not surprising. Because most people only want to read and hear from people who have the same beliefs they do.
He’s a well-meaning guy and I’m sure he believes he’s collecting points with Jesus (or whatever he believes is the truth), and by accumulating enough points, he’s ensuring his admission into heaven, the afterlife, or the waiting arms of Allah. That’s the kind of result that happens when you get infected with mind viruses.
Now your immediate knee-jerk reaction is probably to say you got YOUR beliefs through critical thinking. (Just like mine is.) Odds are very good we both believe that, but it’s not the case. Because religion is one of the most powerful and prevalent meme complexes on earth. And like all memes, once you’re infected with them, you can’t rationally analyze your own beliefs.
So how can you protect against this?
The way to protect against this is having critical thinkers around you that you can check things out with. You need people that will tell you the truth, without worrying about being politically correct or pandering to you.
This is the exact opposite of what most people want. They want people to give them permission to stay the way they are.
But we all need people we can check things out with. Ladies, you need someone that will tell you if those pants make your butt look fat. Then you can decide whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. Guys you need someone to tell you that those 42 inch waist size bicycle shorts may not be the best fashion choice for you.
We don’t need friends that criticize or belittle us. But we do need friends that will call us on our stuff. Tell us when we are repeating another negative dysfunctional relationship, falling into addictive behavior, or not respecting and honoring the divinity in those around us. Let us know when we came to a belief rationally, or simply succumbed to programming.
So how are you doing on this? Do you have people around you that challenge you? Tell you the truth? Or have you surrounded yourself with people with beliefs just like your own, who tell you what you want to hear?