Posted Apr 14, 2015 by Martin Armstrong
Marty, I am an avid reader and a big fan. My mind now works much better than ever, and I am nearing my 60th year. Thank you for trying to better society in such a selfless way. My question for today is this…how do you do it? What I am referring to is the amazing history lesson, usually more than once a day. I imagine that your mind is a great encyclopedia to be able to pull together such detail in the fashion that you are able. Yes, I know the power of computers, but there is a personal touch that you have, far beyond the search. Kudos, and God Bless!
The Most Blessed Husband, and Father, in the World
I will answer this question for perhaps it will one day change the way we teach in school and that may spark a real new age of knowledge. To solve any problem, you cannot proceed with the same thinking that created it. Chances are, if you are reading this blog you are 1.) Prone to think out of the box 2.) Keeping an open mind and are willing to weight all sides of a debate 3.) You are a non-conformist. Welcome to the Genius Club. Yes, you are most likely a genius for that is defined NOT as someone who knows everything, but as someone who actually thinks dynamically, observing and taking in everything around them for the learning experience.
Yes, the old saying “A” students work for “C” students and “B” students work for the government”, remains very true. The education system sucks and as it is designed to churn out conformists. I previously wrote Why Do Dropouts Do Better? In all honesty, formal education is destroying the so-called knowledge age. Asians think differently and they excel at programming far more than those in the West because they see patterns instinctively since their language when written is pictorial and they believe in cycles.
I used to get very angry when people would call me a genius, and therefore they could not debate me, would be their typical response. I felt that I was normal and average for what I saw just as common sense but they had to raise my status to genius so that they were no longer a moron. Then a psychiatrist (not psychologist) friend of mine who I used to go out with one night a week said to me that not all people think the same way. He said I think dynamically observing everything around me, whereas the majority of people think linearly – focusing only on a cause and effect level. Typically, these are the same people in government, running for politics, and filling the justice system with one-dimensional thinkers at best. They are the “B” students who act like a parrot that repeats what it was taught without original thought – the typical conformist.
Einstein himself heard this question repeatedly. His answers were interesting, but I am not sure if they were actually helpful. There are many people fixated on a subject that they cannot escape since they are unwilling to listen to a different view. They are vested in an idea and become prisoners of their own mind, incapable of considering that they might be wrong.
The question becomes, can we train the mind to be sharper and see all the dynamics of the world around us? Is it actually possible to deliberately train thinking in a new way?
I have had friends who have benefited by my attempt to show them how to see the world in all its glory with a dynamic view. This has given me encouragement that perhaps we can change the methods of teaching. I wrote about education and showed all the famous people who have started major companies all dropped out of college. The common bond is a willingness to think out of the box and therein they become non-conformists. I have quoted this passage before from the Last Lion written about Winston Churchill.
“Clearly there was something odd here. Winston, Davidson had conceded, was the ablest boy in his form. He was, in fact, remarkable. His grasp of history was outstanding. Yet he was considered a hopeless pupil. It occurred to no one that the fault might lie, not in the boy, but in the school. Samuel Butler defined genius as “a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds,” and it is ironic that geniuses are likeliest to be misunderstood in classrooms. Studies at the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota have found that teachers smile on children with high IQs and frown upon those with creative minds. In-telligent but uncreative students accept conformity, never rebel, and complete their assignments with dispatch and to perfection. The creative child, on the other hand, is manipulative, imaginative, and intuitive. He is likely to harass the teacher. He is regarded as wild, naughty, silly, unde-pendable, lacking in seriousness or even promise. His behavior is dis-tracting; he doesn’t seem to be trying; he gives unique answers to banal questions, touching off laughter among the other children. E. Paul Tor-rance of Minnesota found that 70 percent of pupils rated high in creativ¬ity were rejected by teachers picking a special class for the intellectually gifted. The Goertzels concluded that a Stanford study of genius, under which teachers selected bright children, would have excluded Churchill, Edison, Picasso, and Mark Twain.” id/p 158-159; Vol I
Richard E. Nesbett wrote a good book entitled “The Geography of Thought, How
Asians and Westerners Think Differently … and why.” He attributed his work to a
Chinese student who said, “You know, the difference between you and me is that I
think the world is a Circle, and you think it’s a line.” He goes on to quote him:
“The Chinese believe in constant change, but with things always moving back to some prior state. They pay attention to wide range of events; they search for relationships between things; and they think you can’t understand the part without understanding the whole. Westerners live in a simpler, more deterministic world; they focus on salient objects or people instead of the larger picture; and they think they can control events because they know the rules that govern the behavior of objects.”
To learn, you ABSOLUTELY MUST keep your mind open. You cannot research anything to prove a predetermined view. Then everything you see will only be what you want to see. Assume nothing and let the research teach you. This is the ONLY way to learn.
Cycles are part of nature and they are part of the thinking process in Asia. We physically have brain waves yet people in the West do not generally believe in cycles. As long as we persist in this linear world in the West, we cannot take a step forward. Politics are based on this linear world, “Vote for me for change,” they exclaim. Politicians cannot reverse a global trend yet they will not even acknowledge that there is a world outside their own sphere.
If we TEACH others how to see patterns and connections around us, then perhaps we can take that leap forward as a society. Otherwise, we will remain trapped in the torture of our own minds repeating the same mistakes forever.