Stephen's blog

Calling Gurus to Account

There appears to be a large and significant blind-spot in the awareness of many people. This blind-spot can’t usually be seen or recognised directly. Like a galactic black-hole, we usually only learn of its presence by how it sucks the life and light out of surrounding bodies — in this case, ourselves and others in our communities, cities and world.

We can learn of its presence by the high and growing incidence of depression which is now recognised by the World Health Organization as “the leading cause of disability.”1

To some extent this black-hole, or blind-spot can be ignored by being busy, taking drugs, acquiring wealth or enjoying ourselves … but it remains in the background, sucking the energy and light from all. And no more importantly is its effect felt, than in the area of health and wellbeing .. the main focus for my contributions to this column.

It’s about time

I recently learned of this ‘blind-spot’ after reading about a self-development teacher who had achieved success; met and positively influenced world-leaders, and done or achieved many other wonderful things.

Why then did I feel deflated after reading about this person? Was it that, by way of comparison, I was left feeling inadequate, or a failure? Was it because I felt I hadn’t achieved great things?

No, I realised it went deeper and after sitting quietly and reflecting on the cause, recognised it … the blind-spot that many of us, if not most, don’t seem to notice. Part of the reason it is not recognised is that it is so simple to feel – it’s too obvious and taken for granted. So we ignore it.

The travesty of modern science

Overview

There are many who argue in various scientific circles and forums that mathematical theories based on unending, contiguous numerical continuity (infinite-series, calculus) are able to explain a series of perplexing theoretical dilemmas dating back nearly 2,500 years.

Those dilemmas, widely known as Zeno's Paradoxes raise issues relating to the apparent impossibility of everyday physical movement, which is assumed to occur continuously and smoothly.

Psychic abilities and skeptics

Being sceptical is perhaps one of the easiest means by which to protect ourselves from silliness, naivety and from being enlisted into the ranks of 'space cadets'.

Scepticism (or skepticism) naturally motivates one to question, to devise experiments, or thought-experiments to test the credibility of ideas. And asking questions is, in my opinion, one of the most noble, useful and valuable tools anyone can possess. It could be argued that a healthy scepticism amongst the populace and judiciary would have seen off some of the more pernicious superstitions and crowd behaviours in times past, such as the executions of those suspected of being witches during the Salem witch trials.

But from my experience the not-so-good side to being sceptical far outweighs the benefits. Being quick to dismiss claims of religious, spiritual, or psychic experience leaves one closed to possibility, and closed to finding deeper congruent frameworks of belief. As I have found, that closed-mindedness can result in quite debilitating health issues. 

Pages