functional Mind Skills – Are Your Beliefs Making You Stupid?
Have you ever met someone who was so set in their ways that they started making really stupid mistakes? Do you suffer from ‘hardening of the categories’? Here’s some of the shared symptoms and how to fix them.
There’s a joke in physics that the field advances one funeral at a time. And that’s in a hard empirical science, we’re not already considering religion or politics however.
Have you spotted these symptoms in people however? In yourself already?
Your brain builds stronger neural networks around often repeated patterns. Habits of thought and deed cause neuronal habituation, a occurrence where your brain starts to go to sleep when the stimulation it gets is routine.
This is one of the reasons why going on holiday seems fun, all the little things are slightly different. Different food, weather, activities and ecosystem. It makes you more alive and alert.
The Solution: Pick 5 routines that you do by the day and simply do something different. Notice which hand you habitually brush your teeth with and use the other one. Notice which shoe you put on first and do it the other way. Take a slightly different route to work each day. Notice how you start to feel more awake.
You probably only hang out with a safe group of people, read the same kind of magazines and hang out in the same chat rooms. Whilst this makes you feel safe it also makes things feel boring.
The Solution: Seek out books and magazines with opposing views to your own and truly read them. Try and find 5 completely different viewpoints on a controversial topic you feel strongly about. Try living somewhere completely new that speaks another language.
Not only are these folks firmly jammed in a ‘BS’ (belief systems), they probably don’t realise they are, in much the same way a fish doesn’t think too much about the water it’s in. If you’ve experienced ‘hardening of the categories’ to this degree, you’re probably not reading this article and nothing short of having a near death experience is likely to change them. If you want to thoroughly open your mind try the following mind experiments.
The Solution: Read Korzybski’s Science and Sanity (yes, the whole book). Experiment with Borrowed Genius meditation sessions. Seek out challenging life changing experiences. Try the Empedocles Meditation for the brave.