If I ask five people whether swans are found in any colour other than white, I could get answers such as:
A. "No." (ignorant)
B. "That's ridiculous, everyone knows swans are always white." (arrogant)
C. "My textbook says swans are white so it must be true." (dogmatic)
D. "I think there are only white swans but I don't know for sure." (honest)
E. "Swans are always white in the northern hemisphere but black and mixed coloured swans can be found in Australia." (correct)
I cite this example to drive home a point about epistemology, the branch in philosophy, that deals with the question: "How do we know what we know?" The point is that we are a product of our culture. Public worldview in any given age is defined by the dominant narrative of the culture. The stories it tells itself. Particularly, its role models, the authority figures. A great deal of authority today is held by science.
Until sometime in the 19th century biologists around the world believed that swans were always white. Then someone discovered black swans and the knowledge was revised.
What if, the dominant narrative of our contemporary culture is also somewhat misplaced? What if, there are greater and deeper truths that reside outside of this narrative? How would you deal with such knowledge if you came across it?
Would you deal with it with ignorance, arrogance, or dogma, the A.B.C answers? Or would you face it with D. honesty? It might make you slightly uncomfortable but you would be closer to E. the correct answer.
In October 2018 I revised the name and direction of this group to include ideas related to evolution of human consciousness. These ideas are not part of the dominant narrative even though they are getting popular.
Over the coming weeks and months I'm going to get deeper into these ideas. I guarantee you, if you are part of the mainstream, they will make you uncomfortable. But if you remain open minded and
try to understand them, you will feel greatly empowered.
I urge you not to take my word for it. Examine these ideas yourself. Always remain skeptical but never dismissive. Until you find your own truth. In case, you wish to exit the group at any time, you have free choice, please write to me off the list and I will remove you.
BTW, The Black Swan is a brilliant book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. A
New York Times bestseller, it argues that the course of humanity's future has always been determined by large black swan events such as 9/11. These are large unpredictable events that are outside the realm of conventional narrative in history, science, technology and finance.
In other words, you can never base your expectation of the future on your experience of the past. This is something I will be arguing in my posts as well, which is why I have a special place for this book in my heart. It's thick and slightly dense (I haven't read it fully) but the arguments are brilliant and spot on. I highly recommend: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.