#059 DFQ

Summarising ‘The Truth’

The idea that there is an objective truth, was invented by Plato. Strong defence of The Truth diminishes the thinker’s ability to escape from his viewpoint to find a much better or more likely truth. This cognitive condition, or meme, is called PTV, Plato Truth Virus.

Aristotle imbedded PTV in his syllogism. This was picked up by Thomist doctrine and became the basis of logic. Western education has made a god out of logic and the ‘search for certainty’.

The Western education system was set up by the medieval Church and spread throughout Europe and exported to other parts of the world with missionary zeal. Even today, children are sent to school, their young brains programmed with the logic operating system, and then they’re given the impression that all they have to do in life is “to get the right answer” or “tell the truth”.

Only Microsoft’s global export of Bill Gates’ DOS has ever rivalled the Vatican’s global export of Thomas Aquinas’ PTV.

PTV is ubiquitous. Manifestations can be annoying like in Space Gluttons and Bores or fatal like in Bullies and Righteous and Sightless thinkers. Over 26 million humans may have been destroyed last century directly due to PTV.

Unfair Conclusion?

It is only with the unfair advantage of hindsight that one is able to look back on the evolution of our thinking habits and consider the consequences that they may have produced.

Did Plato ever realise what might happen as a consequence of the ideas that emerged from those Bacchanalian dinner parties he attended on those hot Athenian summer nights?

Did Saint Thomas Aquinas ever anticipate how rigorously later popes would prosecute his ideas and make them the core doctrine of the greatest education enterprise in history?

To be fair, I don’t see how they could. Plato and Thomas were not villains. I imagine they were just doing what interested them most at the time and hoping for a modest amount of success.

Could Bill Gates ever have known he would become the richest business man in the world when he first developed DOS? In his book he says he once remarked to Paul Allen that a million dollars was a huge amount of money, and he could never imagine having more than that.

Hmmm 😉



The biggest challenge for me, as a trainer, is to figure out how to get trainees to understand the direct connection between the number of DFQs they do and their personal increase in these skills.

Have a think and see if you can give me just one idea (based on your own experience of doing this training so far) on how I can help future trainees to increase their number of DFQs and therefore increase the level of their training benefits. Thank you.


DFQ #059:
Give an example of how your life been influenced by the ideas of Plato and Aquinas?

380 thoughts on “#059 DFQ

  1. I had always thought that being a logical thinker was an advantage to me and made the Vulcan sign my own (the 2 finger each side V sign) … as Spock would say … “Go forth and prosper”. Being a logical thinker can sometimes stop you from being an outside the square thinker or from seeing a BVS. To a logical thinker there is but one logical choice to make. SOT is proving to me that logical thinking is ultimately flawed!

    Dr M H-G, this is my second go through the course and I didn’t get very far the first time. I think the big difference this time was that Lesson #02 was a link to Dr Ken Robinson’s TED video about creativity. I have since shown this video to a number of people and they all agree with the comments made in the video. It made me hungry not only for more SOT thinking but also for more TED videos. I subscribed to the TED YouTube Channel and have watched a lot of the videos. Richard Dawkins video about our “Queer Universe” was one of my favourites. I had also looked up the God Delusion and managed to get hold of a copy of it for myself. I’m about a third of the way through it and my world has changed because of it. Maybe if you could scatter the occasional video through the syllabus that would be good. The difference between 38 lessons and 42 – 45 lessons isn’t much at the end of the day. The only other thing that I can suggest is that a brief overview of the acronyms from the SOT Dashboard at the start would be good. I know that I will get to them eventually but seeing them at different stages through the course have almost made me want to rush ahead to find out =)

  2. In 1952, I could see nothing positive about Army duty in Korea. Sixty years later, I’m damned glad I was there, because it made me eligible for the best care in the world at the San Francisco VA Med Center. How’s that for a long term cvs2bvs switch?

  3. I have always been focused on “the truth”. “Tell the truth, don’t lie.” I had not appreciated how much this was always “my truth”.
    My advice regarding DFQs would be to see at what lessons there are the most significant drop offs. Look at both the content and the DFQs. Ensure the DFQ is linked to the objective of the lesson.

  4. When I was in school I would face situations when I would not tell on my friends as I beleived that was the right thing to do. At the same time I would feel quilty of not being honest with the teacher. There was this conflict within me because of the PTV. Years later reading ancient indian scriptures help me understand the situation better. SOT training is helping me understand this in a scientific way and in a way that would be easy to explain to people without a spiritual way of thinking.

    On your query ‘how to help future trainees complete more DFQs’- It would depend on why the trainees are dropping out ? Is it because they find the contents to be deconstructing the very foundation of their life ? This could be deduced to some extent based on when they drop out.
    If they drop our during the lessons which cover the sensitive issues of religion then they may not be ready for this new learning. You can send them an invite again after a few weeks and repeat that process til they are ready. Of course you may not able to get everyone to return – but atleast a few.
    If the reason they drop off is because they are busy then you can send a reminder if they haven’t responded to DFQs for a long time or missed responding to a few.
    Another option is to send the next DFQ after they have responded to the present one OR stop sending after 4 or mor of their DFQs are pending.


