Stren #5: Word-switches – part B: The Means To Mental Freedom
Our most important tool to a newer way of thinking (ANWOT)
Previously I indicated that we become powerful creators by making interpretations that turn on meaning and action. In part A of this wisdom I created two new words to indicate the way we selectively switch on and turn off the interpretations and action pathways of our three masters -- instinct, tradition, and self-mastery. Today we’ll expand our understanding of how word-switches turn on self-mastery and empower us to replace the demands of instinct and tradition.
Our creative power is limited by the accuracy of the interpretations we assign to knowledge. Our ancestors were intelligent but they had very limited knowledge to accurately interpret what they experienced. Their interpretations were created using faith-based assumptions that often resulted in inaccurate conclusions. Lacking knowledge, the leap of faith was often beyond reason. No matter how logical our reasoning, if we start with assumptions that misrepresent cause-and-effect relationships, we end up with foolish conclusions. For example, we assumed multiple natural objects or phenomenon had magic; we created an untold number of idols to worship, and performed strange rituals. We believed the earth was flat and the center of the universe. We identified some individuals as “witches” and set them on fire to “save them.”
Our early ancestors wandered from place to place in a savage environment seeking edible plants and what they could kill. There was no agriculture. Their valued possessions consisted of family and weapons. As you can imagine, their important trigger words and interpretations were focused on survival, how to eat and avoid being eaten. Words served to create ideas and solutions that triggered a survival of the fittest perspective and emergency fight or flight action. What trigger words would appear in their small dictionary if they had one? We can guess that their vocabulary turned on meaning that favored either/or conclusions, that quickly recognized differences, and led to preprogrammed spontaneous action: my tribe or not my tribe, safe or dangerous, emergency, fight, run, hide, dominate, fuck, protect, and so on.
Humankind is prone to act on our interpretations even when they are not verifiable by logic. We are reluctant to disobey instinct and tradition, and so they become automatic and resist yielding their power. As humankind has progressed to its present accelerating growth of universal knowledge, we are rapidly increasing both our constructive and our destructive power. The stakes for foolish acts can no longer be tolerated. To survive and thrive, our work-in-progress is to build our vocabulary of word-switches that turn on common sense wisdom and selectively switch off those trigger words of instinct and tradition that have become dangerous.