The difference between polishing biases and cross-referencing

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Polishing biases:

  1. Looking for snippets of knowledge to support something already firmly believed.
  2. Discarding that which conflicts with your agenda.
  3. Building a case.
  4. Preference for received instruction versus independent study. “My teacher said…”

Cross-referencing:

  1. Searching for different sources and explanations of how things work with an open mind.
  2. Noticing patterns as they emerge.
  3. Seeing new relationships among sources.
  4. Being led in new directions by what one learns. “Look what I’ve discovered!”

Sadly, in modern voice teaching we have far more people who at some point decide they’ve found “it” and engage in polishing their biases for the rest of their careers, if they bother to study at all. They quit having an open mind far too soon. They let a guru or their own definition of “a tradition” be the whole of their pedagogy, even if there is much new knowledge freely available, and/or when it can be proven that there are errors that need examination.

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