Seeds of Truth

In my experience, people hold to their opinions because on a very deep level, they sense truth in them.  It’s an intuitive truth that they feel regardless of logical implications.  And this is why so often logic is not enough to sway a person, because what they have latched onto is not logical, it’s intuitive.

The thing is, they have *rightly* latched onto this deep truth within their view.  But what most people don’t realize is that we build on top of these…or when we hear an idea we will eventually accept, we sense that seed of truth, and because of that we accept the entire idea.  Because we received them at the same time, this leads us to believe that every part of that idea is essential, and to let go of one detail would be to deny the entire truth, which we are not willing to do.

This picture offers us two useful pieces of advice when dealing with truth.

The first is on a personal level, when you are looking within yourself and deciding (or examining) what you believe.  Look for those seeds.  Probe deep into your views about life, about God, about science, about your personal relationships.  What is it that brought you to accept these views?  What little seed sprouted into the view you currently possess?

This is more difficult that it may seem, because often we sense these truths on a subconscious level, and at the forefront of our brains cannot tell the difference between the seed and everything that has been added onto it.  This is not to say that the add on’s are bad and should be removed.  It’s only saying that you will understand yourself better if you know the deepest reasons you hold your beliefs.

The second insight this can give us comes when we are trying to engage others in debate.  Rather than attack the details of a particular set of beliefs, try looking deeper into the other person’s view and find that seed of truth that keeps them holding fast.

If you can expose this seed to them, and it makes sense to them, suddenly they understand what is most important about their views.  If you then acknowledge the truth of that seed, and go on to say that such and such detail is different, you will have a better chance of changing their minds.

But again, this is very difficult.  You need extraordinary perception often much practice to discern what it is that is really important to a person.  Especially when it is so easy to pick at the logical inconsistencies within their view.  It’s not easy and there is no sense of winning. Instead of seeing the other as an opponent, you see them more as a lock.  Only the right key will open them, and you must find it.
Just something I was thinking about today.  Does it make sense?  Would examples help?  It’s hard to think of examples that wouldn’t be too controversial for the point to be seen.

    • pelagian7
    • September 5th, 2009

    I agree with most of what you said. I think what becomes confusing is distinguishing emotion from intuition. Then to disregard any part of your belief stimulates a negative emotion, fear.

    • arulba
    • September 11th, 2009

    I think it makes sense.

    I once had a friendly discussion with a friend who was thumping the Bible at me. She kept saying that getting saved is the most important experience you could possibly have. I just kept asking why did she feel it was the most important experience? She’d quote scripture and I’d tell her I understand that scripture is very important and profound to her. But why did she feel it was so important. It was one of those breakthroughs because she realized it was an intense emotional feeling that made it important to her. She had thought of it as an experience of truth and enlightenment, not emotion. She just sat there looking at me with a dumbfounded smile once she finally realized why it felt important to her beyond being told it should. It was then easy to explain that not all people feel that sort of emotional elation when they are saved – so perhaps it isn’t as important to some people as it was to her.

    Is that sort of what you mean? Or do you mean something else?

    • pelagian7
    • September 11th, 2009

    I agree with alruba. I also think some feelings of intuition are inspired by a higher consciousness. But emotions cloud the view.

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