If the subject of Knowledge could be pictured, it might look like an apple tree. Yet, at best, even Critical Thinkers (CT) can only have a rough and hazy idea of the Tree of Knowledge. More typically, CT only knows the Seed, Roots, Trunk, Branches, Leaves, or Fruit of one or a few subcategories of Knowledge. Nevertheless, because all Knowledge of each aspect of life is interconnected and interrelated, learning all about the Spiritual Elements in one thing is simultaneously learning much about the entire Tree of Knowledge. That is why it is so important to thoroughly learn any one thing before proceeding. By being aware of its limitations concerning the subject of Knowledge, CT focuses on one part of the Knowledge in the subject being considered and follows its paths leading into all other parts of the Tree. But the wisest time CT can spend is on the Seed, for that automatically gives insight into all the other parts of the Tree and allows one to think in Principles. For me, the first step most easily comes from researching the keystone word of a subject in up to 1000 books. The chronological ordering of that information provides a frame for the subject's discussion. Despite its narrow scope, that awareness of the original meaning and its developmental historical course immediately begins to illuminate paths into pertinent subject aspects. That is why it is essential to keep rewriting the same topic, for each time ones mind will have more subject insight from seeing interrelationships.
Meanwhile, CT is busy making or clearing paths by doing tedious research to arrive at accurate and definite "definitions" (which indicate what the Thing is and is not). Out of the meaning emerging from the Base/Foundation of those "definitions" arise filtering and guiding standards. The soundness of the work product is indicated by whether one is Certain or not. If one is defensive when questioned about it, this indicates one is not Certain and thus more work needs to be done. If one has soundness, one can do "Right" arranging/rearranging and combining/recombining of the Principles of the subject while manipulating and maneuvering them into various priority orders for Plans A, B, and C. Plan A, the best solution fit, helps one anticipate likely problems along the path as well as the effects and consequences of the plan. Out of this type of process arose African Tradition's Critical philosophy—a rigorous logical method using argument and logical analysis to clarify and critique existing concepts on the way to discovering the truth. In addition, African Logic is a moral discipline used to purge away a human's irrational tendencies (James p28) so as to reveal “Esoteric Knowledge”—i.e. understanding the inner truth lying hidden within the core of fundamental Knowledge about foundational Realities.
What commonly clouds Knowledge pursuits is careless use of words leading one to use wrong "outside world" terms (e.g. Faith/Belief) for ones real "inside world" (Spiritual Knowing). When one applies such inappropriate words to ones magnificent "inside world" Spiritual Knowing often enough, the concepts present in both begin to blend with each other. As a result, the purity of the "inside world" Spiritual Knowing and its "5Ss" is lost and that tiny impurity of doubt is sufficient to generate Selfhood Splintering (conflicts within oneself). Hence, similar to a turtle withdrawing into its shell, one withdraws into self-absorption. Viewing and dealing with the world and oneself from a self-absorbed state automatically means one is not operating out of Reality. One does not see what one looks at and focuses on what one is against rather than what one is for. This prevents proper handling of daily problems, generates uncertainty, and leads people to either cling to what is doubtful or allows others to decide what is best and simply follow that while helplessly swept along in life's stream headed into a dead-end. Cultivating the Spiritual Elements enables correcting many problems in ones life while simultaneously preventing many more.
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