I am an ex-New Ager.

For years I researched the supernatural and the paranormal. I tried my hand at tarot, automatic writing, reiki, astral projection, channeling, telekinesis, clairvoyance, animal communication, creative manifestation, and more. I sought information and instruction from more psychics than I can count. I spent thousands of dollars on books, classes, expos, seminars, and was even enrolled in an esoterically-oriented “Ph.D.” program before I realized the people running the school wouldn’t recognize a scholarly work if it bit them.

Some of these missteps are things I’m not especially proud of, but in a very roundabout way they helped to finally put me on a path of reason, and gave me the experiences one needs to truly see the necessity of a rigorous philosophical approach. Nothing reveals the power of faulty thinking more clearly than being a longtime casualty of it.

I do wish that I had found this path earlier, but looking back on my life I see that I had very few introductions to it. I had no critical thinking education whatsoever before college. My bachelor’s was in art, and, though many of the world’s most brilliant minds have been artists, the subject doesn’t require the reasoning abilities that disciplines like science and math do. Until I officially became a philosophy student, my only real exposure to critical thinking, sadly, came by my own independent study.

The rampant disinterest in such a fundamentally important skill throughout our society is very troubling to me. I felt compelled to contribute something, however small, in making its value known to the world. Intelligence alone won’t protect a person from seductive but ultimately baseless ideas as well as one might think. Sometimes it even makes him more vulnerable.

I fear that I’ll be primarily preaching to the choir with this blog, but I’m sure there must be people out there like me that just can’t shake their buried suspicions about what they’re being shown and taught. People who are tired of the obfuscation and the disappointment that one constantly endures when immersed in that world. My goal is to develop this blog into, simply, the resource that I wish I’d had all along. If you’re on the same path I was headed down, I hope that my collection of findings can save you some future grief.

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