Changing the Furnace Filter of My Mind


If filters are working right, they get dirty. I swapped out the furnace filters in the house today. They were dirty. So that was good.

In life filters can be good and they can be bad. Filtering certain shows from your young children is good. Filtering Internet access for an entire country is bad.

I suppose our minds have filters. We filter things coming in and things going out. Some are conscious and some are subconscious. Filters slowly put in place over time. From childhood, from school, from work, from society, from politics.

Don’t swear in front of children. Don’t be persuaded by communist ideals. Don’t go swimming right after you eat. You get the idea.

Filters are about don’ts. Don’t let this in. Don’t let that out. They are intended as protective measure I suppose.

But just like my furnace filter they start to collect lots of stuff. Unlike my furnace filter the filter in my mind continues to become denser as I add more and more to it as I learn about the world and myself. The filter becomes finer and finer. I am filtering more and more and the interaction between the different filters becomes more complex and actually starts filtering things I am not even aware of or ever intended. As if instead of replacing the furnace filter, I just put another over the top. Pretty soon almost no air is getting through. My filters are starving me of new ideas and knowledge.

I know my mind filter now contains ideas that are really no longer necessary and many that I no longer even find to be true. It’s so dense it’s casting a shadow on my mind. I don’t like that. I need air. Someone open a window. My filter has become a problem.

It’s time to replace my mind filter, let the light back in. It’s time to question the filters in place. If they don’t fit with who I think I am today, the filter needs to go. This is why great thinkers tell us to question everything. And to keep doing it. The questioning should not ever stop. Questions get rid of old filters and add new.

So as the barbarians at Capital One might ask, what’s in your filter?

About joegergen

To evoke a smile. That's all. Author of "Methane Wars: A Fable" and "Lear's Fool" as well as various poems and some these painting things as well.
This entry was posted in Freedom, Personality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Changing the Furnace Filter of My Mind

  1. Interesting post! It is a different take but it definitely a great post.

  2. I’ve been told I have no filter in the sense that if I think something, I’ll say it.
    Sometimes it’s in acceptably bad taste, others it crosses the line, but often people will tell me they were thinking the same thing, but…..
    I assure them I do, indeed, have a filter, but all too often the Inner Censor forgets to tighten down the brackets holding it in place.
    God help me once the stuff trapped in the filter shakes itself loose.

    Then again it might be entirely liberating.

    • joegergen says:

      Sometimes we have to get it out or our filter will choke us out.
      People are always saying to me “Tell us what you really think” after I say something unexpected. And I’m thinking, you have no idea.

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