Cognitive

Cognitive: (adj) knowing and perceiving

Thinking works best when thinking has not occurred before we decide to think.

It’s the only way to keep it fresh.

If you show up to a meeting, a counseling session, a conversation or even a family gathering having “thought out” what you’re going to say, the possibility for the event being a productive one is hampered.

To be cognitive is to be willing to arrive at a meeting with a blank slate and no pre-determined conclusion.

There’s nothing wrong with studying or having your facts in place. But if it becomes obvious that you’ve been trumped by your adversary with more thorough coverage of the subject matter, the cognitive brain relinquishes turf instead of protecting it.

There are three signs that a person has a cognitive brain:

  1. Cognitive leaves the door open for the possibility that a stone was left unturned in your investigation.
  2. Cognitive opens up two ears when others are talking, just in case there’s something to be learned.
  3. And cognitive is prepared to make the adjustments to the reality of the situation instead of merely standing by a press release which was printed long before the debate began.

Without this kind of cognitive reasoning, we always end up in war instead of the humility of admitting that we have much to learn from each other.

 

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Arena

dictionary with letter A

Arena: (n) a place or scene of activity, debate or conflict.

I grew up hearing stories about Christians being killed in various arenas of the Roman Empire. Recently, I’ve discovered that some of these reports are erroneous and that the Romans didn’t really deem such uncontested murder to be entertaining enough to bump the gladiators off the sports line-up.

I was always curious about it.

I know the Romans were quite brutal, but what would be so harmful about the Christian philosophy, requiring it to be condemned in a public arena?

It is a message that attempts to be inclusive, and blend in to the mixture like yeast in dough, allowing for expansion without destroying the surroundings.

But of course, there are certain things that need to be placed into the arena of public debate, which are too often taken for granted. Perhaps I should remove the phrase “public debate.” We certainly have enough of that. There are people who make a living by stirring up trouble and never hanging around to clean up afterwards.

Perhaps I should say there are certain ideas which should be taken into the arena of our hearts, where they can be battled through to a conclusion which causes us to be non-harmful to ourselves and others.

1. Drug use.

Even though we’ve tried to make it an issue of freedom, in the long run, it is a medical dilemma.

  • What happens when any drug goes into our bodies?
  • How does it alter us?
  • Does it improve us?
  • Is the improvement worth the alteration?

2. Killing.

The trouble with killing is that it’s very permanent. There is no such thing as a temporary murder. Since it tends to hang around forever, we might want to think a bit more about enacting it–whether it’s war, guns or abortion, would it (pardon the expression) kill us to consider, in the arena of our thoughts, the ramifications of our deeds?

3. Intolerance.

First, I don’t like the word. It has an arrogance about it which connotes that I reluctantly “tolerate” something or someone. I actually prefer the word “indifference.” There are many things I disagree with, but since I don’t have to participate, why should I care?

Do I really think God in heaven is sitting around musing over color, culture, sexual orientation or preferences? If He is, He’s a real nudge and a brat.

Since He made us inconsistent, He might just want to be patient with our inconsistencies.

Every single day of my life, I try to go into the arena of my heart and think about these three monsters that have basically been welcomed into our midst and devour parts of humanity without our permission as we allow them to lumber about.

I don’t like drugs.

I’m against killing.

And it’s not hard for me to be indifferent about things that aren’t my business.

 

 

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Annotate

dictionary with letter A

Annotate: (v) to add notes of explanation to a text or diagram

It is my contention that education is knowledge followed by experience. It can even be experience that gradually garners knowledge.

But the idea that the more information imparted to us, with a variety of opinions, insights, notes, complete with bibliography, will make us smarter, is a bit erroneous.

I’m not so sure we learn until we take something that we kind of basically understand–and then try it ourselves.

Does anyone really become an engineer when they graduate from college, or does that actually occur some Thursday morning three years later, while working on the job?

I think this is particularly annoying in the fields of business and religion. So many books, commentaries, opinions and guides for the novice are penned in these categories, with the aspiration that an insight from someone other than ourselves will give us an edge.

Of course, we need to know what we’re talking about, and have a basic understanding of what we’re doing. But candidly, it is in the handling of circumstance and difficulty that we discover the true wisdom of each and every endeavor.

I grow weary of a culture that creates a learning class, which receives more finance than a working class that actually pulls the load. And not only finance–but status.

Case in point:

  • I studied music. It didn’t make me a musician. Somewhere in my third set, playing keyboard in a dive, discovering a new bridge chord, I gained the confidence to have the music in me.
  • I studied the Bible. It didn’t make me a Christian. It was a series of encounters, where I chose to think for myself and selected to bless instead of curse, when the mind of Christ actually inhabited my cranium.
  • I even studied sex in an attempt to become a better lover, but it was on the 121st attempt to please my partner through sensitivity that I actually had the words “Don Juan” whispered in my ear.

Notes are good. Testimonies are interesting.

But none of us are saved by someone else’s experience. The salvation of our lives … is the word of our own testimony.

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