Many yoga teachers are fond of saying ‘a flexible body is a flexible mind.’ Therefore, a good way to always maintain flexibility in your thinking is to take up a yoga practice. Most beginner yogis soon realize that as their bodies become more limber and supple, so too does their thinking.
Becoming flexible and adaptable in our thinking is crucial. We could also refer to this as ‘open-mindedness.’ Unfortunately, there are endless traps awaiting us as we strive to maintain this mind set and become free human beings.
Easy ways to fall into the trap of rigidity include adopting labels, joining groups and organizations, attaining advanced academic degrees, and attaching ourselves so tightly to a way of thinking or viewpoint that we become unable to incorporate and adapt to new and possibly conflicting information.
For example, take the theory of global warming. Visit the website or blog of any warming activist, scientist or blogger and see how many of them have recanted their position on the issue. Despite the absence of any warming over the past 17 years and the leaked memos regarding the IPCC and all the rest, they continue to plow on, oblivious to the facts at hand.
I wouldn’t buy a vacuum cleaner from this man, let alone trust his bogus research on man-made global warming. We know what he’s selling: carbon credits. Check out the size of his mansion to see how much he cares about mother earth.
The peak oil theory is another good example. The leading theorists for this have been shouting through their bullhorns for the last 20 or so years about plummeting rates of oil extraction and how this was going to cause civilizational collapse. Gas was supposed to be 15 dollars a gallon by now. Michael Ruppert, author of Crossing the Rubicon (2004) and owner of the website fromthewilderness is a peak oil and collapse fear monger. Did the fact that none of his predictions turned out to be true cause him to issue any apologies or change his stance? No.
James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency (2005) is another example of this trend. According to Kunstler , the end of the era of cheap energy has already begun and the resulting convulsions are going to be massive. The problem is that year after year, as new oil discoveries are made and his predictions fail to materialize, no change in viewpoint is noted in his writings or blog. These writers claim that the answer is simply that the government and corporations are hiding the true facts. No doubt governments and corporations lie incessantly, but to use that excuse as a cover for their own flawed research is rather disingenuous.
I think what is happening here, and what we see in so many places on the internet and blogosphere , is that researchers and writers back themselves into a corner with their stances, and, having built up followers and made their name promoting a viewpoint, are unable to extract themselves from their self-constructed box.
One of the most astounding examples of rigid and inflexible thinking that has occurred on a mass scale over the past 6 years is peoples’ views of Barry Soetoro, aka Barack Hussein Obama. The man was swept into office in 2008 on such a wave of hysteria and ‘hope’ that people willingly ignored the facts about his background. In the ensuing years as he broke every single campaign promise he made, people still couldn’t bring themselves to admit that they had been duped. Thankfully, I see more and more 20-somethings, blessed with the adaptability of youth, who are now waking up, but a surprisingly large number of boomers are still buying what this guy is selling.
1) Hubbert’s Peak: the impending world oil shortage. Kenneth Deffeyes
2) Peak Oil Survival: Preparation for Life after gridcrash. Aric McBay
3) The Heat is On. Ross Gelbspan 1998