  5. How to increase your DFQ’s – my suggestion is a simple one – double them… 2 olives instead of one .

    How has my life been affected by the ideas of Plato and Aquinas? I think most of us have been affected to the core, unknowingly this lingers in all of us, and it actually takes consious effort to train yourself to be conscious of it. It has been built into our society, and I find myself, a hundred times a day, wanting to (naturally), put my actions, thoughts, feelings, and those of others, into a “wrong” or “right” category.

    I also see this constantly causing pain, as it seems that once we have made the choice, we are at times to proud to go back and admit a different view point, in thus causing a world lacking empathy, understanding, forgiveness and acceptance of self, and others.

  6. indirect influence: reading, training and teaching thinking methods (which were “based” on Plato´s ideas or better: which are an alternative) helped me (get healthy, become mentally flexible,…)

    direct: probably more than i want to know. Somehow my father has this fixed idea of “family values” – it has to be in a certain way, that is the only “truth” about family he wants to accept/live. I wonder how this got into my head when i was younger. Today it is a burden to talk to him about these things.

  7. I always thought that thinking is thing for those who love to argue and showing off their intelligent brain. That way I think that I’m never a thinker. But thank to debono method ,I see another way around…thinking is not that hard anyway

  8. I was raised in one denominational church and after age 18 I decided where I would attend. I Came across one ministry that I thought was the best in the world. I witnessed to their version of “the truth” every place I found myself. Their training was very exciting and fun, it gave answers and information that only ministers possessed. I would challenge and defend what I was taught and took my family on the missionary field. Their was a split in that church at the leadership level and things got nasty. People and friends, husbands wives and families were pressured to stand with those who were “right” or leave. The ministry caused divorces. MY family and I left as a family. Today I realize that I have a recording in my brain that says”I just want to be right”. It plays when I do anything, I think my method is right, my way is right, my understanding is right, my opinion is right, and I defend it fully. I am not going to write a closing statement.

  9. I’ve certainly been trained through my schooling and education to get the “right”answer. Grades and rewards have been given for getting the “right”answer.

    I think that it’s an easier path the have a “truth” and defend it, than to always be considering other viewpoints. However the history lessons included so far in this course show the damage that this approach can cause. It’s a difficult challenge not to have some certainty of truth in our lives.

  10. Indeed, a long time ago, when I read Plato’s Dialogues, I enjoyed them very much and learned a lot from these books.
    Is it possible that Plato’s ideas are interpreted the wrong way ?!

  11. Not sure how to answer this DFQ.

    Truth is I was a liberal art major in college. Didn’t take many or found the science courses fascinating.

    I think their ideas (logic) have little influence in my personal life. Majority of my day-to-day problems are people-related.

  12. I have seen there is no any other thougt apart from plato’s views….pTV hand made me think and rethink about the truth aspect of life.plato’s ideas change me to a batter skills of understanding,and it also make my day to day activities to look well done.

  13. Fortunately, to my detriment at times my thinking or questioning has guided me for several decades. Even while I was a US Air Force officer I would frequently question certain policies and/or regulations. Of course, that was not what was expected of me. What was expected was for me to basically ‘obey’ directives regardless of their flaws.

    Hence, my career may not have been as successful (promotions-wise) than had I ‘stayed-in’line’ etc.. Hindsight (foresight) would have been helpful. Ha!

  14. Have a think and see if you can give me just one idea (based on your own experience of doing this training so far) on how I can help future trainees to increase their number of DFQs and therefore increase the level of their training benefits. Thank you.
    Mike you are doing a great job with the online training.
    One way would be to do some DFQ related to myths , which has to do not only with religious matters, but also myths related to work,society and family.

    Give an example of how your life been influenced by the ideas of Plato and Aquinas?

    In my personal experience, my biggest PTV was at the time I was between seventeen and twenty-six years old. In those days I used to believe, that knowledge was everything, and the University will teach you all you need to be successful specially in business. Successful people has the right data/information, to be successful you should know your customers and competitors…

  15. It is clear that we all have been influenced by Plato and Aquinas, but by looking at schools such as the Chautauqua Institution one can say that there is a speck of encouragement towards free thinking. The questioning, the never settling and even the act of service in an unconditional fashion promotes a freedom of thought. I believe the current generation Z and the millenial generation are great examples of the breaking away from the Plato and Aquinas schools of thought.

  16. I grew up truly disliking “authoritative” thinking and its resultant behaviours in those who have which, of course, usually got me into trouble. With adults, the response I get is: “leave him out, you can’t control him”. Now I know better and I enjoy my thinking. It has made me more effective for myself and my colleagues – they like the consultations for free.

