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Month 6:20, Week 3:5 (Chamashee/Teruah), Year 5935:162 AM
Teshuvah 21/40
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 18 September 2011
Lateral Thinking
The Three Dimensions of Thought

      "When you open your mind to the 'impossible', sometimes you find the truth".

    So said Dr. Walter Bishop in the Science Fiction TV series and successfor to X-Files, Fringe. And though the character playing Dr. Bishop was referring to all kinds of quasi-scientific nonsense, this saying holds true in the human realm generally-speaking. If you were to make a list of all the things previous generations once thought were impossible but are now reality, it would fill many encyclopaedias.

    Man, in his arrogance, not untypically thinks he knows it all, and that includes - and especially - intellectuals. The great Scientist Michaelson even had the audacity to announce that all the fundamentals of physics were known. And yet every night for the last two months, except on cloudy days, my family and I have been observing a UFO doing things that defy some these known 'fundamentals' of physics.

    I am particularly grateful to have been introduced to the Maltese philosopher Edward de Bono when I was young. For those of you not familiar with his ideas, he introduced the concept of lateral thinking to the world. His thesis was that logical, linear and critical thinking has limitations because it is based on argumentation. To illustrate his point, he invended the word Po, meaning 'Provocative Operation', a 'third dimension' in thinking, if you like. We are accustomed (in the West, at any rate), to thinking in only two dimensions, and then mostly only in one of them:

    • 1. A Horizontal dimension of thinking known as Daydreaming, Fantasy and Mysticism. Someone operating in this dimension may have a thousand different ideas but never puts them into action. Such a person occasionally sees the 'Big Picture' and all its possibilities but has little interest in linear, step-by-step implementation. Such people are not much liked in the West because the West primarily operates in the second dimension, namely:

    • 2. A Vertical dimension of thinking that leads to compliance, conformity, and a false sense of knowledge - false because it is often just memorisation in disguise (how our public education system operates). Such a person knows what to do without knowing why. The purely vertical thinker is a nit-picker, a legalist, a 'tight-ass' (pardon my French). This is the predeminant form of thought in the West today - it's how politicians, social workers, educationalists, scientists and others think.

    De Bono, like educator Ken Robinson, believes in the central importance of the creative impulse in all thinking. There has to be a way to combine both the horizontal and vertical dimensions to make a third one.

    When I was growing up people were usually divided into two main categories - the 'artistic' types and the 'scientific' types - and the one was set against the other. I believe this is both a fallacy and a dangerous lie because Yahweh made us both. Every man and woman is capable of being an 'artist' and a 'scientist' and every man and woman should be. Instead we have been fed the lie that we are either 'right'- or 'left'-brainers. Don't you think that if Yahweh gave us a left and a right brain that He intended us to use both? He gave us two eyes, two lungs, two kidneys, two ears, two hands, two feet, and two of many things but none of us ever thinks of shutting down one of them and letting the other have it all.

    Now it is perfectly true that when you have pairs of things, one typically dominates. We are not usually ambidextrous - we write with either the left or right hand. One of our two eyes is dominant. But how has this state of affairs come to be? And shold we allow it to continue?

    I encourage my children to pursue both artistic and scientific interests. I think in our day and age we especially need both in order to deal with all the lies being spewed out by the enemy. We need clear, rational thinking combined with creative, innovative and inspirational lateral thinking that attempts to see the whole. We need to be able to study detail as well as standing back and seeing things universally. We need both microscopic vision and telescopic vision.

    I think this is especially important in the Gospel. We need to both maintain the 'Big Picture' of Messiah-in-All as well as to study in detail Yahweh's Torah. We need both the careful linguistic study of Scripture as well as the inspirational, one-to-one revelatory contact with Yahweh. And we need to know how to operate both together. I don't, moreover, think we can do this naturally but that it can and does happen supernaturally when we are in Messiah...if we will let Him. This means we need to combine a Ruach-filled life of communion with Elohim (God) with careful Scripture study.

    De Bono is not, as far as I know, a believer - his background is Catholicism. He is an intellectual first and foremost and if he ever had any religious ideas, he has not, to my knowledge, expressed them. So I don't view him as a mentor, just a sower of some valid ideas here and there.

    As an amusing aside (to illustrate his materialistic view of things), de Bono once recommended to the British Foreign Office that the Arab-Israeli conflict might be due, in part, to low levels of zinc found in those who eat matzah or unleavened bread (pita bread), a known side-effect of which is aggression. He suggested that Marmite, a popular British spread made from malt extract (or its Australian equivalent), be shipped out to to the Middle East to compensate for this lack of nutritional zinc. And whilst I am a great fan of Marmite and highly recommend it both for its taste and nutritional value, de Bono's materialist solution to what is ultimately a spiritual conflict was na´ve in the extreme. But who knows, maybe I will invite some of my Jewish and Muslim friends over one day and treat them to a Marmite fest!

    We are entering a time now when many 'impossible' things are going to be shown to us of both a technological, intellectual and religious nature. Of the latter two, some are demonic and some are from Yahweh. The point is, believers need to be equipped to deal with these new 'revelations' so that they can separate out the false from the true and not be 'blinded' to accept whatever is presented to them. There's a global revolution going on in which we will see one system booted out the back door and a new one usshered in - one that seems enlightened and good. Unfortunately, it is going to be a much more sophisticated deception than the blunt one that is being overthrown and believers need to be prepared for it. I have been warning my readers about this for many years but as yet most Christians and Messianics are either ignorant or dismissive - they are viewing all the smokescreens (such as the continual Middle East crisis) instead of the real danger.

    Stay tuned and learn more. In the meantime, Yahweh bless you and keep you in Yah'shua our Messiah (Jesus Christ).

    Acknowledgements

    [1] Wikipedia Edward de Bono

    Comments from Readers

    "Great insights, brother! What I have learned back in my childhood and youth days is that one has to think in a way I want to call selflessly ... letting things fall into their place - coming together in the heart, and being humbly sure that there is THE universal truth which is really available and applies to all humanity. I must say I only have been thinking so much in those days because of personal suffering, and the absolute will to one day solve all those lies and live without pain. It was coldness, and I have been desperately searching for love, questioning everything, if it could really be truth in a sense if it is right, or righteous to speak in Yah's terms. A true follower of Messiah is a perfectionist. "Be perfect", He said, and not without cause. For the world loves their lukewarm and homelike mediocrity, a sin here and there, but not a child of God" (SW, Germany, 18 September 2011)

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