A friend recently shared some thoughts with me about how everybody tries to solve their problems logically.
If you don’t know something, it can be learned. So, for instance, if you’re struggling with parenting, you could take a course and discover some helpful techniques.
Yet, at different times, we all shut down. Instead of seeking help, we begin to rely on our own brains — the same brains that got us into the mess we’re in. Typically, that only leads to more frustration. It gets us stuck in a rut.
As I see it, there are a couple of things going on here.
First is the battle between traditional education and ongoing self-education. Inevitably, it seems most people value the former more.
Yet, when I think back on my personal development journey to this point, my greatest lessons have come from life itself, business and ongoing self-education. Traditional education only barely makes it into the picture at fourth place.
I’ve investigated the roots of the education system, and in my estimation, it wasn’t exactly started with kind or benevolent intentions. It was invented more to straighten up “unruly” children than anything else.
Google it for yourself if you don’t believe me.
Despite the fast-changing world we’re in, the education system hasn’t evolved a whole lot since its inception, and there is more than a preponderance of evidence to back up this notion.
Meaning — we basically haven’t been presented with new ways of solving problems in the last 150 to 200 years. As school curriculums tighten and extracurricular options dwindle, we are being given fewer opportunities to tap into our innate creativity.
Many assume that if it isn’t in school, it doesn’t exist, but that simply isn’t true.
If that were the case, my friends wouldn’t constantly come to me saying, “wow, I wish they taught this stuff [course, book, etc.] in school!” after I’ve shared a resource with them.
Literacy rates, for example, are disastrously low, if we were to measure based on who can and cannot read (I don’t understand why we feel it important to measure based on who has gone to school or has finished a class — that doesn’t tell you whether someone can read).
On my journey, I’ve had to undo some of the traditional education system’s programming to find my way.
Second is the staying power of the modern age, which was obsessed with facts, figures, stats, steps.
Odd. I feel like I’m describing how things are right now. It doesn’t seem as though our focus has changed a whole lot, despite the beckoning of a new, promising paradigm.
So, whatever happened to the post-modern age?
Whatever happened to combining, fusing, and integrating logic, facts and knowledge with spirituality, creativity, and innovation?
Here, too, we encounter the same issue, namely that as a culture we feel more comfortable with facts, figures, and stats than with woo-woo, intuition, the abstract and so forth.
The merciless cutting of arts programs seems proof enough.
Remember — the post-modern age is supposed to be a fusion of science and spirituality. Not the exception of one or the other.
Quantum physics comes close to integrating the two, but unless it’s coming from Gregg Braden, it’s still basically trying to deny spirituality while propping up science as the answer.
So, we have effectively been split into two opposing camps. I point this out, because, not everyone reading this is going to agree with me.
Whatever happened to, “science doesn’t have all the answers?” We don’t often hear that phrase anymore (if at all), despite its prevailing wisdom. Instead, we have people like Neil deGrasse Tyson claiming that:
The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.
With all due respect to Mr. Tyson, I disagree. The only thing true whether you believe in it is what is so. And, what is so can be described in eight billion ways. I think most are uncomfortable with that kind of abstraction, however, which is why we gravitate to Tyson’s simple, closed-loop claim.
But you may be asking yourself:
“What does the modern age have to do with solving our problems?”
We are emotional creatures. Yes, when it comes to solving problems, it can help to detach from our emotions sometimes. Not seeing the forest for the trees may prove ineffectual.
But when all is said and done, most of the time, we go with our gut only to intellectualize the process later. This is how most decisions are made.
Again, you may Google it if you don’t believe me.
If we were honest with ourselves, we’d see that we are often more reliant on intuition than our linear and logical approach to solving problems.
And, “linear” is the most troubling part here. Because of how rapidly the world is changing, we’re encountering new problems that “tried-and-true” industrial age linear approaches simply cannot solve.
The post-modern age is here. But science wants to hold even more tightly to its rightness. Again, we are two minds about this.
I may not change anyone’s mind. But what I can say is this:
Out of this exploration can come more meaningful solutions to your problems. It may require moving into uncomfortable intellectual territory, however, and not everyone is willing.
Originally published at https://davidandrewwiebe.com on June 3, 2020.