Hello! I’m Jonathon Mulholland. Welcome to The Deliberative.
I’m a formal student of philosophy and psychology; and I’m an informal student of mindfulness, science, religion, politics, history and anything else my monkey mind compels me to read about. I’m a former-Catholic-turned-heretic (sorry, family), but I’ve gradually learned how to embrace and reclaim spirituality without the need for religious or otherwise other-worldly beliefs.
After spending my twenties trying (and often failing) to understand myself and the world around me, my education and experience has brought me to four fundamental values. I created The Deliberative to write about the big ideas that arise from these four values, which help me make sense of the world and live a happy life.
The first value is critical thinking. You could also call it open-mindedness. I write about what it really means to think critically, and I “think out loud” about various topics to explore how deliberating with a critical eye is the key to truth.
Truth also happens to be the second value. Having it helps us make sense of the world, and knowing when we don’t have it keeps us from fooling ourselves about it. There are objective truths—things that are true, no matter what anyone believes. And there are subjective truths—things that are “true for me”. Truths, permutations of truth and the value of truth are all things you can find writings on at The Deliberative.
If the first two values help us navigate and make sense of the world, the second two values help me navigate and make sense of myself.
The third value is mindfulness. To be mindful is simply to be aware of whatever’s happening in our conscious experience in the present moment, without trying to change anything. It’s a skill, one we practice by meditating. When we’re not aware, then we’re lost in thought and reacting reflexively to what we feel. We become blind to the difference between what’s good for us and what’s bad for us, and that is when we do the stupid shit that stops us from being as happy as we could be. Mindfulness is a way of cutting through that delusion, but it’s much easier said than done. It’s an incredibly rich and cool topic.
The final value is deliberate living, which is simply applied mindfulness. How do we use what we can learn from being mindful to deal with our stuff, relationships, activities, money, goals and anything else we’re concerned about, in a more intentional way?
I believe that a better mind creates a better life. If that’s an idea that gets your attention, then I hope you find something you like on my little blog.
I’d also love to hear your thoughts on what I’m doing and suggestions for future posts, so feel free to drop me a line.