Many people claim to be skeptical when it comes to hearing information on anything metaphysical (of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses) . Even something as ancient and well documented to being effective as Acupuncture can be scrutinized though it has been proven to be and is in fact a recognized form of healing. To be a skeptical person often implies a kind of superiority or that the skeptic is right and the other party needs to prove their perspective to them. Another way of approaching our questioning is by having healthy skepticism.
There needs to be a clear understanding of what a true skeptic is. Skeptical is to suspend one’s judgment and to have a kind of intellectual cautionary sense while hearing information. It does not mean doubtful or cynical. It is not closed minded. The opposite! A true skeptic is so open to understanding that they are willing to suspend judgment until all information and experience is heard or perceived. We can all miss a lot of valuable lessons and information in life if we try to be too smart or too cynical. We close ourselves off to serendipitous experiences that can really help our lives grow and support our well-being. When we are children each day and experience is new and magnificent in its newness. As we get older we of course adapt a more mature perspective but wouldn’t it be wonderful to consciously choose moments to be less cynical and instead practice healthy skepticism?
We may believe by being cynical we are being wise but actually there is a danger of operating out of fear and keeping the status quo. When operating from a place of gratitude there can be a resonance with the world around us and the wisdom that is there. If we cannot notice the small answers we can not be ready for the big ones when we need them.
Often people will base their judgment regarding holistic health on “insufficient evidence” in the Scientific Model. This is rampant in relating to ancient healing herbs from around the world. Saying something has “insufficient evidence” does not mean it is not helpful. It can simply mean that there was not enough funding to prove the effectiveness of it.
Be aware that as one listens from a skeptical viewpoint one may simply be listening in a judgmental or doubtful viewpoint which is ok-but be aware of it. Healthy skepticism is important -it helps us be discerning with information. We need our opinion to survive and carve our own bit of happiness in this world but trying to learn something beyond your perceived reality can really open your experience and often you may find a whole new set of tools with which to draw from. A classic movie on this topic is “What the Bleep Do We Know?” Skillfully acted by Marlee Matlin it illustrates how our thoughts influence our behavior and finally our experience and even self-esteem. Remember, the lens of negativity and superiority one may view the world from often can be turned back onto oneself and leads to perfectionism. The bane of self esteem.
Being skeptical is protection against gullibility but there must be a balance if one is to believe in hope and new horizons of thought. Looking a scant and saying I’m skeptical (but actually judgmental and doubtful) makes one actually closed in one’s listening. A true skeptic suspends judgment before she/he hears the whole story. So, simply by the admittance of being skeptical you are in fact saying that one is in fact open to hearing what is being brought to the table. One is practicing, healthy skepticism.