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Ancient Information Remains Valuable

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Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.
Before there can be a change in self-defeating belief systems, the recesses of those beliefs must be explored to find the Trigger Cause. How one arises is exemplified by Socrates’ “Allegory of the Cave.” It shows a form similar to the way the minds of the Slaves came to be imprisoned with delusions; how difficult it is to step out of delusions into reality; and how much stubborn resistance delusional people put up to changing the status quo. My version starts with prisoners chained in an underground cave and with their heads fixed in a straight ahead position.  Thus, they can only see shadows cast on the wall in front of them and are unaware that between their backs and the fire are puppets, moved by a puppeteer along a walkway, that cause the shadows. Being born into this situation and knowing nothing else, the prisoners are certain the shadows (i.e. delusions) constitute “reality.” Then certain prisoners, when freed, declare to be unreal all that is behind their backs and continue with this declaration while kicking and screaming because of being dragged out of the cave. Once outside the cave they gradually acclimate by seeing more and more real things around them and by learning to distinquish the reality of the sun from the shadows it causes.  When they re-enter the cave to inform the chained prisoners what is reality, they discover that they are no longer accustomed to the darkness; that the chained prisoners ridicule what they are told about the reality; and that the prisoners fight against being taken into the sunlight outside the cave because they are afraid to enter the unknown and leave the familiar world they have created in the darkness.  The point is that ancient methods of rational and Critical Thinking applied to solving difficult selfhood and group problems remain applicable.  What one looks at is the structure and the details in it. The advantages show how the problems were formed, what was done, and its outcome.  Modifications of this information helps in understanding present problems and helps in predicting the future.  Hence, ideas are gained about how delusions formed in the Slaves, what life is like living inside a delusion, and how people in a delusion do only bits and pieces of what they are capable of doing and that keeps the world from receiving the full force of their talents and skills. They must be led out of ignorance and directed towards their rightful destination in life. But success is in the details. Along with repeated attempts to reflect on and reorder ones ideas, the first step is to acquire real knowledge by an ancient system of extracting information called the Seven Questions of Inquiry.  Who and Which bring out and establish the identity of the thing;

What shows the action to or by the thing; When and Where concern the time and place; Why , the reason or purpose; and How—the manner of the action. Practice involves going over these seven questions so often that they become second nature. The next step is to expand on them in the Socratic Method as, for example, in the following manner: I. What is the name of this thing? II. When did (or does) it exist? III. Where did (or does) it exist? IV. What caused it to exist? V.  What is its history? VI. What are its leading characteristics? VII. What is its use and purpose? VIII. What are its effects, or results? IX. What does it prove or demonstrate? X. What is its probable end or future? XI. What does it resemble? XII. What are its opposites (things most unlike it)? XIII.

What do I know about it, generally, in the way of associated ideas? XIV. What is my general opinion regarding it— degree of like or dislike? (Dumont, The Master Mind p191). That information is used to lay a foundation of thought by establishing a sound definition of the terms to be used in building thought structures. Precision definitions are essential for the truth along the path of the rational progression of thought.

website: www.jablifeskills.com

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