Sunday, March 22, 2015

don't be dogmatic

Dr. Jane Wormsly
Experience of the here and now is deceptive. One might seem to be experiencing a simple moment when in fact the moment of one’s experience involves infinite connections. It’s not possible for a person to be aware of the infinity of factors within an instant.

For example, to notice red involves a process of sensory contact with wavelengths, processing the data into an image and applying a description. Along with visual impression, one experiences a conceptual moment of colour awareness. The concept of red is based on the concept of colour. Understanding red involves unifying similar moments of experiencing a type of wave length into a concept. The particular moment of the red sense impression occurs along with the concept red. The concept extends beyond the moment and exists in an abstract realm, independent of space and time, although based on or traceable back to material experienced in space and time. One experiences red, not to mention awareness of the object which is red, whatever that might be, a red ball, red book, red phone...

The point of this discussion is to remind oneself to not be dogmatic or opinionated about what is going on. The non-dogmatic approach to reality, or maintaining an open mind, facilitates discussion, exploration and learning. If the mind is open to possibility, there’s more tolerance of disagreement. There could be something more to the picture than meets the eye. An open minded person would welcome reasonable challenges to one’s idea, since reasonable discussion stimulates the mind and often results in greater understanding. A dogmatic person might view questions or disagreement as a personal slight, or even insult. There’s something authoritarian in the opinionated attitude of don’t argue with me because I know I’m right. I know what I’m talking about. I’m telling you the way it is. Don’t argue. An authoritarian person might even get angry and violent.

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