Opening Ourselves to Different Ways of Knowing

One of the key themes that I have been trying to get across in A Life of Virtue blog is that ideas matter. How we perceive and look at the world has an impact on our thoughts, relationships and actions. Furthermore, ideas act as the foundation shaping our values, beliefs and aspirations.

Therefore, if we wish to hold agency and realize a sense of freedom in our lives, we must continually question and examine the societal norms and worldviews that we take for granted.

In this series I want to examine different worldviews, paradigms and ways of knowing. The ideologies of individualism, which have become so pervasive in modern society, have allowed us to achieve great technological progress.  Indeed, we have attained dominance over nature. We can now examine the properties of microscopic bacteria to the vastness of the universe.

However, despite our longings for absolute control, we still feel a deep sense of lack. Meaning and fulfilment become more illusive in our mechanized industrial societies.

Why is this the case?

Well, perhaps it is because we have acted in a way that treats the world around us as something to be manipulated, controlled or exploited. We consequently feel a sense of disconnection, alienated from others and the world around us.

However, this way of thinking hasn’t always the case. In fact, many other traditions and cultures see us humans in close interconnected relationships with nature . We are not isolated separate beings. We only can thrive if our communities thrive, and we can only live healthy lives if we actively take care of the natural world.

In this series on Different Ways of Knowing I want to asses the following topics in more detail:

  • The differences in the Western and Eastern thinking;
  • Ian McGilchrist’s model of finding balance between the left and right hemisphere of the brain; and
  • Indigenous wisdom and worldviews.

If we are able to examine unique perspectives, we can begin to rigorously evaluate our unquestioned assumptions and gain a glimpse into the unique possibilities and experiences that life can offer.

We can gain a degree of autonomy over our lives and live more deliberately.

We can then truly be free.

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