Sunday, February 27, 2011

Truth That Is Now Foolish

Throughout the ages, we have had moments in our history where the church or other leaders came along and stated that we must believe a certain way regarding various issues. From the beginning of time, what was not understood became part of a belief system to explain it. The belief systems did not evolve and so concepts that we now know to be true were at one time considered evil and wrong.

Here are a few examples to consider as we ponder what we hold dear to our belief system and how maybe we need to allow our belief system to evolve.

In the 1500's, the Catholic Church essentially felt that the earth was the center of the universe and there was really nothing beyond it. Copernicus came along and like others, discovered that the earth was not the center of the universe. The discovery by Copernicus conflicted with the Catholic Church. In fact, a paper on his work was not published until after he died to avoid him being persecuted by the church. (1)

Around the 1600's, Galileo also made the discovery of the sun being the center of the universe. He wrote a book called "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems" which was an attempt to help convince the church to change its view on the solar system. While he was a friend of the pope, some of his eloquent writings angered very influential people in the church. In 1633, he was found guilty of heresy and his book was banned. In addition, he was forced to claim that he was wrong and that the earth did not move. Galileo was placed under house arrest for the remainder of his life. (2)

Sir Issac Newton made many scientific discoveries including that of gravity. However, the royal and church leaders of the day were very much against anything that went against their beliefs. They were often fearful of that which they could not understand. In 1685, Newton and several others were brought by the Monarch to the high court on trumped-up charges, only to be dismissed later. The stress of this trial brought on a nervous breakdown for Newton. (3)

Around the 1600's, Claudius Galen was considered to be one of the most influential medical authorities. William Harvey's discoveries came into conflict with Galen which incited considerable controversy at the time. Galen believed that the heart produced heat while the arteries and its fluid cooled the blood. In addition, he believed that the lungs fanned and cooled the heart. According to Galen, dilation of the arteries sucked in air and contraction discharged vapors through pores in the flesh and skin. However, William Harvey was the first person to accurately describe the systemic circulation of the blood. At the time, doctors stated they would rather err with Galen than proclaim the truth with Harvey. (4)

At one time in the United States, women, African Americans, Native Americans and various other groups were denied the right to vote. In those times, these people were considered to be less than by the leaders and establishment of our country. It took a great deal of pain and suffering by many to overturn these laws and create freedom for all. (5)

At various times throughout our history in this country and in the world, we have attempted to believe certain things and found explanations, laws and religious practices to force these things upon the rest of society. Yet, now as we can clearly look back at history, we see just how foolish some of these things were. Yet, many were found guilty of horrible crimes and sentenced to death for not going along with the status quo or the belief system of the day.

Today, we are still doing that whether it is through what we believe from the churches, or our governments or in our societies. When it comes to medicine, we believe that the doctor holding the pill, medical procedure or test knows best and so we subscribe to the thinking that this is the only thing there is. When it comes to how we view others, it is more through the mindset of what media pundits and others tell us we should believe. Instead of learning to love and respect one another, we draw division lines and stand opposed.

We are all much more than we currently are aware of. What we know and understand today may most likely be found to be foolish tomorrow. The important part is that we need to continue evolving as a species and becoming more aware and more conscious of who we are. The greatest gift we can give to the world is by becoming all that we possibly can become. Anything less makes us part of a belief system and someone that breathes oxygen rather than someone who advances our civilization along.

When you're tempted by the media and the medical establishment and the politicians to accept the status quo as gospel truth, step back for a moment and look at the bigger picture. Think of the times from early history where we have been narrow focused on problems of the day and compare or contrast those to what we now know. Knowledge and discovery should not stop and be content where it is at. We should constantly strive to learn, discover and understand more about what we already know.

Yes, I do realize that fear, ego and power have much to do with holding us in the belief systems we allow society to impose upon us. However, we are all humans holding a brain that has unlimited potential. Let no one come along and tell us that we are less than or we do not know and understand what it is we feel inside. Let no one come along and dictate to us, how we should think and perceive all that is around us. May we all have ah ha moments every day and may we grow in ways that we cannot even fathom right now in this moment. For growth is life and the pursuit of life that when we embrace it, gives us freedom, purpose and courage.

Sources Of Information
1) The Church And Copernicus
2) Galileo And The Church
3) Sir Isaac Newton, A Scientific Genius
4) Wikipedia, William Harvey
5) Voting Rights In The United States

Further Reading
1) Fundamentalist Brainwashing
2) US Health Care Costs Skyrocket
3) Burn The Books
4) What Do You Really See?

Blog Post & Images (c) 2/22/11 Don Shetterly - use by permission only

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