Forget Schools of Thought: Study them All and then Create your Own
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels,
And not the words of one who kneels.
Most people will never snap out of the main lines of thinking. But the few who do often get entangled in others. However, there is no single school of thought that explains everything in any subject. To get closer to truth one needs to study them all and transcend them all.
It’s the same with every subject.
When we realize doctors are murderers and start to look for truth about health, we turn to diet. The first thing we find out about are Raw Foods, claiming we need to eat everything raw. Many people will then stop. They got rid of the problem (bad diet and murderous pharmaceuticals) and think they found the answer. But their neighbor, facing the same question, finds an interesting book about Traditional Chinese Medicine. And TCM claims the human body cannot process raw foods. Everything must be cooked.
If these people meet cognitive dissonance is unavoidable. Most people actually will get in row if they pursue the conversation.
Next we set out to find God. First we pick up the Bible. But this is in fact two books. The first tells us ‘an eye for an eye’, the second advises to turn the other cheek. We then go for part three, the Qu’ran, which denies the basics of Christianity by stating Christ survived His crucifixion. Worse still, after perusing the Nag Hammadi scriptures we are faced with the claim that YHVH is the anti God. Not to mention the Tao, the Baghavad Gita, the Tarot and the fascinating accounts of the Shamans.
Our wearying mind in astonishment turns to a simple science like the monetary. But lo and behold: we have people claiming we need Gold. Others say we need paper money. Yet another says the only important thing is to avoid interest on the means of exchange…..
So what does it all mean?
The point is that each and every position has merit. Look at economics for instance. The Austrians have shown us how detrimental Government intervention in the market can be. Social Credit has the great concept of the Gap. German Economics gives us a great analysis of interest. And even Keynes was important, as he paved the way for anti-deflationary measures.
The idea is to give every theory a fair hearing. This is not what is going on now. Austrians have their standard arguments to do away with Social Credit. Social Credit is so proud of the Gap that they cannot hear how others have similar views, but with a different label. The Alternative Schools are united in despising the Main Stream, which in turn has its pundits to explain away all the fair issues that the Alternatives bring forward.
But to give a fair hearing to all, Scott Fitzgerald’s kind of ‘superior intelligence’ is needed. Yet only the very foolish will claim ‘superior intelligence’. Luckily this is not so much a question of talent, but of technique. It takes a little self discipline and emotional awareness to feel through the negative emotions associated with cognitive dissonance. But it can be done. It’s just a matter of a little practice.
And sometimes the unresolved questions that arise from opposite ideas can linger for years in the mind. So patience is necessary too.
But we must. Because although the different schools, in whatever field, cannot ever be truly reconciled, they can be transcended. And they must, because none deliver on their claim for truth.
And at the end of the day: are we really willing to settle for that nagging little voice in our head that is telling us we are buying into ideas that are not really satisfactory?
Every man has the desire and the duty to be able to say at the end of the road:
I did it My Way