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The Intellectual Molds Metaphor

Our minds are full of biases, beliefs, and assumptions that creep into them like mold creep in dwellings. The molds metaphor explains the causes of the infiltration of molds in dwellings, their effects, and treatment. We learn from the treatment of molds a lot on how to treat intellectual and emotional molds as well.

Mold grows in places with moisture. Examples include a damp building, a wet cellulose-containing material such as paper and wood products. Molds grow fast, produce bad smells, and can easily infect inhabitants with various health problems. If molds remain for long times inhabitants may lose the sense of smelling mold.

Molds from outside may infiltrate from opening in buildings and cracked pipes. There are two options available either to prevent mold from entering by fixing all cracks and openings or by controlling the growth of the mold, in controlling the level of humidity indoors and, by drying walls and ceilings and all mold-hosting materials such as furniture, clothes, and carpets.

The molds in the hearts and brains

Our minds and hearts too are good places for the growth of molds of biases, assumptions, and beliefs. Water composes 73% of our brains and hearts.

Mold in the air outside can attach itself to clothing, shoes, and domestic pets and carry the molds indoors. The same is carrying mold of negativity and biases. The outside environment is a big source for molds that infiltrate into our minds and hearts and find inviting places to grow. Cold hearts and minds are even more inviting.

We human beings are social beings. We keep drinking influences from our social environment. Groupthink is one striking example. We frame our minds with what the groups agree to. Upon repeated exposure to such social influences, we root social thinking in our minds without introspecting them. We end up carriers of these “molds of thinking”, take them indoors, and allow them to grow and reproduce. We do not even smell their nasty smells because we get used to them. Instead of fighting these molds, we allow them to prosper.

One other source of intellectual molds is media with its biases. The problem is that the more we we hear these biases, the more rooted they get. Influencers on social media can drive us to believe biases such as those connecting all Moslems with crimes.

Research revealed that it is very difficult to unlearn because unlearning wrongly many people think they shall lose identity and self-respect if they unlearn their biases and fake beliefs. These old habits make us do the wrong actions and instead of removing or decreasing in-brains mold to allow them more time to stay and thrive.

Recently, Farooq Omar published a post on Self-Awareness and Discovery Matrix. In this post that is worthy of your reading time, he outlined an approach for clearing the molds in us by asking the right questions. The post suggests eight questions. I share the first three with readers in this post as an example of possible questions to self-improvement.

What are your qualities and would you say you are as a rule consistent with them?

In what ways would you say you are being seen, that you are not mindful of? Perception is reality.

Should you be centered on today or tomorrow?

I add my two questions with a request to readers to answer them.

  1. What is the most mold of bias that you successfully managed to deal with either by removing it or reducing it to an acceptable level?
  2. How did you do that?

I thank readers for their kind attention.

Ali Anani
Ali Ananihttps://www.bebee.com/@ali-anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

12 COMMENTS

    • Good enough for what?

      You asked a great question, Charlotte.
      Unless we know the purpose and the direction we shall continue to use ” a teaspoon to shovel manure”

      I visited Denmark on few occasions. In fact, the first of my projects was establishing the wind-power generation in Jordan. We used windmills from Denmark. ‘

      During my visits I learnt of my misconception about Scandinavians and found them to be the most helpful and cooperating people. Sometimes we need to face our judgments to change them.

  1. Great article, Ali, and it reveals a lot about how we interact and the frameworks we use to do so. Some of them are provocative and some, not so much. After years on my own quest for truth and understanding, I’ve gone through so many potential biases that honest assessment and observation proved to be completely distracting to the advancement of sense-making. The conversations with clients, apocalyptic (uncovering) by nature, help to keep me agile in the process of co-creating action plans that lead not only to further success, they lead to a new living awareness of connectivity and freedom.

    Regarding Farooq’s questions, I’ve been working on understanding my perfected form, fit and function in the world since a Near-Death Experience I had as a teen connected me deeply to the ‘otherworldliness’ he mentions. Co-creating harmony in life has been arduous, at best, yet fun overall as the moments of joy outweigh the trials and tribulations.

    The most mold I’ve found was in a mixture of engaging the 5 Ps – Patience, Perseverance, Persistence, Passion and Purpose. I found a 6th along the way… Practice. The mold was in my inability to be fully present with another, which grew into learning how to listen empathically first, then engage generative listening to uncovering commonality and ways to grow together. My roles as a transformational life coach, construction partnering session facilitator and web crafter all require empathic and generative listening that coincided with intuitive prompts.

    How I worked through it was to develop my ability to be fearless and vulnerable; no need to command or control a conversation, yet knowing it was leading toward a goal of some kind that was of mutual interest. That mutual interest included the safety and security in relationships, action plans for clients that gave them simple steps, goals and objectives with metrics for construction projects, or a functional quality web presence.

