Chaos to Cosmos
The path from chaos to cosmos was discovered by telling one's life story

Sunday, 7 February 2010

To think for yourself you must question authority

As a child, I remember always being encouraged - strongly instructed, more like ordered - to think for myself and, it was always the case that as long as what I thought agreed with what my parents thought, I'd be right. On the other hand, if I actually did think for myself and thus develop my own ideas and opinions, I would, of course, be wrong and it would be made absolutely clear that was not allowed and would be met with varying degrees of wrath. They would not tolerate their authority being questioned. Grey areas, according to them, did not exist. 

Their idea of what was right and wrong was, of course, always what they thought was right and if anyone else differed from that they were wrong. Disagree at your peril. They really could not allow for differences of opinion and, indeed, it seemed to me, couldn't actually differentiate opinion from fact.

The noise of their opinions never did entirely drown out my own inner voice, but had the effect of making me constantly doubt myself with profound effect

As I was never any good at pretending to agree just for a quiet life either, I would come in for constant criticism, censure and even unjust punishment.

Even as a child, one instinctively knows this feels horrible and wrong, but it can [did] take decades to realise and accept that this was actually abuse.
"To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness, chaotic, confused vulnerability to inform yourself." -- TIMOTHY LEARY