Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Reshaping Reality To Fit My Beliefs

When I was studying abnormal psyche back in the day, the professor brought our attention to a case study of a man who believed he was a corpse. One day a doctor asked him if corpses bled. The Walking Dead guy said, “Of course not!”

Dr: So if I prick your finger with this needle, as a corpse, you will not bleed?

Walking Dead Guy: Correct.

The doctor then pricked the man’s finger and it instantly began bleeding.

Walking Dead Guy: I’ll be … I guess corpses do bleed!

To some degree or another, we are all like this Walking Dead Guy, in so far as we choose to reshape facts and reality to fit our belief-systems, rather than the other way around. It’s understandable, of course, because, depending on how deeply held the beliefs, our egos are tied to them. I am my beliefs, ergo, if I am wrong about them, then there is something “wrong” with me. With this mindset, being wrong is then a mortifying and psychologically shattering experience. This is why people so often militantly resist those whose belief systems are contrary to their own. It has nothing to do with facts, logic, or the truth, only the guarding of ego.

This is why it is often a waste of oxygen to argue with people. Unless you get down to core beliefs and presuppositions, even if you “win the argument” regarding the issue at hand, the “convert” will soon return to thinking and believing as he did before your discussion. Core beliefs win out. Always.

Rather than thinking of others, however, make this personal and ask yourself these three questions:

“What does being wrong mean to me?” (How do you experience being wrong?)

“What are ten great things that can come from discovering I am wrong about something or someone?”

“How would I know if I am wrong?”

Good hunting.

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2015

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