Erosion is a natural force, it changes things even if they refuse to change. One of the most profound things I was ever taught about change was that often it can move far to slow to be noticeable. This has been a tenet for me because I have learned it in so many different disciplines.
When I was a child I was fascinated by Bonsai and its principles. The idea of a task forever unfinished, incomplete, that a branch can die and the tree can grow around it. I was encouraged by the fact that I was to “train” the branches rather than let them grow awry. The bonsai is forever a student. Yet people are complacent to stop learning.
I always ask people, “What ideas do you subscribe to now that are older than a few hundred years?” Chances are the things people list are demonstrable, or have some scientific backing. If they lack either of these, then why believe them?
I had a conversation with a friend the other night in which I highlighted the fact that I am not against so many of the commonly held beliefs of society (which was a lie 😉 ). I merely reject the notion that people stop questioning ideas.
“Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.” – Robert Anton Wilson
I could tattoo that on my body somewhere it rings so true. With time, any belief can fall to the wayside. Think about things that you’ve believed for years and years. True, the wisdom of your former generations should not be ignored, yet I constantly muse that the groundless ideas we hold sacrosanct today will be looked upon as lunacy be future generations. Recall, the Nobel Prize was awarded for the Lobotomy procedure, and despite some scientific backing that wasn’t such a great idea.