Critical Thinking and its Role in the Process of TransformationCritical Thinking and its Role in the Process of Transformation https://pavima.com/wp-content/themes/pavima/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 admin admin https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9402f7ed21295a9145078a28c1b792c7?s=96&d=mm&r=g
I enrolled in High School in Germany in 1968, twenty-three years after the end of the Second World War. The lessons learned from that event run deep through the German population. One of the consequences was that we were educated to think freely and encouraged to question everything. We were even encouraged to question the curriculum presented by our own teachers. Never accept authority because they say so. Consequently in Germany to this day, it’s harder for dogma to survive because it can only do so if nobody questions its legitimacy.
Looking at the education in the USA, which is almost completely geared towards passing tests, I find a quite different situation. Critical thinking is in vast parts of the population almost non-existent, which enables dogmas to be widely accepted as only a few are seriously questioning them.
Critical thinking is a very valuable tool as it can open the door to yet unknown information and possibilities. This pertains to oneself as well as external situations and circumstances. Critical thinking demands a certain level of fearlessness and the desire to know the truth no matter what illusions might be shattered.
A number of people who come to me for support have the indistinct feeling that there is more to their life than they are aware of and that they are somehow wasting their time because they do not know how to access the unknown. A lot of what I do is to ask them questions that they would have never thought about asking themselves, and these questions often times lead exactly to the answers they are looking for.
As you become more aware of the value and the possibilities of critical thinking you can start training yourself in this discipline and eventually it becomes a lifestyle.
It is not only very valuable to expand your life into areas unknown to you before, but you also get an expanded understanding of the world around you. It is my assessment that the vast majority of the media paint a certain picture of reality and leave out what does not fit their interpretation. Consequently, to know the facts in a given domain often requires that you do your own research and exercise your ability to discern fact from fiction. To do so can be challenging as over the years certain opinions have reached the rank of dogma. As some of us may have experienced, questioning these often attracts criticism and ridicule, which may discourage some from pursuing further research. However, if you are interested in expanding your abilities for critical thinking, I invite you to research such topics as vaccination, or the events that took place Sept. 11th in New York City. There are many more, yet this would be a good start.
Critical thinking demands the mind of a beginner every time you approach any subject, whether it pertains to yourself or the outside world, otherwise, if you just rely on what you believe you already know, you may unwittingly be perpetuating ignorance.
Critical thinking often is the first step in the process of transformation through awareness, as it opens you up to possibilities yet unknown. Becoming aware of what was formerly unknown is the very definition of the human experience of the process of transformation. Critical thinking is to transformation what fertilizer is to a garden.
Adventure is one of the beauties of this way of being. You never know what you are going to find and how it will influence your life and your vantage point on yourself and life itself. Once this expanded way of understanding takes hold, you will never want to go back to the way things were before.
The PaVima Institute is about facilitating transformation on a global scale to better address the pressing conditions that threaten the very survival of the human species. This cannot happen without us being willing to question everything; to be willing to turn over every rock, question any dogma, have the courage to face what we are actually doing or allowing to happen so we can turn it around. This demands that we face and overcome our fears so we can stand within an expanded perspective on what is happening in the world, which in turn enables us to see solutions that were not visible to us before. We have designed curricula to support you in exactly this kind of transformation.