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#299786 - 01/20/08 02:53 AM Ever The Student
Max Faust Offline
Banned

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 419
Loc: Ultima Thule
As a Satanist, you are feeling a need to "study".

This is a quest for facts, for truth, for knowledge, which is hardwired into your system. It is also quite the gratifying task, as you are slowly piecing together a big puzzle about history, culture, philosophy, and why the human animal came to be what it is today.

However, there is a paradox in there.

When studying by virtue of assimilating information, as in reading books and the like, you have to trust the author to a certain extent. You have to let down the guard of skepticicm and accept the premises that are being drawn up by somebody else.

This may some times cause you to "read the wrong way" by which I mean that you are seeking evidence to your preconceived ideas and beliefs rather than objective information. I have caught myself doing this more times than I care to count.

I believe that "true studying" is more about challenging than confirming your ideas, and that you have to a great extent lost this battle whenever you become too convinced about the universal nature of this or that "truth". But these little "AHA! moments" that you sometimes get when a piece of information is connecting with something you already knew and presenting in in a whole new light are very gratifying.

To such an extent that I sometimes think it a perversion of a semi-sexual nature - an abstract hunger which can never truly be satisfied, demanding to be exercised again and again.

I don't see this in a lot of people. Most seem to be content with having some major questions answered in what to them seems a satisfactory way, after which point they will rehearse this information again and again, becoming every time more convinced that they have got it all together now.

The more certain I feel about something, the more suspicious I become of it. This is probably the basest reason why I don't much like people who are "believers" of any kind. They seem insane to me. Or maybe I'm the insane one? Should I not settle down for comfort at some point? It's not like this ever ongoing, ferrety quest for knowledge has ever really made me happy. I don't know. And that's the heart of the problem.

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#299788 - 01/20/08 03:03 AM Re: Ever The Student [Re: Max Faust]
Seeker Of Wisdom Offline


Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 76
Loc: Buckholts, Tx
 Originally Posted By: Max Faust

The more certain I feel about something, the more suspicious I become of it.


This seems to be pretty scientific in it's essence. Question everything, and when you feel you found the answer to your question, question it.Then, only if you can't disprove it or find a more adequate answer to your question, accept it.
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#299797 - 01/20/08 05:32 AM Re: Ever The Student [Re: Max Faust]
TheNaturalForce Offline
Banned

Registered: 02/28/07
Posts: 511
Loc: The Vibrant Garden
When I read it is either for enjoyment or in search for specific information. I don't tend to read books that aren't interesting for me in some way unless I feel it is required.

 Quote:
When studying by virtue of assimilating information, as in reading books and the like, you have to trust the author to a certain extent. You have to let down the guard of skepticicm and accept the premises that are being drawn up by somebody else.


I tend to discriminate carefully while reading no matter what the credentials of the author is. I don't always agree with what I read and I don't expect to either. There are however a few books that I've read over the years that I can agree with from cover to cover.
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#299818 - 01/20/08 09:01 AM Re: Ever The Student [Re: Seeker Of Wisdom]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
 Originally Posted By: Max Faust

When studying by virtue of assimilating information, as in reading books and the like, you have to trust the author to a certain extent. You have to let down the guard of skepticicm and accept the premises that are being drawn up by somebody else.


In Van Doren and Adler's book How to Read a Book they talk about the fact that deciphering an author's message doesn't automatically mean you have to accept what they say. But! Understanding does have to come before agreement or disagreement. It makes sense to read things with a sympathetic ear (let your guard down) so you can understand what the author is saying but that doesn't mean you have to agree with their conclusions.

 Quote:
Should I not settle down for comfort at some point? It's not like this ever ongoing, ferrety quest for knowledge has ever really made me happy. I don't know. And that's the heart of the problem.


"O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a
king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams." ~Hamlet

I don't know if it would make you happy or not but I think the opposite to an active, questioning mind would be terrifying. The paralysis that comes with that kind of complacency sounds a little bit like dead to me.

