“Discernment: Sifting Through the Bullshit”

We are living in the era that many scholars, mystics, and new age acolytes have called the Age of Awakening. This prophecy describes a time when mankind would collectively wake up from the trance it had been in during the previous era. While some point to astronomical alignments for proof that we have already transitioned, I doubt that awakening will suddenly trigger and kick in for individuals who have not consciously pursued it for themselves. So, if one is to choose the path of awakening they will need the proper tools to navigate this path. Today I will be talking about one of these tools of awakening- Discernment.

Discernment functions automatically in the mind as a sort of reflex. When presented with multiple versions of one story, one automatically distinguishes which accounts feel implausible and which truth value each account should receive. Some of the various filters the mind uses when discerning are: is this person credible?, does this follow logically?, which person is likely to lie to me?, or does this information defy my limits of believability. Some people use this mental muscle passively by accepting a rigid filter such as believing only expert advice or believing only what fits with your religion. This passive discernment excludes vast amounts of information in preference to a comfortably closed mind.Conspiracy theorists disagree with those in the cultural consensus trance primarily on the grounds of discernment. Perhaps both have looked at the same information and come to different conclusions, this is the great myth portrayed on the news, but most often conspiracy theorists have dug deeper, researched more than passively waiting for the t.v. to explain the “official” story, and have considered more of the information that others would immediately filter out. Conspiracy theorists also endure more pitfalls having to consciously discern from disinfo, misdirects, and partial truths.

computer out the window

Terence McKenna famously said, “Culture is not your friend”. Culture itself is a consensus trance that makes sense to it’s participants, but seems odd in some ways to others outside the cultural conditioning. Alan Watts spoke of the need to triangulate your point of view by incorporating other cultural filters outside your own. The psychedelic experience certainly grants one first-hand access to information outside cultural conditioning. Another analogy is that a one-eyed man has terrible depth perception compared to a two-eyed woman. Discernment grants one depth of insight, but it is a muscle that needs to be trained.

mckenna head

For those who have chosen this path an awakening has occurred. No longer will they accept the official story as the one and only factual account. This is the way we are taught in school. We are not taught discernment, we are taught to obediently memorize facts and not to question authority. In school there is one teacher, and everyone else is expected to blindly follow what this one person says when in fact each individual has their own interpretation.  Podcasts are more interesting than classrooms because dialogue between two perspectives is better than the authoritarian nature of being dictated at. People can’t be awakened by someone else telling them the truth if they do not then follow up with their own questioning afterwards. Part of my frustration as a truth-seeker is in posting information that others don’t seem interested in exploring. Nevertheless, as with discernment, persistence is the key.

keep evolving

Conversations With The Other is a weekly blog by Kyle Prindiville that releases every Tuesdays here on The Higherside Chats. Catch Kyle as Co-Host on the 3rd THC podcast of every month.