Today we ask that you cultivate a healthy skepticism.

This may seem like odd advice to receive from a spiritual source.  Isn’t the point to be open-minded?

There is a difference between cynicism and skepticism.

Cynicism is the quality of being faithless, pessimistic, judging, and negative.  Often there is a “cool” factor to the cynic.  The cynic is the person who refuses to be impressed or awed, who rolls his eyes, who feels most comfortable criticizing and tearing down what other people do.

The skeptic is someone who does not believe everything he hears.  He listens, and he tries concepts and ideas on for himself, before accepting someone else’s story about reality.

A cynic may not be skeptical at all.  He may hear gossip about someone and believe it without question, or hear from someone that a movie or TV show is bad and believe it without question.

The skeptic questions what he hears.

He looks to the source of any information he takes in, and measures how trustworthy the source is.  If someone says something on the internet, this is probably not so trustworthy.

The skeptic looks within to see how he feels about what he hears.  

He is not quick to judge or condemn anyone else.  He is never part of a “mob.”

A skeptic is highly sensitive to attempts to manipulate and control his consciousness through advertising and propaganda.

That does not mean he is not open to new ideas.  In fact, he’s quite open.  It is his skepticism that allows him to take in new concepts without fear.  He knows that he will not blindly swallow just any old idea, so he does not need to fear different or opposing ideologies.

When you do not believe everything you hear, there is no need to be defensive or angry.  Other people’s beliefs no longer threaten you.

Can you follow this?  People are threatened by opposing beliefs because some part of them actually believes the opposing point of view.  It may be a subconscious part, but this is always true.  If you truly believe that someone’s ideology is total nonsense, then it is not particularly threatening to you.

For example, a child may tell you a story about how “Giant Monsters Live On the Moon.”  You won’t panic about the giant monsters, or feel threatened, or judge the child for saying these things.  You know it’s just a child telling a tale.

And yet you do not have the same level of discernment when it comes to reading things printed in bold letters on the internet.

That is why it is wise to cultivate healthy skepticism.

Learn to ask: “Is that really true?” when you are presented with information.  “Can I be sure of this?”

Do not believe everything you hear.  At the same time, be open to listen.

That is the path of wisdom.