Qualifications of the Aspirant: Entering into the Realities of Inner Life — Freedom from convention due to critical thought

Sometimes people stick to unconventional things for no other reason than that they are out of the ordinary. The unusual nature of their pursuits or interests enables them to feel their separateness and difference from others, and to take delight in it. Unconventional things also often generate interest merely through their novelty  in contrast with those that are conventional. The illusory values of the usual become insipid through familiarity; and the mind then has a tendency to transfer the illusion of value to those things that are not usual, instead of trying to discover true and lasting values.
Transcending the stage of external conformity does not imply a merely mechanical and thoughtless change from conventionality to unconventionality. Such change would be essentially in the nature of reaction and could in no way contribute toward a life of freedom and truth. The freedom from conventionality that appears in the life of the aspirant is not due to any uncritical reaction but is due to the exercise of critical thought. Those who would transcend the stage of external conformity and enter into the high life of inner realities must develop the capacity to distinguish between false and true values, irrespective of conventionality or unconventionality.

-Discourses 7th Ed. p351

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