"Has anyone on Quora been able to change a deeply entrenched view of yours?"
Dear Sean, there are two core assumptions in your question which deeply affect how we are as individuals, and our beliefs concerning ourselves. Two powerful myths, or mis-beliefs really.
One is that someone else can change our views, and the other concerns deeply entrenched ideas.
Changing deeply entrenched views or beliefs, no matter how much it may seem otherwise, in the end, is always done by the individual. We may get a new idea or belief from someone else, but the decision to change itself is always ours. It's all too easy to confuse the belief or the idea with the decision to adopt it as our own and to replace what we had. The two are not the same. No one can force an idea change. No matter how good the idea, no matter how sound the logic or reason, it's still up to the individual to accept, and to adopt the change.
We but need to look at people who cling to out-dated and self-destructive ideas who refuse to change their minds out of stubbornness, pride, or self-importance. Logic, reason and sensibility make no difference. Besides, we as the individual have to decide what is sensible or logical or rational to us. What is so for one, is not necessarily so for another. Even fact can be disputed. We do not always perceive everything the same way.
If we look carefully, and especially if we are honest internally, we will notice that it is always ourselves that makes the final decision whether or not to accept, or and believe something, and to make it our own. Some, who do not like to Assume Responsibility for their actions, like to lay the responsibility for their beliefs or ideas on others. Often claiming they were "influenced." But really all they are doing is trying to avoid blame or consequence of some kind. All we have to do is observe how those same people are "influenced" selectively. They don't just blindly accept and believe absolutely everything, even from the same person, and if we look even closer, we see how what they accept is personalised to suit them in subtle details, revealing their individual choice in it all.
Deeply held ideas are a problem, and tricky to deal with. Changing them is often difficult and requires much effort, even when we are motivated to do so and the matter is purely internal. For someone to be able to do so without the co-operation of the individual is highly unlikely. But, I would like to come at this issue from a different angle. Society tends to support the idea that having deeply held beliefs is a good thing. It shows character, is one such supporting belief. One "Should" have solid fixed beliefs.
But really, this is a problem. It's an arrogance-based idea. it presumes we "know' what is not only true, but also valuable. This idea asks us to set ourselves, for life, some time as a young adult, or even child, with ideas which are to serve us for the rest of our lives. But we only need to look at history, and look at commonly held deep-beliefs people tried to live by which were absurd.
Beliefs and ideas change. They are constantly evolving and being updated. This may seem slow in relation to any individual's time-scale, but on a societal level it is always happening. If we buy into this idea, we become locked into our beliefs and ideas, and changing becomes difficult, because we now believe that changing itself is "bad." This results of course in a narrowness and inflexibility of being, where the individual has difficulty adapting. A severely limiting Way-of-Being.
If we are thus unable to change, we stop growing and learning, we stop evolving as individuals, and we become locked to a subtle arrogance-of-being, because we are tied to the idea that we already "know" what's best for us. But, if we let go of this idea of holding deeply-entrenched-views, if we open of to using whatever is Appropriate, especially in all contexts, from our overall life-context all the way to the immediate, then we open ourselves to always being able to Learn and Grow.
Keeping all of this in mind, especially when looking for answers, will cause us to pay closer Attention to what we choose to believe. We will ask why, on what basis? Does it makes sense to us? Once we start examining answers and solutions, suggestions, and ideas more closely, we come to see that in the end, we ourselves are the actual authority over everything that becomes ours. We are in fact, The Final Arbiter of Truth. This is a reality and responsibility we cannot escape, no matter how much some may try to.
Once we Make Peace with this realness, we can look at the matter of habits, and changing them. Which is a whole other topic, and it is here really that deeply-entrenched-views and changing them typically are dealt with. It can happen, that we can switch and change our life-long beliefs in an instant, because the apparent truth of something was so overwhelming. But this is rare, because the body-mind is wary of change, as change represents risk. Understanding all of this helps tremendously for not only changing, but for unhooking from the ideas that lock us into being limited to only certain views, ideas, or beliefs.
I personally have tried to not have deeply-entrenched views, as I have found that over time, pretty much everything changes in how we perceive it. All depends. The more aware we become over time, the more perspectives we develop, and the more we see that how a view or belief applies differently. It always depends on the particular circumstances, which are seldom the same. Thus it's useful to have that flexibility and adaptability to always be able to be Appropriate, as needed.
Ask Biella is a Gateway Gazette Feature Column provided by a Contemporary Philosopher and Writer. The purpose and intent of this feature is to provide readers with an opportunity to ask a wide variety of life-based questions. Think "Dear Abby," but with more emphasis on life than just relationships.
Biella is an amalgam of two Beings - Contemporary Philosophers and Writers, who exercises glorious intellectual minds which are most admirable for their profundity and sharpness. Often offering multiple sides of an issue, and provoking self-introspection. Their aim is to uncover Appropriateness, Awareness, Attention, Application, Attunement, and more, with a unique, high-level understanding of the profound intricacies that interlace these concepts.
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