FUTURLOGICS a system of prospective thinking:by james n. hall COPYRIGHT © 1983 BY JAMES NORMAN HALL ---------------------------------------------------------------------- No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatever without express written permission of the publisher ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Printed in the United States of America SELF TEACHING PUBLICATIONS WEST JORDAN, UTAH 84084 USA Previous Next Table of Contents of FUTURLOGICS Chapter II LEARNING THE ABILITY TO DO THE BEST WITH THE LEAST Consciousness is increased when we become aware of all we do not know. Facing the unknown will cause the mental conscious to be more self-directed as we try to fill in what we do not know. Solving a problem with plenty of information requires less thought than when we try to solve problems with sparse data. None of us can ever know it all; therefore, it is safe to conclude that we may always be making decisions and solving problems with inadequate information. Indeed, realizing this is the beginning of mature thought. There is a saying that "to be educated you must know many things, but to be wise you must be aware of what you do not know." Surveying the extent of our ignorance is a prudent approach to learning. Like the ostrich who thinks he is hiding when he puts his head in a hole, the comfort in believing that you know all the answers is false security. Accepting ignorance is the first step a person must take to be teachable. We approach problems and decisions somewhere between a vacuum and a solid foundation of adequate information. How we handle things in an atmosphere of partial knowledge is a fundamental key to progress and learning--especially learning the future. Each individual varies in ability to make good decisions or judgments in the face of imperfect data. Ask any leader how he makes good decisions and he will tell you he must think ahead. We respect leaders to make decision when no one else can. In fact, good leaders have the uncanny knack of making decisions when no one else has enough information to go on. LEARNING Consciousness is increased when we become aware of all we do not know. Facing the unknown will cause the mental conscious to be more self-directed as we try to fill in what we do not know. Solving a problem with plenty of information requires less thought than when we try to solve problems with sparse data. None of us can ever know it all; therefore, it is safe to conclude that we may always be making decisions and solving problems with inadequate information. Indeed, realizing this is the beginning of mature thought. There is a saying that "to be educated you must know many things, but to be wise you must be aware of what you do not know." Surveying the extent of our ignorance is a prudent approach to learning. Like the ostrich who thinks he is hiding when he puts his head in a hole, the comfort in believing that you know all the answers is false security. Accepting ignorance is the first step a person must take to be teachable. We approach problems and decisions somewhere between a vacuum and a solid foundation of adequate information. How we handle things in an atmosphere of partial knowledge is a fundamental key to progress and learning--especially learning the future. Each individual varies in ability to make good decisions or judgments in the face of imperfect data. Ask any leader how he makes good decisions and he will tell you he must think ahead. We respect leaders to make decision when no one else can. In fact, good leaders have the uncanny knack of making decisions when no one else has enough information to go on. The qualification for good leadership are self-confidence, forethought, energy, and the ability to do well when others are at a loss. Good leadership is more that the result of self-confidence. Though it is true the self-confidence of the leader will give the bewildered follower a sense of security, the unstated characteristic of his success is the special gift that supports that confidence. The leader must face the unknown with a method or it will be sensed by his followers. The strength of leadership lies in the ability (or gift) of making good decisions from insufficient data. The trust put in this skill leads to self-confidence, which in turn comforts the follower and supports his confidence that the leader can face the unknown. Not only do leaders make decisions and plans for the future, but everybody must sometime look ahead. It's in our best interest to learn the skills to do better with less. We must avoid falling into the trap of thinking all our judgments and prejudices are based on a complete knowledge. Because we are interested in the future and how to deal with it, we must acquire the ability to do the best with the least. Indeed, it is a principle essential to Futurlogics. The optimum use of ignorance or innocence is true learning. In goes without saying that truth is a thing we all seek. But to have faith in anything that is not true is destructive and discredits faith and its promotion of intellectual growth. If faith is to any good it should lead us to the knowledge of the truth. Ability to do the best with the least can be one definition of faith. Faith is an ability to deal with insufficient facts and data, doing it so we live as successfully as if we were fully informed. That "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" is true statement. But we are forced to work with what we have. The time required to gain perfect knowledge would be more that the normal life span. Ignorance is a condition that will be with us for a long time. To offset this condition we will have to learn skills of making decisions and acting in a climate of partial knowledge. Doing the best we can is not enough. We will have to do better that we can or we won't progress. Forethought, planning and preparation are the essence doing the best with the knowledge we have now, and all of these are based upon prediction. We are not talking about being a good guesser. Some persons seem to have developed an innate skill. They live and act as it they are better informed. This suggests that DMP is working for them, because of the absence of external means used to make wise decisions. When a decision is in the balance, the "something" that tips the scales is an intuitive insight that is akin to inspiration. Such things defy explanation; one must experience such an insight to understand it. "A little knowledge" can also make faith grow abundantly. Faith should be the foundation from which knowledge grows. A