  17. I tend to look for the “right” answer in most situations. What the DFQ prompted is–do I ask myself how to respond to situations in a way that I think there is a “right” answer instead asking in a way that may generate a creative answer or where there is no answer.

  18. Using hindsight I believe my ability to develop towards reaching my full potential as a human being has been significantly impacted by the widespread absorption and prevalence of Greco Roman thinking within the society I grew up within. As well as being indoctrinated with the “this is right that is wrong” approach to my general education – this was greatly compounded by continually being informed by my parents, teachers, careers advisor’s, clergy, extended family, et al of actually what was possible for me to achieve and what was not! “People like us do not go to university we are tradesman” “People like us are not clever enough to become professionals, run companies become wealthy!” “Aspirations are not for the likes of us Lad”. I was continually lectured on the “truth” that I had an appointed role in life that had been dictated by the family standing and social hierarchy I had been born into. It was not for me to question why? This is just how it is and has been for centuries!

    It has taken the past 30 years to unlearn these deeply implanted doctrines and truly understand what I can achieve simply by being me.

  19. My parents are blue-collar workers. School and university teachers hardly ever believe in the possibility for children coming from the common backgrounds to become something more than their parents. I have to fight with this …In fact, they are uninitiative, always afraid of something…The USSR successfully incorporated the matrix of obedient (blind) performers without their points of view. I feel that being spineless (inherited from father) and subconscious fear of doing something different which may be a fail accompany me… I should work harder to uproot this feeling…

  20. Michael, could you some how graph the results of the number of DFQ’s against the partispants in SOT to give a graphic to encourage future trainees? I am one of those people who are stimulated by visual information. I find it beneficial to see the coronation of data between cause and effect and results of participation. I know people who opted out of your early training, and I’m not surprised they did so because of their closed mindedness and inability to move to a BVS even for a moment, to see the benefits of completing x10 only. Personally I have noticed I have become more creative in general and my thirst for knowledge has blossomed. I want more for myself and my family, not just coasting along and accepting my Plato logical training lifestyle to be all there is in life. My mind is busily looking for better ways to achieve better results and seeking opportunities for the future. Watch this space…

  21. I don’t find ways that I have been influenced with the Plato virus for which I am most grateful.

    How to increasing number of DFQs answered?
    My plan is to read the lesson ideas and then move away to listen and be open. Later in the day, or the next day, I read the information again,and even more times, if need be, until ideas have come to thought. Then I answer on a word document and allow editing before I copy and paste onto the FEEDBACK section.

  22. I try to give the right answer ,or at least I try to give the answer that the system wants; this happen in school every day and kills creativity, sir ken robinson is very strong about this point and explains how we need to change education paradigm

  23. I was brought up to always try to solve problems and look for different ways to do this as the first way might not always be the best. Secondary school was always about the right answer but I enjoyed religious studies as that was a time open discussion was expected and while we were lead to believe there was a right answer, we all knew that to be incorrect. This was openly admitted when we court up with some of these teachers later in life.

  24. As my vocation is built on finding different solutions, I am not interested in being universally right, but in being right enough with as much flexibility as possible.

    What I have learnt from the lessons is to keep on questioning myself when I make decisions, am I trying to squeeze the best outcome from myself, or get the best outcome for as many people as I can.

    I have found reading the history lessons very interesting.

  25. I think PRR will increase their training benefits.

    Formalities has been the only manner of doing things

  26. I can honestly say that I have been a slave to logic for all my life- it’s the only viewpoint I’ve known to take.

    Perhaps understand that PTO is not necessarily conducive to engagement for some, regardless of how relative it is.

  27. I first did thinkers training with Michael over 10 years ago when it was done via email, while doing the first course I was amazed how my mind opened and my thinking blossomed, I used to think of things as true or false, right or wrong, once a light shone in my mind I found I could be a lot more creative and it’s ok having a different view point and striving for a bvs.
    Michael you asked the same question back then on getting students to reply to DFQ and I mentioned it would be great to see what other students were replying with, now we can see that. You also mentioned you would occasionally email reply to the feedback given, so one of my goals was to try and get a response back from you which I did a couple of times, perhaps some occasional feedback on the feedback would be good. In the end the will to give daily feedback comes down to the end user, they have to want to change from cvs2bvs, I reply to all DFQ but sometimes my answers aren’t as insightful on every occasion but I at least write down something, that way it becomes more PRR for me.

  28. I believe that the best way to help future trainees is more “personal engagement” in the sense that the SOT trainee can get feedback on their DFQ’s as this will further enhance the thinking about that DFQ because the trainer has added another view to the situation.

    I have been influenced by Plato because there have been many times where I “thought I was right” and defended my view point to then find out that there is evidence that does not support my view. This has also allowed me to learn from these situations and thanks to SOT training can now become aware of the affects of PTV.

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