There’s a way of being called Beginner’s Mind. It’s about opening to all possibilities without attaching to deeply entrenched “knowings” which have the tendency to get us all into a lot of trouble. It’s the “seeing through the eyes of a child” phenomenon. It’s powerful.
I still have an old textbook on my shelf which I use to remind me how close-minded our world can be at times. This is a 2009, 7th edition book called Research Design Explained, for an upper level university research class. The authors are Mark L. Mitchell and Janina M. Jolley. They are married. Their bio says, “Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Jolley are married to research, teaching, and each other- not necessarily in that order.” Okay, fair enough.
So, here’s the book’s introductory paragraph:
“We live in a time just after the scientific giants Einstein and Skinner made tremendous discoveries. Yet, in the United States, three-quarters of the population believe in astrology, millions more than that believe in psychics, billions of dollars are spent on diets that don’t work, billions more are spent on health care that does not work, and much of what people do when it comes to attacking a wide range of problems- from fighting crime to treating the mentally ill- is based on superstition rather than fact.”
The authors then later go on to say that it’s important to be “open minded”, which scientists are because, after all, they explored and proved the existence of telepathy which was thought to be total hooey by the scientific community at one time.
(Long pause while I try to make sense of this… Keep in mind that I paid thousands of dollars to take this required class. The 600 page text book alone was $170 dollars.)
CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN BELIEVING IN PSYCHICS AS A SIGN OF AMERICAN WEAKNESS AND THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY PROVING THAT TELEPATHY EXISTS? I mean, what’s the difference between psychic phenomenon and telepathy?
The entire chapter is in itself schizophrenic. In one paragraph they’re lobbing about insults to the psychic community by calling them witch doctors and quacks and in another paragraph patting themselves on the back for being “open minded” by recognizing that scientific giants such as Einstein, Newton, Madame Curie, and others have all claimed to have made great scientific breakthroughs by alternative means such as dream channeling. But this, they say, is different because these people are clearly “creative geniuses“. In other words, don’t try this at home friends, because unless you’re dead and have unlocked a door to the secrets of the Universe, you’ll be called a witch and smoked out of the laboratory.
I’m not going to make this a debate over the existence of psychic phenomenon, because there have been plenty of statistically significant scientific studies which have proven its existence from very respectable institutions such as UCLA and Duke University. What angered me about the book was the audacity of these people to paint so clearly an opinion-tainted picture, in a text book supposedly preaching the importance of objectivity. I have never been exposed to such a thinly veiled crock of subjective opinion in the form of a text book.
Listen to this incredibly unbiased (ha!) statement:
“Scientifically oriented physicians treat patients based on what research has established as the most effective cure, whereas other physicians rely on their instincts and on alternative medicines- and end up causing thousands of their patients to die.”
And now I’m just laughing out loud, because that has to be one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever heard.
A very wise woman recently said to me, “Just because a person’s a healer doesn’t mean they’re healed. Just because a person’s a psychotherapist doesn’t make them sane.” And to this I say, just because a person writes about objectivity and open-mindedness, doesn’t make it so. I’m not trying to pick on these authors, because they’re in good company all over the world.
These are the kind of deeply entrenched programs we’re all being asked to reconsider in our changing times. The brainwashing we do to ourselves and others… it has to be recognized and released.