faith that does not make a person more knowledgeable and less dependent is sterile. Faith is the preliminary operation of the mind that results in knowledge. Faith in science, education, and human rights can be and attitude that will realize a better civilization and greater knowledge. Faith in oneself produces the positive mental attitude described in books concerning self improvement. It must be emphasized here that stubborn adherence to ignorance is not faith. Faith is readiness to absorb what is not easily seen. It is the mental "gift" of learning, of turning to the heighten state of consciousness that is produced when we finally realize our knowledge is imperfect and our data insufficient to make the decisions crucial to progress and survival. When we are forced to move ahead our thoughts must reach out for the answers. This reaching out is the basis of faith and DMP, which complement each other. LEARNING Applying the principle of "doing the best with the least," or faith. we should grow in knowledge and experience. Learning is the means to gaining knowledge. The standard of living that we attain is based upon out knowledge of, and ability to deal with, our environment. Thus, how we learn becomes the most thing to learn. Schools and institutions of learning are common and necessary, and we are required by law to attend school from childhood. Status in the community is based, to a large extent, upon our schooling. We must even be trained to live in our modern society. There is a variance in the amount of knowledge that each individual obtains. Acquiring knowledge is due most to learning approaches than native ability to learn. As two persons of equivalent ability, but with differing approaches to learning will achieve different amounts of knowledge, so learning how to learn can increase the efficiency of learning rate. If we can learn only when taught by a teacher, we are blocked from the ultimate source of knowledge--ourselves. It is true that we can hire teachers to help us, but the problems come when we try to learn the things the teacher has yet to learn! New discoveries must be made by accident, or by those who have learned of themselves. This ability, which we know as DMP, is the technique of gaining knowledge without a teacher. Teachers are essential to pass on the knowledge of the past, but they cannot teach us of things that will occur, or that have yet to be discovered and printed in a textbook. Existing educational systems are so powerful that we have drowned in their successes. We are led to believe it is a fact we can learn only through the "system" and its teachers. And this belief stifles the innate ability, the gift we possess from birth, to learn how to learn by ourselves. Sooner or later, need will force us to learn through the intuitive process of DMP. This is the time when our education reaches its limits. School has ended, and life begins. Education becomes a base of operations if it contributes to discovery, or a block if it impedes or interferes with discovery. Education should extend our vision, and not blind us with narrow-minded perspectives burdened with prejudice. What we already know should aid us in learning more. UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES In most university curriculums, prerequisite courses are necessary before entering advanced classes. The more complex the class, the more preliminary background classes must have been taken. The principle that greater knowledge is based upon lesser knowledge is nearly universal, and is not restricted to the school systems. Every good businessman learns that it takes money to make money. The more money we have to start a business, the easier it is to make it a profitable venture. In health, the best way to remain healthy is to start healthy when young. Generally, he who has shall receive. (We might add here that the quality of what we accept as knowledge greatly influences what we receive--we are familiar with the effects of being falsely informed. Accepting a false-hood as truth has been an age-old cause of human suffering. Conversely, accepting a truth as a lie can cause just as much damage. It is one thing to be deficient in knowledge, money, health, etc., but it is another thing to think we have something when we do not. Enterprises based upon unsound principles, falsehoods, superstitions, myths, or dogmas will be a poor bases from which to continue further research. Such things can only lead to confusion and loss. To know more of the future we must have correct knowledge with which to begin.) Knowledge and DMP will become inseparably connected. We need the knowledge to focus attention, awareness and the state of consciousness to the future. But mental contact with the future is useless unless we have the understanding to grasp our extended "vision." New knowledge may be misunderstood without the right prior knowledge to base it on. Everything either works together or pulls apart when we turn our minds towards the future. The more we have the more we can have is the universal principle that operates in all phases of life and thought. This principle is the key to DMP or any other form of learning by individual study. When we understand the nature of the universal principle, we can then begin to see the process of DMP, and intuitive learning is understood and can be used effectively. For centuries every new custom or invention has met opposition. During the dark ages persecution and death were the rewards of private research that brought forth new knowledge. Galileo was not warmly received as he formulated and made public his findings. The "learned community" of his time threatened his life and forced him to make a public retraction of his discoveries. DaVinci had to write in cryptic notes to prevent censure from those who were organized to maintain the status quo. Today we have seen the results of invention and scientific research. New ideas are welcomed, more than they have been at any time in history. The attitude that new discoveries are useful, and not a threat, has changed us for the better. We know now that all ways of learning are of value if they produce results. Self-educated persons are rare, but they have contributed greatly to our store of knowledge. The greatest thing we could learn from the self-educated is often ignored as their success is celebrated. What we miss is the manner in which they have taught themselves. When we marvel at their accomplishments we conclude that it is a sign of their genius. Essential to learning the future is the principle of the