As pattern seekers, how to practice acceptance, and at the same time, practice critical thinking? Also, how do we improve abstract thinking?
Why are we curious and interested to gain more knowledge and improve abstract thinking? Abstract thinking is about pattern seeking, this is why we are so curious about finding Natural Law. Curiosity starts with the basic question: What is better? You care, you sense something is out of touch, so this leads you to ask more questions: Who, What, When, When, Where, Why and How. After that answering your questions, you are excited to share.
The Trivium and the Quadrivium answers all those questions, thus is a form of creative (yang) meditation. They are the seven arts of mental freedom or liberating arts. Analytical skills are a large part of trivium, because Why? is the most important question.
The Trivium is an important tool for consciousness development. It requires initiative. Initiative is when you have conscious control of your emotions, thoughts and actions. The Trivium and the Quadrivium are skills that can be learnt. Equipped with initiative, it easier re-program yourself using the Trivium to better resonate with Natural Law. Reprogramming is about changing your daily train of thought. This way we can solve paradoxes we encounter in our daily lives.
Remembering what you have learnt is a key aspect of the Trivium. Only through introspection you can better remember what you have learnt, because you bring the facts close to you and your loved ones. So this is not about rote memorization or repeating one-liners. It is about slowly, but surely becoming a Renaissance Person.
An open mind is a balance of acceptance and critical thinking
To improve abstract thinking and become a sovereign being, we need to know how to think. Part of that is having an open mind. But what makes our mind open? Having an open mind is balancing acceptance or observation (empathy) and critical thinking (logic). This can also be called discernment, which is what the Trivium is all about.
Acceptance is right brained while critical thinking is left brained. So the right brain is useful for absorbing new knowledge, while the left brain is useful for making sure the new knowledge is free of logical contradictions. Then you change your behavior with the new knowledge.
As you all know, we need to look into ourselves to best verify information sources, thus we need to practice discernment. Practicing discernment involves not only avoiding superficial knee-jerk judgments, but also logical thinking, an important tool for integration. Logical thinking is our filter. Not trained to think analytically, “New” Agers practice discernment almost solely on emotions, which makes them prone to logical fallacies, inconsistencies and contradictions.
Practicing discernment involves a three-step process called the trivium. Discernment is the grammar and logic stage, as will be described below. In a nutshell the Trivium is about maintaining curiosity and putting the conscious mind into good use. Trivium has requirements, as will be explained below.
Background of Trivium and the Quadrivium
The Classical interpretation was taught in schools in the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages it was called:
But with the amount of information control due to the mainstream media, many will pre-judge the Trivium as medieval and obsolete. In addition the Trivium is taught in mystery schools, so it has become esoteric. So the esoteric form is:
The Trivium interpretation below also takes into account today’s technological innovations. In addition to that, the interpretation below is suitable due to the prevalence of computers and the tools used in economic activity. Also, the five senses are the input devices of the human body. Also, knowing that the brain works as an astral antenna, the higher realms can instill curiosity and intuition as input (the intuitive subconscious mind).
Due to the obfuscation of information in the Modern Ages, it is important to highlight the importance of quiet introspection and self reflection. Keeping the similarity to the esoteric interpretation, it can be interpreted as:
The importance of proper order in the Trivium
The key reason why it has to follow a proper order/sequence is that the human mind works sequentially. When it is out of order, or fractured, we will only know what to think, thus making us susceptible to insidious programming. In the dictionary, it is shown as Grammar-Rhetoric-Logic, which is wrong.
Knowing the proper order will help streamline your thinking and will help you gain your right to program yourself based on understanding Natural Law. Taking them out of order will confuse you. This is why it is called Input-Processing-Output. You cannot have the outputs before you process it.
You cannot find out why (introspection) without first exploring it because introspection requires a wealth of information. You cannot share your personal touch without at first introspecting. Introspection is personal. You cannot eat your sandwich before you make it. So it cannot be Introspection-Exploration-Sharing, with respect to personal touch.
Requirements of Trivium: conquering superficiality
The Trivium has requirements – courage to face yourself and to think outside the box. The Trivium is not only about how to think, but how to avoid pre-judging. Pre-judgement is defined as knee-jerk judgment while neglecting to look deeply into yourself. Thus it is a superficial attitude and a logical fallacy to pre-judge. Also we cannot just jump into conclusions without first doing a thorough introspection (analysis).This way, you miss opportunities.
The word “judge” is highly frowned by New Agers, but there is a big difference between pre-judgment and good judgment. Pre-judgment doesn’t use the Trivium, whereas good, healthy judgment is part of the Trivium.
With respect to the importance of order, we cannot first evaluate (judge) the information before doing a thorough analysis. Proper judgment requires analysis. The Trivium can help us practice healthy judgments to help manifest the desired behavior.
It is how to think, not what to think
Logic and abstract thinking is an important but underestimated discernment tool by New Agers. On the one hand, New Agers think it is fine just to accept and accept, and they dismiss rejection. But rejection is useful for evading logical fallacies and we have a right to say “no” to insidious practices.
