The last weekend in May saw our first annual “Living outside the Matrix” festival in the woods in Hertfordshire. It was a wonderful experience and a great opportunity to meet fellow thinking people all wanting to make sense of the vast soup of contradictory information out there in the media.
The advantage of the relatively small numbers was that real conversations were enjoyed by all attendees. We all got to meet about 50 other people and came away with a real sense of connection. It is very uplifting to be among thinking people, people who care, people who want to know why things are as they are, and want to find solutions. I think we all made new friends and connections.
Shaking the cage
The agenda was intentionally challenging. the very point is to be able to see the nature of the cage we are born into and to understand the need for political freedom. But perhaps the most challenging ideas go to the root of everything that we take for granted – such as questioning the commonly accepted understanding of what is the standard of ‘good’ (altruism) and replacing it with a rational “pro-life” standard of good. Similarly, we explored a fresh and rational explanation of emotions and how they can guide us either to happiness or onto the rocks of misery, depending on whether or not we understand the cause and effect relationship between them and our thoughts and values.
In the examination of thinking, we saw some of the common errors in our method of thinking that can keep us locked into false beliefs. And we also saw the general method and structure of thinking and reasoning.
Darren Deogee gave us a wonderful and insightful presentation on gender, enabling us to see this fractal pattern throughout nature all the way from individual cells to revolving galaxies. As we make sense of reality and try to see the patterns and the principles therein, it is so useful to be shown a mental picture of such clarity.
Onwards and Upwards
It is so important to remind ourselves that rational argument is our best weapon in the war of ideas that is going on all around us. An argument is not just a quarrel between people who disagree. It is the rational presentation of ideas with propositions establishing the truth or falsity of an idea by logical relationship. The process in thought is our means of human survival, and these days more than ever if we are to have any future worth experiencing then we must become adept at the art of reasoning and of presenting rational arguments in defence of truth.
I am looking forward to next year and taking this community to the next level. We all had such a wonderful weekend. It was truly uplifting to be in the company of enquiring minds and wonderful people. Thank you to all of you who attended.
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Love and laughter to you all
Treehouse Farm, June 2019