self-taught genius. All new knowledge initially learned from the surface will not match what we already know. Genius is the ability to simplify the new knowledge within the body of existing knowledge, so that all can understand it. We block many new ideas from our consciousness because we feel them to be ridiculous, impertinent, irrelevant, illogical, worthless, out of the ordinary, out of order, intrusive, etc., because we don't penetrate the surface to the fountainhead. After, when we do receive the new knowledge, it becomes whole and logically connected. All learning has momentary confusion while the old knowledge is broken down and the new is incorporated. After this occurs, close cycles and logic begin again until the next "stroke of inspiration." DMP, (or "genius") come along. POSITIVE, NEGATIVE, AND NEUTRAL APPROACHES TO LEARNING The method one chooses to use in incorporating new knowledge reveals an important concept in learning. The universal principle will work if allowed to do so, by the right application of what we already know. Methods of learning, acceptance of, or proving new ideas can greatly influence the learning rate. It can also set direction and restrict learning to a specific areas. Given three persons somehow endowed with equal amounts of knowledge, if they follow differing approaches to learning, the amount and direction of learning may be different in each person. Those using the positive approach assume everything is true until it is experienced as untrue. Every new idea is theoretically accepted as truth until application of it shows it as false. Those using the negative approach assume everything is untrue until proven to be true. In the third approach, neither assumption is made, but the new idea is held suspended until it is observed to be true or false. (This is known as the scientific method of learning). History is replete with examples of the first two methods of learning. Indeed, as history progresses, they come into conflict one with another. Although there have been many cultures represented in history, our records of all of them are incomplete. Many have been extinct except for their relics at archeological diggings. The surviving records have produced two philosophies which have dominated western thought. These two philosophies which typify the two approaches to learning are the Judaic-Christian culture and the Greco-Roman culture. The Judaic-Christian culture used the positive approach to learning, and the Greco-Roman culture used the negative approach. It can be debated which of these two cultures conquered the most minds. But we find both methods of approach in modern thought. The following list is a comparison of the two methods: JUDAIC-CHRISTIAN GRECO-ROMAN 1. Ideas, figments, notions 1. Ideas, figments, notions 2. Believe true until experienced 2. Believe false until proven false true 3. Faith/Belief 3. Reason 4. Action on belief 4. Action withheld until evidence is seen or proved certain 5. Ideal of little children in 5. Nature and disposition of learning and believing the philosopher extolled 6. Future-oriented, looking 6. Historically directed, gaining ahead positively; prophesy direction from records; archetype in thinking retrospective thought 7. Intuitive source of ideas 7. Empirical source of ideas empirically confirmed proved by mental conclusion 8. Spiritually and religiously 8. Logic as the basis of thinking imbued thinking The conflict between these two approaches to learning has led to another method, the scientific method. It is an answer to the incompatibility and shows an impartiality that is neutral toward the possible moral issues underlying the two approaches of the positive and the negative. In the scientific method, the conclusive test of new knowledge is observation. If events are not observable then they are not subject to scientific research. The next requirement of this approach is that the phenomena must be repeatable and demonstrable to others when the same conditions are present. The special problem of applying the scientific method to the study of the future is that the future is not repeatable. The future is beyond the senses and therefore observation is impossible. Because of these obstacles, the future as a general subject in science is largely ignored with exception to some futuristic trends. Unfortunately, the schools also neglect the topic of the future because of the influence of hard science. History and its many divisions finds place in every curriculum, but even the known elements of the future are sadly neglected. Except for momentary speculative digressions, our schools perpetuate the attitudes of history. The future may be considered as all knowledge we have not yet learned. (It is this feature that makes futurlogics a research method) If this conception is carried to its logical conclusion, we connect the following theory to learning approaches. How we learn and how we use "present knowledge" determines what we will see in the future. Whether a teacher sees a future or not has no bearing, for what he teaches is what the child will use to face the future. If the teacher has no conception of the future then he prepares his students blindly. Every teacher must have some conception of the results of his teaching or he teaches with no purpose. Students must know why they are in school. In Futurlogics, all the learning approaches are needed: the positive, the negative, and the neutral approaches of the scientific methods. However, emphasis will be placed with the positive approach as it is under-played in present educational procedures. Favoring any single approach will cause a narrow view, but to counter-balance the existing trends, stressing the positive approach is necessary. By definition, the positive approach accepts all new knowledge equally with present knowledge. No restrictive of inhibitive effect is seen with present knowledge upon newly-learned ideas. The negative approach suggest that existing knowledge is best and new ideas are admitted only after passing a test. This certification by proof implies lesser value of the new, and sets up a block between the new and the old. The scientific method accepts nothing until it is certified by objective proof. Things not seen are not admitted to exist. Other methods or approaches which may be blends of the three name threads of thoughts; i.e. positive, negative, neutral are not treated as they will be found to be effectively positive, negative or neutral anyway. This rating is to define the acceptance of new knowledge relative to old knowledge.