On the other hand, due to compartmentalized thinking (cognitive deadlock) and being inept at emotions, pseudo-skeptics think calling names is critical thinking, also they debunk all the time while forgetting the epistemological foundation. Furthermore, pseudo-skeptics complicate left-brained abilities that they sound more difficult to apply at first glance.
How do we solve the insidious programming or nurture that has been placed on these factions? They only know what to think, hearing only what they want to hear (willful ignorance). Also, they may have unresolved inferiority complexes. That is why they seem to be perpetually at odds with each other. There is a choice (alternatives), so the power of choice is integral to the Trivium.
You have to recognize your brain power here. Due to some superficial habits, some things are too daunting to hear. Now from the perspective of the Trivium, the saying “use, or exercise your brain” has a new meaning.
Knowing how to think is knowing how to use your whole brain. Hard-hitting information full of treasures you have never expected can take you by storm. Don’t worry, you may be hard-hit, but it is worth it because it can shed new light to inferiority complexes (self-doubt). Using the conscious mind is about putting into the foreground any resentment, inferiority complexes and logical fallacies you may not notice.
The task of challenging old habits by putting them in the foreground can be daunting, but this is normal when you want to reprogram yourself and expand your comfort zone. “Using the brain” means using giving a break the subconscious or bio-robot part responsible for habits. Instead, the intuitive part of the subconscious: the higher self should be given a chance. That means replacing some unchallenged superficial habits with based on the new information.
The steps of the Trivium
This answers the Who, What, When and Where. This where all observation happens, so empathy is very useful here. We can be in the flow curiously exploring information sources. When you are just in the flow, you can be an autodidact. This phase can also remind you of your personal experiences (five senses), if you are honest with yourself, you will bring them to the foreground.
This is the information hungry or the curious phase. This is where interesting knowledge is gathered. Right brain is used here. Here, you hear out multiple points of view by giving them the benefit of the doubt. So that means you read eclectic information sources without prejudging them. After hearing it out, you notice there is a problem with what is happening in the world.
Knowledge is occulted as part of social conditioning to sidestep and taint curiosity, which leads to nescience. For example, many liberating fringe topics, such as The Trivium, The Quadrivium and The Real Law of Attraction have been occulted. As said in the requirements, not many are willing to take the effort to explore other information sources by moving out of the box. Thinking in terms of possibilities is essential to exploration.
The subconscious reactions not based on intuition (habits and homeostasis) have to be side-stepped to fully recognize what is happening. So it takes willpower (initiative) to go out of autopilot and use the intuitive part of the subconscious mind to help us in this phase.
This is where reprogramming starts – knee-jerk emotions and inferiority complexes have to rise to the foreground. This way, emotional intelligence has a new meaning. Here are examples of knee-jerk reactions (pre-judgments) that preventing many from passing through this stage:
- “This is just too crazy to think about or even hear it.” (pseudo-skeptic)
- “They will call me a fool for reading this.” (pseudo-skeptic)
- “Since it is so harsh, there is no longer any value in the information.” (typical New Ager)
When you are exhausted looking for information and want to sort everything, you move on to introspection. Also, when some information has hit you very hard (overwhelmed), you would be eager to go to the introspection phase. Also, despite it being hard-hitting, you might be eager to find out why the inferiority complex has been around all this while. So some information acts as a mirror. Sometimes to help us better understand the very advanced information, we have to introspect first.
You will find out Why here. This is a very left brained activity. This is where diagnosis takes place. It has two main parts: analysis and evaluation. This is where thoughts are managed with the help of emotions. This is where logic and mathematics (if necessary) is used. Logic is about structure, so this phase is about determining how logically/structurally sound your perception based on any hard-hitting information. Paradoxes encountered in the exploration phase are solved here.
This is the decision making process or the language of silence. Why silence? You take a break from external information and use silence to better facilitate the decision making process. This can be more strenuous than the exploration phase because it requires all your knowledge. Some call introspection “occupying yourself.”
A large part of introspection involves using analytical skills to better look into yourself. Analytical skills are about breaking the information into parts, then investigating what is happening based on the information you can understand so far. Knowledge is required before you can relate several points of view.
This phase can also be called outrospection, because you can think of your loved ones here (the big picture of love).
2.1 Analytical skills
Though it is not mentioned in the book Analytical Skills Can Unlock Your Hidden Potential, analytical skills consist of 4 sub-steps. They are the core of reprogramming. These are the steps various fields of knowledge are integrated (connected):
- Breaking the various sources of information or points of view into parts (disassembly). They include knowledge before you gained new ones from the exploration phase. After breaking them up, we correlate those eclectic sources of information, while reflecting on yourself and your loved ones using those types of reasoning below:
- Inductive reasoning is about relating your experiences (five senses) with the hard-hitting information, or any U-set knowledge. After finding out the relationships (correlation), those relationships may remind you of some personal experiences. This is integration.