  2. Prejudices, as all know, apart from an objective evaluation, tend to act as filters towards the reality we perceive, often making us grasp only certain aspects which, coincidentally, then end up confirming our beliefs. They are cognitive distortions to which we are subject as human beings, which feed a circle in which our beliefs (even unfounded ones) are strengthened, become more and more profound and therefore difficult to eradicate. In simple words, we perceive a small part of reality and do not even interpret it objectively. It is important to be aware of this in order not to consider oneself infallible, to question one’s judgments and review one’s beliefs.
    In some way prejudice is a sort of anticipated judgment, built on untrue foundations, and therefore as such unreliable. But it is still one step away from its opposite, that judgment that instead needs reflection, knowledge and a critical sense.
    There are some very simple natural remedies to keep the risk of injury away. Small behaviors, sometimes banal, but very effective especially when they become habits, lifestyles. For example: when you have the ability to first question your opinion and yourself, giving yourself a self-critical and not self-referential gaze. Just as prejudice breaks down by itself, it almost fails to appear, when the mind and heart open up, they do not flee from contacts, they are not afraid of diversity with others.
    In order not to slip into the swamp of prejudice, it is also appropriate to continually exercise doubt, because in this way you discover a particular creativity and also a desire to abandon oneself to the encounter, not to remain closed in solitude. To live by breathing the oxygen that comes from relationships with others.

    • Hi Aldo,
      I greatly appreciate your comment and its soundness.
      The problem is that we use the sieve with holes that match our judgmental criteria and keep them with the rest passing unnoticed.

      We need to do what you reflected in your comment. By asking the right questions that help us stretch our of our judgment boundaries and exercise ssef-doubt of what we judge and how. Your idea that “: when you have the ability to first question your opinion and yourself, giving yourself a self-critical and not self-referential gaze” makes lot of sense. I am sure this iis a process and not just an event. More questions follow and more refined opinions form.

      It is not possible to eradicate all the mold of all fake judgments and beliefs. However, we can collectively align forces to bring them down to safety levels.

      I appreciate your comment greatly.

    • Great comment Zen,

      I am immersed in the depth of your comment. The richness of your life s a transformational expert revealed so much of what you learned in every step of your journey.

      Your five Ps and then 6 Ps are a light lamp for self-reviewing. I must stay I spent few minutes comprehending them I enjoyed the sense they make even though I still cannot figure the difference between Perseverance and Persistence. As my English is not native I need to explore the difference. However all your Ps make complete sense. That seeks to understand first makes is the most important step. It not only allows one to listen attentively, but also to reach the desired goal at the end.

      This is a long journey and it needs, perseverance, passion and a grand purpose to reach patiently the final common goal. “How I worked through it was to develop my ability to be fearless and vulnerable; no need to command or control a conversation, yet knowing it was leading toward a goal of some kind that was of mutual interest”. This is maturity my friend.

  3. It is almost trivial to remember that you are the King of metaphors with which you build interesting, brilliant, educational articles.
    Prejudices, as all know, apart from an objective evaluation, tend to act as filters towards the reality we perceive, often making us grasp only certain aspects which, coincidentally, then end up confirming our beliefs. They are cognitive distortions to which we are subject as human beings, which feed a circle in which our beliefs (even unfounded ones) are strengthened, become more and more profound and therefore difficult to eradicate. In simple words, we perceive a small part of reality and do not even interpret it objectively. It is important to be aware of this in order not to consider oneself infallible, to question one’s judgments and review one’s beliefs.
    In some way prejudice is a sort of anticipated judgment, built on untrue foundations, and therefore as such unreliable. But it is still one step away from its opposite, that judgment that instead needs reflection, knowledge and a critical sense.
    In some way prejudice is a sort of anticipated judgment, built on untrue foundations, and therefore as such unreliable. But it is still one step away from its opposite, that judgment that instead needs reflection, knowledge and a critical sense.
    There are some very simple natural remedies to keep the risk of injury away. Small behaviors, sometimes banal, but very effective especially when they become habits, lifestyles. For example: when you have the ability to first question your opinion and yourself, giving yourself a self-critical and not self-referential gaze. Just as prejudice breaks down by itself, it almost fails to appear, when the mind and heart open up, they do not flee from contacts, they are not afraid of diversity with others.
    In order not to slip into the swamp of prejudice, it is also appropriate to continually exercise doubt, because in this way you discover a particular creativity and also a desire to abandon oneself to the encounter, not to remain closed in solitude. To live by breathing the oxygen that comes from relationships with others.

    • Thank you Aldo, for the title which you bestowed on me. I am blushing.

      You nailed it as loops tend to be self-reinforcing. The more we reinforce them by judgment and fake beliefs, the stronger their roots become and the more difficult is removing them.This is in conformity with what so sensibly wrote “. They are cognitive distortions to which we are subject as human beings, which feed a circle in which our beliefs (even unfounded ones) are strengthened, become more and more profound and therefore difficult to eradicate”.

      I wish to add to your thought “But it is still one step away from its opposite, that judgment that instead needs reflection, knowledge and a critical sense”. I call this understanding. It is sound judgment, but I try to avoid the general conception that examined judgments are accepted.

      Small behaviors, sometimes banal, but very effective especially when they become habits, lifestyles. I fully accept this. I expressed the same in my previous post “My Personal Experienced Immaturity”. Small events can transform us. I say this based on my personal example which I explained in the post.

      ?to continually exercise doubt”. Transformation is a journey and is not an event. This is the only way to prevent the vicious loops from self-reinforcing. I concur with you fully

      .Thank you Aldo as your comment stretched every muscle of my mind.

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