Our current language remains biased towards the trigger words of instinct and tradition that take us to destinations that are no longer adaptive. They turn on the thinking, feelings, and actions that were necessary for survival in a primitive environment but have become dangerous when applied to today’s issues. They emphasize differences more than similarities and divide the world into either/or categories that we now recognize support bigotry, intolerance, and destructive confrontation.
For example, in my Western culture, “God,” the term for the creator of all things, has commonly been represented as a white male who favors “my tribe” and periodically will magically intervene to punish “not my side.” We declare in the name of God that our side is justified in demanding that other tribes comply with our rule or be subject to punishment, even murder. The meanings we assign to a Christian cross, Muslim crescent, Jewish star, or Nazi swastika too often trigger our differences to the exclusion of our similarities. The peace symbol inspires our thinking to imagine our similarities more than our differences. Our work-in-progress is to recognize those trigger words that mislead us, and teach ourselves a newer way of thinking that applies common sense wisdom where instinct and tradition are no longer adaptive.
If we are to develop a newer way of thinking to manage our new power, to make ourselves more civilized, we need to add word-switches that selectively turn on common sense wisdom; that turn off those instinct and tradition trigger-words that new knowledge enlightens us are now ineffective or dangerous.
Other life on earth attains its highest level of maturity automatically and passively, through instinct and role-modeling. Humankind’s highest level of maturity is attained by active enlightenment of our freedom organ with knowledge and wisdom to attain mental freedom, what we call self-mastery. Freed from instinct and tradition, our mature freedom organ can acquire and apply the common sense wisdoms that elevate us to the most humane levels within our capability.
Our new powerful weapons with ultimate constructive power are word-switches that free us from dictators and turn on common sense thinking! Now that this secret is revealed, we need to educate our global population to continuously update our word-switches. We need to selectively bypass those instinct and tradition trigger words that once worked but have become ineffective or dangerous when applied to today’s explosive and still accelerating growth of knowledge. We elevate our established thinking by adding appropriate word-switches that turn on a newer way of thinking. Logical thinking creates new solutions to today’s problems instead of the automatic directions provided by instinct and tradition.