Search for Truth (part two)

This series on seeking truth is intended to act as a way for you to meditate on your own methods. The problem continues to be separating influences that are forced on us from those we have discovered ourselves. Then we need to re validate each category to see if the outer or inner influence is valid according to logical standards. However, we do not need to be a scholar to have careful reasoning or to throw away reasoning altogether to free ourselves to think clearly.

There are many voices and influences we have outside ourselves vying for our attention to make us believe according to their perceptions, some of which are valid and some are accepted without question. A saying of the Buddha often quoted about not believing him, only believe what you understand is a misunderstanding by many and is regarding this point. However, we have inner criteria and inner influence that are demanding we serve it before others. Some of these might be trauma, anger, jealousy, competitiveness, or more positive influences such as altruism, love, or karmic propensities.

People often use their emotions as the method for understanding what is true and real, in other words “How do I feel about it.” So we can understand whether something is true or not, how should we view emotional data? Examples of emotional criteria might be for many Tibetans, deciding that anything that is of Chinese manufacture or people who live in China are bad and wrong. In the case of all problems between groups of people, they use that criteria of national origin or what ethnic group or racial group they belong to and color their judgment. Will that create further negativity by emotion in searching for truth by solidifying as fact what is not true?

Now, let us think a bit about the scientific method to determine truth. This is based on empirical evidence and reproducible effects and seems quite straightforward and irrefutable. However, even here you are able to influence the process by your thinking that might have some effect on the outcome. Some researchers actually criticize the scientific method because science uses a protective shield to hide certain faults in the system by stating that it cannot be manipulated because of checks and balances of process. Some see that there are ways to induce agenda into the scientific process to establish or hide results because they are not open what ever come, manipulate statistics, or only research areas that will affirm another agenda. Some agendas might include research money coming from for profit companies, weapons development and more. In the exact same way, the potential for “clear scientific thinking” can be tainted by our own ideas, expectations, and desires to be met without being open to seeing things as they are.

For the basis of our discussion about the search for truth that even becomes more stringent with higher level or more subtle truths, agendas and fear cannot be allowed. Therefore, the very thing which is ingrained into Western society to gain an empirical, scientific, reproducible effect, actually might not be working as well as you want.

We must be aware that many elements of scientific methods of inquiry are present and alive in you and are very strong in your educational system indoctrination. In the West, the scientific approach is one that has become supreme for education, whereas in other places in the world, that process is not very much admired because of its insistence of departure from inner based values. You will hear from time to time Tibetans decrying how bad and wrong Western science is when it is actually the loss of inner values they fear. I was also this way in my just previous life, with a tremendous resistance to science as it is taught in the West.

Another method that you might be using would be common sense, isn't that so? Common sense, by means of whatever logic you have, whether that logic is correct or not, is something that everyone uses. You assume, through common sense, that something is valid and true, however, someone sitting next to you would have another logical activity is based upon his or her views thereby bringing another result. That process that they also call common sense is based more upon their own logic mixed with other factors. Common sense is based upon certain mental capacity abilities, education and levels of logic, and is an important method for you to display and to practice your logic informally, isn't that so?

An interesting point is that common sense is always self-referent to your own knowledge mixed with what others think as well as cultural conditioning. You know, in Nepal, it is only common sense that you slit the throat of a young water buffalo, catch that blood in a bucket, and then splash it onto a deity statue. It is only common sense to keep the smooth running of household luck. To be continued…..


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