Discernment

Mon, 10/22/2012 - 15:10 — Compost Stu

Sunshine warms my shoulder through the diaphanous wall to the east. The sleeping goddess (Sphinx and Blue Knob) is smiling, warmth exudes from her bosom. I breath it all in and wonder how my perception filters this experience. Am I looking through rose coloured glasses? As an eternal optimist, can I not see the writing on the wall, or do I choose not to read it, (is it really there at all)? Often times I am confronted with information that purports to conspiracy, global evil, chemtrails, the illuminati etc etc. I find it necessary to become a discerning individual, to process information and assess it using my perception filters. How can I, with my inbuilt failings, find truth amongst the plethora of information available to me.
We must all be a bit overwhelmed with information generally. Since the internet age began, availability of information has increased exponentially, as more and more people use the online environment to further their individual causes. This is by far the biggest jump in available information since the 16th century, when books were printed and common people began to read. How are we coping with the challenge of processing all this info and discerning between brilliance and BS? Some better than others. The trick is to unbridle your perception filters and stand naked and innocent before the information requiring assessment. Then slowly think through a process of re-clothing yourself in reason, logic and intuition.

I use the following methods.

Who stands to gain from your accepting the info as truth?
If the info in any way leads you to a conclusion you have to part with $$, your BS alarm should be ringing. Many gains are not financial. Sometimes people have a vested interest in their own aggrandizement, or simply seek attention.

Can the info be tested?
Is there any other way that the same conclusion could have been reached, apart from the one that the info is telling you? If there are other pathways to the same answer, don’t believe the pathway you are being told about unless the other pathways have been tested and eliminated. Real info will often tell you about all the possible ways and how they have been eliminated.

Has the source been peer reviewed?
If the information is the opinion of one person, it is likely to be flawed. When information is reviewed by independent third parties and confirmed it has a much higher likelihood of being factual.

Tune in to body language.
If possible, read between the lines by looking at positive / negative inclinations in body language. Trust your intuition on this one!! Even politicians have trouble lying without letting on.

I have another rule for my own sanity. Don’t go chasing random information, there is enough right in front of most of us to fully occupy our sensibilities. If you have not watched a sunset in over a year, switch off your TV, computer and phone till you have.


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