The doubting muscle’s sensitivity to dissonance is not so trustworthy till you work out the rules of logic, transform assertions logically into as many forms as possible, extricate the self, doubt particularly those assertions that seem reasonable, and get opposing propositions to fight each other. Similarly, the believing muscle’s ability to project isn’t so trustworthy till you build its use into an orderly game and follow the rules: never argue; believe everything, particularly what seems strange or unpleasant; try to put yourself into the skin of people with other perceptions; make metaphorical transformations of assertions to help you enter into them. Most important of all, you must get other people to do it with you, and do it for a long time.
— Peter Elbow, from “Believing and Doubting as Dialectics” (Writing Without Teachers, pp. 169-170)
I am a little bit in awe of how simply-stated but true to reality these sentences are. I especially like the parts about the need to practice believing “what seems strange or unpleasant” and making “metaphorical transformations of assertions to help you enter them.” It’s almost as if I could take these sentences and expand them into steps for my students to follow while researching or thinking about something.