Nice essay... I liked your point about challenging one's ideas rather than confirming what you already know.
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#299855 - 01/20/08 11:49 AM Re: Ever The Student [Re: Shade]
Dead Roses Offline


Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 93
Loc: Zagreb, Croatia
As a Satanist, I tend to keep my mind open for ideas which could suite and satisfy me better than prior beliefs I nurtured. So what if something espouses the exact opposite of what I have learned (or have chosen) to be 'the truth'? If I find that it suites ME better and I can extract more gratification from it than from the prior set of 'accepted thoughts which served as a cornerstone upon which to build and expand further beliefs and ideas'.

Dr. LaVey wrote: ''He that is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom.''

One should every so often make a review of one's fundamental belief systems, be they concerned with one's diet or philosophical viewpoints.

Slava Satani!
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#299917 - 01/20/08 03:59 PM Re: Ever The Student [Re: Max Faust]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
A good book on critical thinking is Being Logical BY D.Q. McInerny. It is short and has a lot of good strategies. I highly suggest it.

But of course you must rely upon the author's input. Oh what to do!?
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"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

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#299918 - 01/20/08 04:06 PM Re: Ever The Student [Re: Max Faust]
Lust Offline


Registered: 11/02/05
Posts: 4214
Allow me to point you in the direction of Magister Svengali's blog. Have fun!


HS!
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�Love is one of the most intense feelings felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional aliments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.�
Anton Szandor LaVey, The Satanic Bible

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#299957 - 01/20/08 06:22 PM Re: Ever The Student [Re: Max Faust]
Poetaster Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 2336
Loc: East Coast, USA.
I've found that the easiest way to gain the most from what I read, is to make the conscious decision to leave my ego at the opening page, and to accept the chances that the author of the material I'm studying might just have a bit more experience in the field than I do. If they aren't more knowledgeable than I am, then I didn't choose my author well, and I should be writing a book on the subject to advance the understanding of the field, rather than nit-picking their work.

For example, I don't find myself railing against Richard Dawkins when reading The Selfish Gene, because I'm well aware that my understanding of evolutionary biology pales in comparison. Authors invariably have opinions, and it is inevitable that their work will reflect this. Unless you are fond of reading dry facts and data, with no subjective interpretation whatsoever, you're going to need to trust an expert, to some degree. Peer review does extend to more than just dry, academic papers you know.

The important thing is to not grow attached to currently accepted theories - in the sense of how scientific methodology recognizes an established theory, and how that theory stands up in the theater of reality - and to be willing to assimilate new data that might change certain, or all of the established theory. That is all you can do, short of uncompromising paranoia.

Intelligently deciding upon the authors you choose to read isn't a lesser virtue, either. It's possible to objectively ascertain the worth and expertise of an author, before ever picking up their material. The road leading to a great educational source book is just as important as reading the book itself, if you wish to be as certain as you possibly can be that what you're reading isn't the laughing stock of the entire amphitheater of experts that share the same field.



Edited by Poetaster (01/20/08 06:50 PM)
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#300061 - 01/21/08 07:00 AM Re: Ever The Student [Re: Poetaster]
Max Faust Offline
Banned

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 419
Loc: Ultima Thule
 Originally Posted By: Poetaster
The important thing is to not grow attached to currently accepted theories


That is the proverbial nail on the head.

Whenever a work that I read makes a real impression on me, I have to shake my head and focus in order to keep a clear and detached mind about it. Popular science works like Stephen Hawking's "A Breief History Of Time" or James Gleick's "Chaos" are like pornography to me. It is important to keep focused and remember that NOBODY has all the answers, they only have more clever questions. But I suppose it is a common human weakness to get all flustered about "answers" to questions that have been nagging you for some time. Next thing you know, you are looking to have this "new knowledge" confirmed...

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#300170 - 01/21/08 02:26 PM Re: Ever The Student [Re: Max Faust]
Dead Roses Offline


Registered: 01/08/08
Posts: 93
Loc: Zagreb, Croatia
Amen. We should all keep a cool head while in the pursuit of answers which mean a lot to us.
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You do know that the radiation from the TV may affect your health, don't you?

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