On Independent Thinking
Properly enacted, independent thinking is not in the service of self-will or subjective opining, but in the service of submission to a higher authority, truth itself. We think for ourselves in order to find a truth that is not from ourselves, but from reality. The idea is to become dependent on reality, rather than on institutional and social distortions of reality. Independence subserves a higher dependence. But what is worthy of your submission? Only you can decide that.
It is important to note that thinking for oneself is no guarantee that one will arrive at truth. Far from it. The maverick's trail may issue in a dead end. Or it may not. The world is littered with conflicting opinions generated from the febrile heads of people with too much trust in their own powers. But neither is submission to an institution's authority any assurance of safe passage to the harbor of truth. Both the one who questions authority and the one who submits to it can end up on a reef. 'Think for yourself' and 'Submit to authority' are both one-sided pieces of advice.
Be dialectical and do both. You must do both. For only by thinking for yourself will you find an authority worthy of your submission. If you deem it worthy, then you ought to submit; equally, however, it must prove to you that it deserves your freely tendered submission. You are not nothing, and it is not everything. But you are indigent by all measures. You need it more than it needs you. But only you can decide whether it is an ameliorative absolute, or an idol.
And you thought things were easy?
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