2. Develop discernment to tell the difference between valid "old" and "new" information and teachings.
A very strange notion has crept into western (developed world) education systems and popular mindset. It is a form of prejudice against what I can best describe as "middle age/old information." In other words, people think that "new" teachings are best, or "ancient" teachings, but have discarded, totally incorrectly, "old" teachings as being "out of date." This is a root cause of much of the sorrow and mistakes experienced worldwide today.
This misconception arose from an actual good trend, but it became misunderstood and derailed. Let me describe how the bias toward "new" teachings has validity in certain areas. Not so long ago humans did not have the tools (such as the microscope) to examine nature close up. So people developed theories about how materials exist, what their internal composition and structures are. A teacher at that time would deliver a lecture to his or her students about their theory, usually based on visual (eyeball) evidence, some chemical experiments (like reactions to determine if water was within something, even though one could not see the water molecules), and ancient philosophers' theories about the nature of matter in general.
Then the microscope was invented, and people were able to look at wood, leaves, human skin, all sorts of fibers, liquids etc and a whole new body of knowledge was opened up to them. I have (in storage) a first edition of a book written by one of these first microscope users at what he saw in plant leaves. Imagine the surprise when people first saw those little microscopic life forms, like amoebas, swimming around in a drop of water too! So the old knowledge was vastly updated by the new knowledge. As microscopes became more powerful, eventually leading to the electron microscope, where observers could see even to the molecular and atomic level, each generation of school text books were updated accordingly. During the height of this rapid accumulation of new and accurate scientific information, textbooks were made obsolete just about every year! And that was of course the correct thing to do.
Here, however, is the first mistake. This valid mindset for scientific updating of valid new information contaminated the mindset of all the other areas of academics. Thus, to generalize the problem, and to exaggerate just to make the point clearer, people started thinking that "old" ways that people used to live were "out of date," "old" literature was "out of date and irrelevant," "old" people's recollections of historic events were "out of date, and probably ignorant and biased," and that old skills such as basic arithmetic and so forth were "no longer relevant." The valid concern that each school year's materials of teachings of scientific (factual and measurable) were updated with the latest knowledge was, frankly, mutated into disdain for any "old" information. This has been a total disaster because students and society as a whole are no longer taught the facts of how humanity organized and experienced legitimate, real, fact based life. Over layered on the distortion of scientific updating disciple onto non-scientific fields, the first mistake, was a second mistake of teaching the body of old, historic information and experience through special interest lenses of how history "should have been" rather than how it actually was, and for the reasons that it actually was that way. I'm not going to finger point any particular group because everyone was eager to put their own agenda of special interests onto the facts of the body of knowledge that is being taught. Thus unpleasant reality was thrown out of the textbooks and teachings, while equally the good and gracious things that happened in history were also weeded out, or made to look based on ignorance that turned out good anyway. I could give examples but that will point toward one agenda or the other and take you away from following the thread of thought.
So the first problem is that the valid information that is "old" that is the vast body of human knowledge became questioned and massaged and agendized as a whole, due to the valid modeling of science, which was to indeed update facts of scientific exploration as they developed. So this developed the bias toward "new" over "old."
The second half of this problem was the recent tendency (during the last century or so, especially during the past fifty years) to become fascinated with the occult. This incorrectly thrust people into the opposite extreme to the first problem, which is to value the "ancient" over the "old." Occult practices refer to those activities whereby humans believe they manipulate unseen forces and supposed "divinities" (plural) in the world and universe. These beliefs came about in ancient times. Soon an "older the better" attitude crept into, oddly enough, academia and society as a whole. For example, the Bible and the Qur'an started being marginalized as being (problem one) "too old to be relevant," while pagan beliefs that pre-date the refuting of them by the development of legitimate interaction with God became, oddly, "more valid" and "the more ancient the better." So we have two generations of education that, in general, seeks to throw away the cohesiveness and validity of eighty to ninety percent of human knowledge and wisdom and the facts of the human experience with the most ancient and totally invalid ten percent of "knowledge" and the newest and latest, most bogus and fictionalized and imagined ten percent of "possibilities" and "ought to be or should have been" of the media generation.
