Quora answer: What’s the best way to open someone’s mind?

May 22 2014


To open someone else’s mind is aggressive, and violent, and should not be done.

Open your own mind and be an example. Forget about opening the minds of others.

First it is impossible.

Second it is barbaric as it is no different from brainwashing.

Third it assumes you know something, and they don’t which is arrogant and probably not true.

Open your own mind, be an example. And leave well enough alone, because the first principle in medicine, which we have not learned well enough is do no harm.

Hegel said you can only have self-consciousness via the Other. They are a mirror to you. If you find them ignorant, then see ignorance in yourself and replace it with knowledge.

Whether others appreciate that knowledge or not is our business. It is not our business to foist our knowledge on them, this shows a lack of wisdom.

Wisdom as Socrates embodied it is the realization of your own ignorance.

Until we have dealt with our own ignorance, we should not be concerned with opening up someone else’s mind to what ever we think is knowledge. For Plato this was the way of sophistry.

If along the way you find someone seeking knowledge from you, give it to them freely, but do not invest in whether they got it, or whether they think as you do, or whether you have opened their minds to new possibilities.

Practice Deep Ecology of the Spirit, and leave each soul closed which you are tempted to open up.

This is the Tao of Lao Tzu. There is wisdom in it. It places ignorance where it belongs in oneself.

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