Thinkadelics is one of the few blogs on Patheos that offers a secular voice to counter a wide range of religious viewpoints. I’ve been blogging here since August 2020, and it’s a thrill to be able to present a freethinker’s perspective on Patheos.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’ve covered a lot of ground this past year writing on topics like religion, politics, current affairs, the environment, and even meditation. I’ve even thrown in a few creative writing posts along the way. And I’ve learned by experimenting and changing things up that readers here on Patheos find some of my posts more interesting than others.
As another year begins, I thought it time to refocus my attention and get back to my roots on why I started writing for Thinkadelics in the first place. So, this weekend I took the time to rewrite the description of Thinkadelics which you’ll find posted in my top menu as The Art of Free Thought. I’ve also posted it below for this Monday’s post, because it offers a really good synopsis of how and why to become a freethinker.
Thank you for checking out Thinkadelics this past year. For contributing by your comments and insights. I hope you will stick with me (or join me) for another year!
What does Thinkadelics mean?
I call this blog Thinkadelics, because I like to write in mind-expanding ways to express unique perspectives on topics that readers may not have considered. But I also think it’s important to offer substance and solutions. There are plenty of forums and websites that offer little more than a battleground for atheists and believers to insult each other. Creating an atmosphere where people can find common ground and grow spiritually is much tougher to accomplish. It requires both thought and thoughtfulness.
If you’ve grown weary of the argumentative fodder out there, please consider sharing your own unique perspectives here on Thinkadelics.
Creating an open mind
There’s an art to thinking freely, which is why I refer to Thinkadelics as the Art of Free Thought. Being an artist requires bold, creative thinking that shatters norms and produces something original. For a freethinker, the most effective way to shatter norms is to breakthrough traditional ways of thinking about life.
This is best accomplished by escaping organized religion; by freeing oneself from the obligation of thinking and acting within the confines of a particular faith tradition. As we all know, there are thousands of religions or philosophies a person may choose to follow. Every religion has its own set of beliefs, its own customs and culture, its own unique worldview. Breaking out of these hardened mindsets is crucial.
Yet, there are other traditional and systemized ways of thinking that a person should challenge. These have to do with the values we share in our respective countries, the customs we follow, the political ideologies we ascribe to, the social mores we adhere to. All these areas contribute to locking in our patterns of thinking and should be challenged frequently. Additionally, we must be mindful that religious beliefs also influence these other areas. Which provides an even greater impetus to consider all the influences in our lives that effect our ability to think freely.
Freethinkers enjoy a higher-level form of thinking
Learning to identify and breakout of these traditional patterns of thinking is the first step towards becoming a bonafide freethinker. Mastering the art of free thought, however, takes a bit more time. The primary reason for this is because purging the mind of supernatural and mythical beliefs can take years. The ultimate goal of becoming a freethinker is to acquire a higher-level form of thinking.
I realize I’m waxing philosophical here—but it’s true—and there’s an easy way to illustrate what I’m talking about.
Just imagine for a moment, that a child has been born in a remote jungle landscape and never had the chance to travel and speak with others who live somewhere else. This child only learns how to follow the social norms of its family and the customs of her tribe. Her only spiritual outlet comes by practicing the rituals and adhere to the beliefs of her people. Given these restrictions, it’s easy to see that this child is fated to understand the meaning of life through only one, collective, singular point of view.
Now imagine another person who lives at another place in time in which he enjoys access to an unlimited amount of information about anything. He can learn about the beliefs and perspectives of all religions, and about the social and cultural customs of any person dwelling in any country around the world. He can also study the pros and cons of any known political ideology—or any ideology for that matter. In other words, this person is free to learn everything about everything, and most of this knowledge can be easily discovered just by using the smart phone in his hands.
The primary difference between these two individuals is that one has access to far more information than the other. All this data matters little, however, if this person is not interested in learning how other people live or think. You see, a freethinker is a person who has tamed his biases and is willing to shed his preconceptions. He or she has come to recognize that they must not blindly follow any religion, any ideology, any political persuasion, or social customs.
It’s all about discovering the truths in life
For example, to better understand the subject of religion, learning and living within the confines of one religious system will teach a person very little about religion—much less spirituality. In order to better understand the effects of religion in our world, freethinkers should be willing to investigate the teachings and practices of all religions. Similarly, to better understand the concepts of spirituality a freethinker should be willing to explore all known spiritual concepts (think yoga and meditation) which people say enhances spirituality.
To expand the analogy, a person who remains isolated within their own social, cultural or political bubble will have a limited outlook on life. Because of this, they are likely to lack tolerance and harbor biases, since they are inclined to think their own way of life is better than anybody else’s.
All of this probably seems obvious. Simply put, the more a person understands some things they smarter they are, and the more they know about lots of things the wiser they become. A freethinker who has an open mind and is willing to explore the merits of any aspect of life—especially those which differ from his current understanding—is simply going to possess an intellectual advantage. They are going to enjoy a higher level of thinking.
This is pretty much what it means to be a freethinker and how one goes about becoming a freethinker. Yet, it’s also a good synopsis of what Thinkadelics and the Art of Free Thought is all about: To encourage people to break free from religion, to become better freethinkers, and to offer a friendly and thought-provoking forum for people to share their insights.
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