The Knowledge Tree
The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
— Proverbs. 21:16
In the words of Aristotle, “It is the mark of an enlightened mind to be able to entertain an idea without accepting it.”
In dealing with faith and reason, some of you, reading this book, will be tempted to close your minds. I encourage you to keep your minds open and save the rejections for later. It is only in the review of every possible species of thought that one will become whole.
Already, we have two problems, which have surfaced in this first paragraphs. One: enlightenment, which this chapter will cover; two: having a closed mind. I will deal with the closed mind first.
There are certain personality types who cannot accept being wrong. These types will fight, even in light of being proven factually wrong. At that point, where they begin to see their error, they shut down and refuse to talk about the topic any longer—lest they have their eyes opened and cannot subscribe to their former belief. This applies to both the religious as well as the non-religious.
For that reason, I have my job cut out for me as I try to analyze every species of thought from every point in this spectrum. Perhaps, if you agree to entertain every idea while holding on to your beliefs, then you might be willing to accept a partial advancement over the complete loss that is ensured by the ‘all or nothing’ mode of thinking. (37)