How can we develop our critical thinking abilities?
To develop your ability for critical thinking, you might want to join the Hare Krishnas :D
As far as I’m concerned, the Hare Krishnas are the only ones who think critically of the entire world. Sure, there are many people who consider themselves critical thinkers.
They are critical of so many things - first and foremost politics, then the banks, society, the new world order, China, 5G, Bill Gates, Vaccines, Google, Amazon, the list goes on and on. There is no dearth of the things a thoughtful person can be critical about.
Of course, there is also such a thing as being mindlessly critical. The news-media is an example of that. They just criticize the hell out of all public persons and institutions, not in an attempt to garner constructive solutions, but just for the hell of it, and most of all, because it makes for good reading for the mindless masses.
But I’ve only ever met one group of people who’s critical of everyone and everything. It’s a fact that only the Hare Krishnas see the entire world as something to be critical of. And why is that? Because the material world is an entrapment of the soul, keeping all living entities here locked up in an endless cycle of birth and death. Only the Hare Krishnas will tell you that.
Let me give you another example of critical thinking. The founder of the Hare Krishna movement, Srila Prahhupada, was the first human ever to say that NASA didn't go to the Moon.
Now a days, the information is readily available on the net (until it was taken down by NASA, of course). That info is not from the Hare Krishnas, but from mainstream Americans, some of whom are former employees of NASA. They have made it clear that NASA never went to the moon.
But when the first moon-landing was broad-cast in 1969 on so-called live TV, Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was watching the spectacle. A group of his disciples were watching it with him, and they were absolutely, exuberantly exhilarated by watching the US moon-landing on TV.
--Look, look Srila Prabhupada he is walking on the moon. They eagerly pointed to Armstrong staggering over the sand in slow motion.
Srila Prabhupada looked at the TV, then said in a grave voice - this is not the moon.
This revelation was so shocking to his disciples that one of them left the movement. He simply couldn't accept that the US didn't go to the moon. But now, 50 years later, it is clear that they didn't go.
It's just so obvious. The technology has developed by quantum leaps since then. Naturally, by now, they would have a space station, colonies,and regular trips to and from the moon, exactly as they promised in 1969. At that time they had even sold tickets for the next flight.
Anyway, now it's all public knowledge, but back then, nobody knew. The Hare Krishnas were the first ones to point out the hoax. Funny, huh?
To know about God and the real meaning of life you definitely have to approach the Hare Krishnas, but even to know what goes on behind the scenes in the modern, contemporary culture, you need the Hare Krishnas.
Of course, modern main-stream people are thoroughly brainwashed. They don’t have so much as one critical or independent thought in their heads. They would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle if they didn't have TV, newspapers and magazines to tell them what to think and believe.
The Hare Krishna way of thinking, on the other hand, is based on an ancient, revealed science, that has been tried and tested since time immemorial. The thinking of people in mainstream society is dictated by mass media and Hollywood.
Next time someone challenges you - you can't think for yourself - ask that person to name just one single, little thought he or she has come up with by themselves. Let's hear some of their independent thoughts. That'll stomp anyone... just try it. Nothing of what people in general have to offer are based on independent or critical thinking.
Actually, nobody is thinking independently. Everyone's thinking is inspired by what they have heard and learned from others. So what's best? - to be inspired in one’s thinking by the ancient teachings of the Vedic tradition, or to have one’s thinking be dictated by CNN and Fox news or the garbage they teach you in school? Think about it…
"I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad Geeta. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well. (Bg. 6.5)
For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will remain the greatest enemy. (Bg. 6.6)