Hi guys,

Welcome back. Just wanted to share with you I’ve had a breakthrough. I’ve never been a runner. In fact any of you who’ve been in a class with me have probably heard me say that I hate running. That’s why I dance. However, I have to take my hat off to my personal trainer Steph: she has got me to the point where yesterday I enjoyed my first run! Oh my god!! Apparently it has something to do with getting to a fitness level where you can breathe through your nose… in and out, in and out… Now I am starting to understand those weirdos who used to tell me it was meditative! Haha!!!

Anyhow, I tell you about my running because it was while I was running yesterday down at Port Melbourne beach that I came up with today’s blog. Yesterday in Melbourne was a funny day, one moment sunny, then next thunder storms veritably chucking it down.

I grabbed my run between torrential downpours, and as I trotted along the stormclouds gathered and formed quite a spectacular sight over the bay.

I was listening to a recent podcast of Skepticality: the official podcast of Skeptics magazine. You can check them out by clicking here, but be warned… if you are a believer of mind over matter in any of it’s guises (spiritual, religious, NLP or otherwise) you will have your buttons pressed. Now, don’t get me wrong… I have experienced too much anecdotal evidence in my own life with these things to give them up just yet, but I am thoroughly enjoying broadening my horizons into the “Critical Thinking” arena.

So what is Critical Thinking? Basically it is the disciplined process of actively conceptualizing, analyzing, and applying information as a guide to action. In other words, not just accepting it is so because I say so, but thinking it through for yourself, testing hypotheses etc.

As a concept, it tends to upset some of my colleagues because they see it as an attack on what they teach in the realm of personal development. Granted, most critical thinkers would scoff at hypnosis, the Law of Attraction, religion and other such things; calling them whacked out and woowoo, with no foundation in reality. You see what gets them out of bed in the morning is the quest for truth as proven by science.

And most “believers” would scoff at critical thinkers as being obsessed with science, boring, emotionally retarded and missing out on the magic of life. Because what gets them out of bed in the morning is the quest for truth as defined by their own personal experience.

Funny how one tiny distinction or definition of truth can make all the difference in the world!

But the interesting thing is listening to this particular interview I came across a Critical Thinker that doesn’t need to rip people apart to have his point of view. Stephen L Gibson has recently written a book called A Secret of the Universe. Now… I haven’t read the book (I’ve just ordered it on amazon today… you can too by clicking below)… but I am very much looking forward to it. Desipte this, I was thoroughly impressed with his attitude to the opinions of others.

I learnt so much about tolerance, as he has no need to preach to others about his opinions. But also about tolerance of self. He is very clear that his worldview is just his current worldview, and it may change down the line.

It’s very reassuring for those of us who need to have it all figured out yesterday before making a move on anything!

If you’re interested in listengin to the podcast, i highly recommend it. It’s here on Skepticality. But it comes with a button pressing warning for most of my readers! Consider youself warned!

So today I’m celebrating diversity, and knowing that my worldview today, will be different to tomorrow. And I’m really reflecting on what is the truth for me? Truth as proven by science, or personal experience? This question is bound to get me out of bed tomorrow!

4 Responses to “What is truth, and is there room for tolerance?”

  1. 1Brendan Brewster on Jan 29, 2008 at 9:33 pm:

    Hi Joanna, I like the way you think. Truth is one of those strange concepts that can be hard to nail down, or dig up, which ever way you look at it.

    One person’s truth could be another’s nightmare or scoffing joke.

    One angle I look at it from is that truth comes either from evidence or faith. Both have merit in the right circumstances and both can be shown to be foolishly derived. A lot depends on your POV.

    Anyway, enjoy the journey.

    Brendan.

  2. 2Joey on Feb 5, 2008 at 9:53 am:

    Hey brendan,
    Thanks for the comment. Love the thought that its “either evidence or faith”… Either is just as relevant huh?

    Keep in touch!!

    J x

  3. 3Leanne Watson on Aug 31, 2008 at 8:18 am:

    Hi Joey,

    I think the recording was really interesting and I definitely am a believer in tolerance for another’s point of view.

    There’s a really interesting chapter in Richard Bach’s book one about religion which demonstrates how easy it is to feel so strongly about your own beliefs that you can become ‘militant’ about protecting them in their ‘purity’.

    In reality, tolerance is about chunking up really … what’s the highest intention of the belief you hold … finding some common ground to work with.

    After all it’s not just about how you practice, isn’t it? To me it’s more about the underlying beliefs of love, peace and understanding?

    Love life and live it creatively,
    Leanne

  4. 4Joey on Sep 1, 2008 at 8:36 pm:

    HI Leanne,

    I know what you mean. There is nothing worse than someone who preaches something but they are so wrapped up in it that the intention behind it is lost.

    I just read Eat Pray Love again and there was an interesting bit in it about tying a cat to a tree to meditate… similar concept, and very amusing!

    J x

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