Have you ever noticed that what people say and what people do may not match? For instance, people may say that they value intelligence, yet seem to be quite terrified of the subject. They may harshly insist that whatever behaviors that they display are the ultimate height of intelligence.
Why are some people so anxious about whether other people agree that they are so intelligent? Why do they invest so much energy in to ridiculing other interpretations for a so-called lack of intelligence? Why do other perspectives trigger so much distress for them? Why are they so desperately anxious for consensus (for silencing alternate opinions… or at least withdrawing from them)?
I can tell you how it was for me when I acted in those ways. I presented a pretense of having crossed a bridge beyond all naivete. My intelligence was perfect, at least according to me.
Why was I so hysterically tense about other people’s perceptions of my intelligence? I did not want them to know that I knew I still had much to learn. I did not want them to know that I was still curious. I did not want them to know that I still wanted to develop my intelligence further.
I pretended to avoid their ridicule and harassment. I abandoned the cultivating of my intelligence in order to display ideas in conformity with what I perceived to be a consensus of opinion.
Where did I get my ideas of consensus? It was the same for me as for anyone else. In addition to several hours every day of mainstream media, I went to schools that programmed the students to set aside their own innate curiosity and then memorize specific content from the curriculum, then blindly repeat it to receive social validation. We even had classes about science in which we memorized and blindly repeated ideas, and then claimed to be certified experts in science.
Did we conduct any experiments? Did we review and thoroughly critique the experiments that other people had conducted?
No, that is not the kind of science we were learning. In most cases, we were learning that memorizing and repeating an unexamined idea was science.
What did we do if someone challenged our competence in science? We hysterically defended our presumptions. We were outraged at their insulting skepticism. In other words, we panicked.
After all, everyone knows that every liver on this planet makes a compound in order to poison the rest of the organism, right? Everyone knows that eating that compound (which everyone makes whether they eat any of it or not) is also deadly, right?
We did not need to review any research on the obvious dangers of cholesterol. We had memorized what we were told and then repeated what we memorized to receive social approval for memorizing and repeating our “science” lessons. Plus, the mainstream media constantly pumped hysteria and paranoia about eating cholesterol, so that must mean that if a chicken egg has a lot of cholesterol, then that is going to explain why all of the chicks that hatch out of chicken eggs are dead, right?
We did not need to look at evidence. We did not need to conduct experiments. We were experts and we had government certifications on the wall to prove it.
My level of intelligence was already rated by the government as “perfect.” Naturally, I did not really know much about the government’s system for rating intelligence, but if they said that my intelligence was perfect (and if I was ashamed about my actual level of intelligence at the time), well then you can understand my panic and distress if anyone questioned the precision of our holy government’s system for rating intelligence. “I do not mind you insulting me,” I would say, “but do not dare insult our holy government!”
To be clear, I was not jealous about the results they were obtaining through their so-called scientific models. I was not jealous because I refused to pay attention to their heretical ideas and would discard any claim that they made because they were making claims that were unfamiliar to me, that were contrary to my holy science lessons, and that must be wrong because my intelligence was already perfect and I had a government certificate to prove it. My anxious panic was not an anxious panic because my anxious panic was passionately defending the honor of our holy government.
Of course, if there ever was an imprecision in the science lessons of our holy government, then that must have been an innocent error. To consider any other alternative would be too shameful, so let’s just move on.
If there is ever any controversy about the precision of an old scientific “consensus,” then we must show our loyalty to the system by campaigning for reforms. We need to reform the educational rituals that program students to memorize and blindly repeat ideas and then call that science. How should we reform those rituals? We will remove a few items from the curriculum and then replace them with new content to memorize and blindly repeat, then call “consensus science.”
Why did I stop pretending to have perfect intelligence? Or, if I did not have a government certificate on the wall, then why did I stop pretending to have less intelligence than the powerful priesthood with government certificates on their wall?
Why I began to stop the pretenses is that eventually I was thoroughly disappointed by the results of the pretense. Of course there was chronic physical tension from hiding my curiosity (blocking the physical expressions that display curiosity, as in “holding my tongue”). But beyond the physical toll of suppressing my physical expression, I just was not getting the prosperity and health and happiness that I desired. Of course, I had pretended that I was getting all of those things for a while, but then I withdrew from those who seemed to lack the emotional stability for me to actually relax my pretenses in their presence without them panicking. I began to relax all of the pretending that I had learned in order to fit in at school and at government jobs.
I was exhausted from all of the pretending. I gave up the façade because it was sabotaging me instead of raising me up through the ranks of the government priesthood.
At first, I resisted the surrender. However, even as I layered new pretenses on top of the old ones, my inner anxiety only increased.
Even though I was a government-certified expert in a few specialties, I had not actually developed a functional amount of competence. I might have loudly proclaimed my competence and confidence, but that was a cover for my shame and lack of confidence.
By then, I knew that I was naïve. I was still terrified, though, if anyone mentioned it.
I knew that humility would be required for me to cultivate curiosity and intelligence. I would need to stop pretending to already know everything.
I knew that courage was required for me to be humble. I would need to start admitting to other people that I do not already know everything. I might even begin to relate to others as having valuable expertise even though their expertise was not the same as mine. I might respect their expertise and their experience.
But that would mean assessing on my own their competence. I would not have the convenient method of simply finding out if they were certified by the holy government as an expert. I would have to accept my own naivete and then select topics that appealed to me, then make my own observations and logically assess the observations made by others.
Yes, I would have to actually develop logic and rational discernment. I would no longer rely on holy consensus by government certification as the only valid standard of credibility and expertise.
Even if an idea was ridiculed in science classrooms or in mainstream media, it might be true. In fact, the more that an idea is threatening to the consensus, it may be that it is more likely to have some truth to it.
I would have to withdraw from passionate debates about which hysterias and heresies were most important to reform (or to protest against or prevent). I would have to decline to enter those debates and even stop actively seeking them out (starting them). It would be quite a change for me!
[In the video, I made an extensive ad lib somewhere around here.]
I could even stop gleefully pointing out the errors of mainstream media and schools. Perhaps, they are systematically biased to focus on certain subjects and not others, plus to focus on those subjects only in certain ways.
I am no longer ashamed of my prior shame. So, I do not need to shame others for whatever I might call shameful.
I respect shame. There is even an intelligence to shame. However, there is an intelligence in absolutely everything.
When I perceive something as a possible threat, I may ridicule it. That might work well for me. If I am jealous of someone and I want to discourage them from competing with me or exposing my shame, then it can be effective to ridicule them or shame them. To protect me from the threat that I perceive, shaming them might work, right?
However, intimidating one possible threat will never resolve the vulnerability to that threat. If I am interested in resolving my vulnerability to the exposure of my naivete or incompetence, the ultimate solution is to develop competence and expertise.
What benefits can we cultivate?
Through my experimentation and research, I found some unfamiliar methods that produced appealing results. I would like to share them with you. Perhaps you will even have some results to share that are even more attractive. Also, for those who simply wish to release their own suppression of their own intelligence, you can benefit from programs that provide exactly what you value most. To continue, click here: results.