- Deductive reasoning is apophatic inquiry, where you say no to obsolete thought patterns, logical fallacies, inferiority complexes (self-doubt) and pre-judgments, in light of the hard-hitting information. You decide what to throw away anything out of touch. Integration is also about breaking the barriers to integration (N-sets) to ensure a sound structure. This is the filter, or the cleaning-up phase (coming clean).
- Analysis is about comparing and contrasting, so the magic of numbers (The Quadrivium) can be used when needed to make better decisions, and help in reasoning. The word “rational” is based on the word “ratio”.
For your abstract thinking to improve and better remember knowledge, it is best to relate the information based on your personal experiences (inductive reasoning) and the experience of your loved ones. Very importantly, introspection and outrospection best starts by looking back at the basic existential needs and how they are distributed. Basic evidence is required before you can understand the basics of Natural Law.
The point of view of the basic existential needs and how they are replenished is the epistemological foundation (or the semantically compromised phrase “common sense”) where we can anchor our critical thinking, thus is essential for those not familiar with Natural Law. As your abstract thinking improves, you will easily understand the list of logical fallacies*. So the foundation of how to detect those logical fallacies is knowledge of how basic existential needs work for every being.
Deductive reasoning or apophasis is about eliminating the concepts that compartmentalize thinking – like vacuum, entropy and scarcity. This is heart-based critical thinking. This is still correlation at work – you break them up and find if something is out of touch or clashing. We can make logical fallacies, inconsistencies and contradictions if we overlook some vital part of the information, or throw the baby with the bathwater. That way, integration is incomplete.
After you go through the all the analytical skills, synthesis or assembly is done due to correlation (inductive and deductive reasoning). The important thing about the correlation is that you get new insights by linking the valuable parts from the eclectic information sources. You get Aha! moments here. Synthesis can better happen when you include your personal experiences and feelings about what on Earth is really happening. So you cannot synthesize without first analyzing several points of view.
Evaluation is judgment done only after heartfelt introspection. This is where you determine how valuable (rating) the information sources you have gathered, and how willing you want to share information sources you have went through. This is also the place for deciding if your new ideas (synthesis) are suitable to be presented, for example, you have at least basic writing skills?
Now that the solution has been decided, what is the conclusion? Evaluation, or judging is about making healthy conclusions. As said above, we cannot make a firm decision or firm conclusions without first analyzing. Also, we cannot make conclusions based on logical fallacies or contradictions. Good judgment can only be done after a fair analysis and weeding out as much logical fallacies as you can.
Can the synthesis be shared? It has to be shared in a form where people can understand. Compared to the information already established, do you think it is capable of providing revolutionary explanations? Basic skills such as writing skills and organizing your text are needed to decide if it can be shared.
This answers the How – how did you go through the knowledge. How to solve the problems, to be more specific, based on what has been done in the exploration and introspection stages. This is where the power of the left and right brain comes together. It is introspection that can be applied as daily train of thought, thus it is knowledge and understanding applied. Thus this is how you behave after deciding in the analysis phase. So this is where human behavior comes in.
This is where ideas take physical form, so this is where action is taken. Only when action is taken, we make ourselves available for new experiences, by expressing ourselves based on the new things we have learnt. Wisdom or Rhetoric is knowledge that can be expressed, if done effectively is called teaching. Teaching is action.
Wisdom is the combination of having experience, knowledge and good judgment. Also it is the complete synthesis. Actions also get your thoughts in order. Only when you have added your personal touch, you can better understand more advanced and abstract information sources which will remove any logical fallacies you have not solved.
The Trivium can be used for continuous improvement. You can start the trivium again if you feel there is anything to improve in your rhetoric/sharing. So, you can rinse and repeat, this way your progress will snowball. Expression or sharing helps very much in proceeding to more advanced knowledge. That means, each time you go through all of the three steps, you are equipped to handle more abstract information, better filter the information bombarding us every day as a sovereign being.
Short introduction to the Quadrivium
The Quadrivium is about basic mathematics. Mathematics is very analytical. Mathematics is an extension of human logic.
Without our ability to compare and contrast, there would be no mathematics, so there would be no ability to quantify. Without comparative and probabilistic vocabulary in the world languages, it would be hard to quantify.
Just like the Trivium, the Quadrivium also has to follow a proper order. Here is the sub-steps of the Quadrivium, based on the content of The Magic of Numbers:
- Arithmetic or numbers: Ability to count using number writing systems and perform basic mathematical operations.
- Geometry or numbers in space: Ability to make sense of shapes and use ratios and statistics. Basic geometry.
- Music or numbers in time: Engineering design and musical composition. Right brained part of the quadrivium.
- Astronomy or numbers in space and time: Tuning your creative works to natural cycles, movement of celestial bodies, and resonance with Natural Law/Universal Law.
Since Astronomy is the totality of abstract thinking, our understanding of Astronomy will improve with the more knowledge processed with the upward spiral (snowball effect) of the Trivium.
*For starters, see this list of logical fallacies: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/