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In this series of columns, I've described a Four how things have been done in the past. The most Directions model for common mistakes I see in this approaching herbal studies (or area are: Critical Thinking in “The North” any other studies for that 1) Incorrect information on the matter), the North being a study by Paul Bergner tradition – we didn't actually do of tradition, of the old books, or our homework on the fact in the recorded literature of question. We hear or make statements such as “This previous generations; the South is direct experience herb has been used for thousands of year for . . . .” by yourself or colleagues in your generation; from and in most cases the individual has not actually the East come new influences, new information, new done a close or critical study literature on the subject points of view, and in today's era much of that is and would not even know how to do so. This is very from scientific studies and approaches; in the West is common in statements about intuition, see the sixth folk herbalism. This is also column in this Herbal Rebel c o m m o n a m o n g series, on critical intuition, for contemporary herbalists who more discussion of that. Each have only superficially of the Directions is a way of studied old systems and not knowing, a possible doorway really understood their into the Truth in the Center. principles. My favorite peeve But each has inherent flaws. in this regard is the person Each requires a different sort who speaks of the Chinese of critical thinking to avoid organ systems, such as pitfalls, and a specialized spleen, kidney, or heart, as if education about the flaws in they were anatomical organs that way of knowing. Here I when in fact they are broad turn my attention to the functional systems that North, and how to avoid extend throughout the body. pitfalls of blindly what is 2)Mistaking the books of the written in old herbals and Tradition for the Tradition medical books. itself. In the reality of ancient Three traps in the North are times, or even the medical closely related: the Tradition history of the 1800s and early Trap, the Authority Trap, and 1900s, individuals learned The Book Trap. The Tradition their art under the guidance trap is simple: we assume of a mentor. Yes there were something is true because it is

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