A recognition: to seek true happiness, wisdom, and self actualization; focus on unlearning in life, not “learning”.
Via negativa wisdom
This is my idea:
First of all, much of what we have learned since our childhood is for us to become obedient sheep.
To listen to our teachers, authority figures, and societal rules. For most cultures in the world, we aren’t encouraged to think outside the box. In Asian culture, there’s a Chinese saying, “The nail that sticks out the most must be hammered in the hardest”. Since we are children, we are taught to obey the teacher, to obey our parents, and to obey the rules.
Thus, what happens? A society of generic, cookie cutter, safe, and boring people.
You can change the world!
Now— society advances by the bravery, courage, and the disobedience of an individual, who refuses to listen to the rules, who refuses to listen to social norms, and refuses to follow. The individual who refuses to kowtow (bow down) to authority and rules they don’t ethically believe in — consider Rosa Parks who refused to the back of the bus, Martin Luther King Jr. who led the civil rights movement, or Gandhi who peacefully protested against the British. I can cite thousands of such individuals in history — but basically, whole social movements have started in the past from the bravery and guts from an individual. Which means you have the potential to start your own social, political, economic, or philosophical movement. Yes you! Consider also Jesus started his movement of love with only 12 disciples (or in today’s terminology, “followers”). Jesus had 12 “true followers”, and based off that — was able to spread his message of love, compassion, and hope for millions of people in history.
To gain true wisdom, this is why I think unlearning is most effective:
- Much of what we learn in school is just an opinion from our teachers, from individuals who write textbooks (often very boring people), and cultural norms which are just an opinion. True wisdom is to discover what our own opinion is.
- Many “experts” we learn from are often wrong. To be frank, consider how wrong many experts from the past were. Experts once told us that smoking was actually beneficial to our health! That trans-fat was healthier for us than butter! That drinking Coca-Cola was a health supplement! We obviously know all that stuff is false, but it took decades of “myth busting” to prove the experts wrong. Even consider that even a few years ago, we were told that eating saturated fat would cause heart disease and cause us to gain body fat— but this has been thoroughly disconfirmed via Gary Taubes and many others in the medical-health field.
- Much of what we “learn” via the Internet now is false and sterile information, which is actually harmful to us, like junk food. In today’s online advertising economy, truth, wisdom, and enlightening information isn’t what causes people to click on banner advertisements. Unfortunately sensationalist, fear-inducing, or anger-inducing news is what generally spreads — thus, online media and news is biased to feed us information which actually disempowers us and causes us to become more risk-averse!
Empty your mind.
A room is only useful with the negative space inside. The strength of a wheel comes from the space in-between the spokes. The usefulness of a cup is only due to the negative space inside.
Life is the same —we have the most value from emptiness than fullness.
Our mind is the most valuable asset we have and own. The more you fill your mind with superfluous information or ideas, the less new and good information can enter your mind. Not only that, but if your brain is being constantly bombarded with notifications, emails, and text messages — how can you have the emptiness in your mind to think?
To be a philosopher is to love thinking. And thinking is hard —it requires an insane amount of brainpower and focus to think, especially in today’s world. Not only that, but to think independently (to form your own opinions) is rare. There’s very few independent thinkers and “free spirits” in today’s world and economy.
That’s why we need you to think independently— to form your own unique opinions, and to boldly share these ideas with others!
The progress of society depends on you —yes, you. If you’re reading this, you have an insanely powerful brain, which can create and move matter. Your own ambition and hustle is what will change the world.
Don’t give up faith or hope. Hope is dope. Don’t let the nope-sayers detract you or get in your way. Hustle hard, and create what you believe in, all day, everyday.
Hustle hard hustle hard, even though you might fall short a few yards. Play the cards you’ve been dealt well— ain’t no dry spells with your potential or inspiration.
You’re on a new level, a new elevation, and soaring high —
You’re wise, bright and smart. Don’t delay pursuing your own inner truth, put your heart on the line, and break out of the charts!
Make art you like, and pedal your own artistic bike, with your own two feet. March to the rhythm of your own beat and listen to your own inner voice. You got the smarts to make your own choices!
Unlearn with ZEN OF ERIC >