Here are some examples. Islam is just a religious form of control and "out of date," but wow, tens of thousands of years ago cavemen drew paintings of shamans and "magic animals" and THAT must be really cool and awesome. So I've had to listen to years of puke about "reaching back" to the "shamans," while ignoring decades of God given revelation to the Prophet (PBUH). Example two is how wonderful the Mayan calendar is and how the world must end on these days, blah blah blah, while Jesus, who actually lives within God, is the Son of God, and tells people what to expect "may or may not have been real." Oh my goodness, what fools. These people cannot wait to believe something that has no proof or foundation from long ago, into ancient times, yet they think there is "no proof" that Jesus "lived" or was who the Bible said, a mere two thousand years ago. It's the hypocrisy, rather than the creed of belief, that astonishes me. The mindset is that the more ancient the magical thinking the better it must be than fact based spirituality, simply because it is ancient.
Thus all teaching in modern, westernized and developed societies is either openly or secretly, consciously or unconsciously, caught between an invalid squeeze. One one end you have academics increasingly engaging in "magical thinking" (that is a psychology term) and thus are fascinated with the ancient times (pre Christian and pre Muslim) because it seems to be so enchanting, while reality is so dreary. Notice I say that it is pre Christian and pre Muslim, but do not mention the Israelites and this is because these ancient magical thinking worshippers (and I use the term loosely) hijack the Old Testament too. This is the reason for the totally bogus modern hijacking of the Jewish school of thought of Kabala. People want to be "magic Jews" based on that "ancient bias," rather than believe the seemingly dreary reality of how revelation (and thus boundaries on human behavior) was actually given by the God of Israel.
So you have the squeeze, the skewing, the push in the mindsets of opinion makers, authors, teachers and academic institutions toward the "ancient" "magical thinking" of early human development, while at the same time they also are in love with the most recent thing that they have thought of, and thus impose "new" "insights" onto the "old" reality. History has become almost unreadable and a totally unpleasant media experience for me and for others who grew up outside of this problem, because so much bogus crap of politically correct thinking, disparaging of the beliefs and realities of previous generations, and plain ignorance of the importance of understanding the reality of the past even if one "no longer needs to be a farmer" has made the study of human development and history an onerous experience.
To lighten up, here's a silly analogy. Suppose that science textbooks followed the bad model that I have just described. Textbook one is written before microscopes, so it speculates that water is the only pure substance in the world. Textbook two is written after microscopes, so oops! There are those amoebas swimming around, plankton, and other microscopic life. Textbook two is written and published to show the latest developments and knowledge as of press time. Textbook three is written in these modern times (and here is where I am going to be droll and sardonic to make a point.) Textbook three does not explain that humans only discovered microbes once the microscope was invented, but instead says that medieval people "should have known better" but because they were "ignorant" and "too busy being oppressed by the church/mosques" that "innocent third world babies died" because people "ignored the presence of microbes in the water" and that "the man" was to blame, LOL.
I am joking but, er, not much, actually. As I've blogged about before I noticed when I was in university in the early 1970's (Ivy League no less) that professors were already imposing false judgments on the knowledge and motivations of historic political figures. I remember the day I stopped taking notes and stared in shock at my so called history professor. It's not just the rendering of opinion, it is the omission and misstatement of reality, and it's had over thirty years to now be codified into all the education systems and several generations of societal mindset.
Sigh... you knew this was coming, ha, yes....young people, I'm mostly explaining this for your benefit. What you learn in school has had centuries worth of worthy information, factual information, erased and "air brushed" out of your education.
So this is why this is an essential second mode that must have "reset" applied. The "ancient" is not "the best" and the "new" is not "the best," the factual, the truthful, and the context rich information is "the best." Amen!