Curiosity, Not Ignorance, Is Bliss By: Ann Hoy


“Curiosity seeks to annihilate itself; there is no curiosity that does not want an answer” Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

We are naturally curious, and eager to exchange our ignorance for knowledge, and our naivety for understanding.

There is intense curiosity, like the stalking paparazzi type, or mild curiosity, like wanting to know the weather forecast, but most of us have moderate curiosity.

Like Newton’s apple that fell and inspired the theory of gravity, our Eureka! Moment comes unexpectedly. We don’t seek out something to be curious about, we stumble upon it, like an oddity in a Dickens’ Curiosity Shop; it draws our attention to it, and we desire to know more about it.

Sometimes our curiosity draws us to a person. We are like the ‘Curiosity’ rover on Mars, zooming in closer to attempt to understand someone better. Curiosity engages our senses – we feel the energy in a person’s voice, or the firmness in their handshake.

Our curiosity also draws us inward to ask ourselves questions like, who am I? Why am I here? We may have never fully answered the call to “Know Thyself” since it was inscribed outside The Temple of Apollo at Delphi in ancient Greece, but our curiosity helps us understand ourselves and others better.

Curiosity is like a muscle that we develop by questioning, seeking new experiences, and viewing old experiences with fresh eyes. It stretches us, teaches us, and changes us.
We may even contradict our former views, change our minds, and cross the floor, as it washes away outmoded ideas.

Albert Einstein’s curiosity led him to expand on Galileo’s theories. Einstein looked at Galileo’s findings and asked different questions, which led to his discovery of the theory of relativity.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious”. – Albert Einstein

Curiosity is Bliss

Curiosity is Bliss


Neurologists have found that asking new questions helps us form new neural pathways in our brains. An active curiosity slows down the aging process, encourages openness and inquisitiveness in social relationships, reduces boredom, and increases happiness, according to an article in Experiencelife.com.

It is also crucial to rational thinking. Of the 12 Virtues of Rational Thinking, curiosity is the number one according, to The Rationality Institute:

“The first virtue is curiosity. A burning itch to know is higher than a solemn vow to pursue truth. To feel the burning itch of curiosity requires both that you be ignorant, and that you desire to relinquish your ignorance. If in your heart you believe you already know, or if in your heart you do not wish to know, then your questioning will be purposeless and your skills without direction. Curiosity seeks to annihilate itself; there is no curiosity that does not want an answer. The glory of glorious mystery is to be solved, after which it ceases to be mystery. Be wary of those who speak of being open-minded and modestly confess their ignorance. There is a time to confess your ignorance and a time to relinquish your ignorance.”

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky – The Twelve Virtues of Rationality

In order to cultivate your curiosity, you need to be open to new information, so you can leave your comfort zone and discover what could be. The key is to ask questions, and the first question to ask is – how can I be more curious?

Sources:
http://experiencelife.com/article/the-power-of-curiosity/, brainy quote,
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky – The Twelve Virtues of Rationality,www.brainpickings.org

photo credit: Russ Allison Loar via photopin cc

Shelley Fralic’s Favorite Things – Oprah coming to Vancouver

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In honor of Oprah coming to Vancouver next week, Shelley Fralic, columnist with “The Vancouver Sun” newspaper wrote a column today Sat. Jan 19th, asking readers to send in a list of their favorite things.

Shelley is one of Ann’s muses as I have admired her writing for years, and would be happy with half of her writing talent.

Oprah is one of Ann’s inspirational people because of her amazing story of self-realization and because she uses her wealth and power to benefit so many people on earth.

Shelley notes that Oprah is famous for telling us her “favorite things” which can include luxurious items that our out of the price range of most of us. Shelley is asking for some of the best things in life which are free. Or as she says: “what will I miss when I die?”

Shelley’s list is in Saturday’s paper at www.vancouversun.com. I sent in my list to her, will you send her yours? Email it to: SFralic@vancouversun.com, with “Favorite Things” in the subject line, and they will publish the best ones.

Here’s Is My List:

– My dog Rocko asleep at my feet at night, a warm, peaceful, snuggly foot warmer full of love and loyalty.

– Opening my husband’s Christmas gifts – small elegant packages of scarves, perfume and bracelets I would never indulge myself with.

– Drinking my herbal tea recipe for what ails me, combining:
one bag of licorice root tea
one bag of spearmint tea
one bag of green tea.

– Eating a bowl of my labor intensive spaghetti. Its’ tomato sauce with sliced peppers, celery, onions, garlic, with a big dash of sinus-clearing curry powder.

– Hearing my three sons jamming in the basement – one on bass, one on guitar, and one on drums – music to my ears!

-Planting hanging baskets from starter plants in the spring, and nurturing them till they bloom and spill over the pots in trails of vibrant colors and shapes.

– Escaping the stifling heat of the house in August and laying suspended in my hammock in the back yard in the dying evening sun, with only me and the birds, and a gentle breeze to cool my skin.

– My fur lined winter boots to keep my feet warm and dry in the Canadian winter.

– Making all the green lights when I’m late.

– Looking at the twinkling stars and planets in the night sky after many days of rainfall when the air is spotlessly clear.

Photo credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/h_dwight_beers/3385236760/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/h_dwight_beers/3385236760/