Go read issue 08. Better yet, go DO something to enhance yourself after reading issue 08.

Here’s a little taste of the introduction letter from that issue:

One-hundred fifty years ago English philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote a landmark essay on individual rights and liberties called, well, On Liberty. Mill stresses that the key to a free society is the willingness to engage our personally held opinions and beliefs in a dialogue with opposing opinions. He gives four reasons why we should listen to and honestly consider opposing opinions:

  1. The opposing opinion might actually be RIGHT. Denying this possibility is like claiming your own infallibility (as in, who died and made you God?).
  2. The opposing opinion may contain part of the truth that complements yours. Remember the fable of the 6 blind men all describing different parts of the SAME elephant?
  3. Reflecting on the opposing opinion keeps your own reasoning sharp and vibrant. If you aren’t forced to continually think through your own belief it becomes DOGMA.
  4. The opposing opinion is what allows the “growth of heartfelt conviction” in your own belief.

Mill believed strongly in the need to question conformity because so many mainstream ideas are unchallenged dogmas thought to be common sense:

 “He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. He who chooses his plan for himself, employs all his faculties. He must use observation to see, reasoning and judgment to foresee, activity to gather materials for decision, discrimination to decide, and when he has decided, firmness and self-control to hold to his deliberate decision” (p. 187).

So what’s your plan? How many of your current beliefs are slowly calcifying into habitual dogma? Why not bring them down from the attic, dust them off, and see if they still speak to you.

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About bensten

Teacher, writer, blogger and spiritual practitioner. Managing editor of bensten.wordpress.com.

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