Michael Mamas: The Lost Art Of Self-Reliance

When I make a point or explain a concept, people often request scientific studies or objective examples in order to prove the point is right. Shockingly, it seems they believe that truth lies outside of oneself. Most of life–our feelings, morals, ethics, and values–transcends provable points and mechanical logic. In that sense, truth is found within ourselves, not by looking out to the objective world. Whether we deem it as truth or not is weighed on the scale of our own inner, moral fiber.

When you think about it, most anything can be justified with the intellect. Unthinkable abuses and wars have, throughout history, been initiated with intellectual justification. Hitler, Attila the Hun, and Pol Pot all had some objective validation for their deplorable actions.

Citing scientific studies and statistics, though heavily relied upon, is often terribly misleading. As it has been said, you can employ statistics to validate almost anything. Certainly, when it comes to hard sciences, objective knowledge is tremendously useful. It works great when building a car or telephone but, in most fields of life, things aren’t so black and white or well defined.

People often want article or book references to justify the validity of a point. Somehow if something was written somewhere else, it becomes ‘truth,’ even when it’s just another opinion. One such ‘truth’ relies on another, which then relies on another and so on, until the collusion of the consensus defines ‘reality.’ As Lily Tomlin put it, “It’s all just a collective hunch.” It has gotten to the point in our world where what people believe is all built upon a flimsy foundation of interdependent notions accepted as fact.

It seems the last place we rely on for insight and understanding is our own inner self–how we feel about a thought, idea, or concept. Yet in most of life, concepts matter little. It’s how we feel about those concepts that makes all the difference.

We would do well then to honor and evolve the reliance on our own inner sense. This self-reliance process is the subjective approach to understanding life. Taking the time to fully feel our reaction to what is being presented is the first step.

However, when undeveloped, our feelings can be shrouded in emotional, cultural, and indoctrinated bias. The key then is to strive to see beyond those biases in order to access how we really feel from the depth and purity of our own heart. As we become more aware of our response to what is being presented, we start to see our own biases. The more we discern between our biases and being truly open, the better clarity we have about our feelings. As we tap into how we more deeply feel, we are better able to sort through all that is presented to us. Discernment is not a refutation of facts or information, but is instead the art of wisely navigating within the world of facts, information, articles, books, and perspectives. It is the art of self-reliance.

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Self Help on Huffington Post

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