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heretics speaking the truth

Feb 19, 2002 04:25 PM
by Eldon B Tucker

At 05:53 PM 2/19/02 -0500, you wrote:

Heretics are people who speak the truth that makes people uncomfortable.

Heretics are people whose views fall outside acceptable
norms. Mandelbrot would have been seen as a heretic
when he proposed the idea of fractals, yet he was later
accepted as knowing something new of value. People
still believing that the earth is flat are also
heretics, but in this case they're simply wrong.

We all feel uncomfortable when faced with ideas and
situations that are inconsistent with our own. It
forces us to reevaluate what we think about life.

When faced with something different -- be it true and
good or false and bad -- we have to deal with it. We
can consider it and possibly change ourselves. Or we
can deny it and seek to discredit either the idea or
the person putting it forth.

There may be things that people need to hear. When
they don't want to hear them, they'll consider you a
heretic. When they already accept certain ideas, they'll
consider you a professor of good ideas. How they
consider you isn't as important as the fact that you
may be saying what's good for them to hear.

There are different guises that we can take on to
help teach others. The heretic guise is akin to the
trickster or The Fool. Other more traditional guises
are more akin to The Magician or The Hierophant.

In trickster mode, you may teach others some new
insights. But perhaps there's a bit of impish delight
in seeing people squirm and turn red with anger? When
that happens, the joke really didn't work well. Just as
with the other manner of teaching, if there's a bit of
delight in seeing people's faces go blank and seeing
puzzled expressions of feeling stupid.

We all need to sharpen our weapons (the pen or written
word), and become yet more skillful in our task of
helping one another become wiser, more insightful, and
to have a deeper sense of humor at life.

-- Eldon

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