One of our species greatest failures is expressed in our propensity for scapegoating easily observable problems while deliberately ignoring their fundamental causes. It’s by trying to get to the bottom of things, the most fundamental forces and beliefs at work that we might start to sort ourselves out.
Our current Covid 19 pandemic, our climate crisis, our world’s biodiversity loss, our economic suffering and our social suffering all share the same fundamental cause. They are all things that directly resulted from many people deliberately disregarding what is real and true in favour of their imaginary beliefs and feelings.
Here in the West we are depressed and anxious by the millions because we adhere to dishonest expectations and beliefs, because we carry out work and other activities we know are wrong and damaging to us, and most of all because we refuse to accept simple truths and facts about ourselves and our environment.
Every false belief we hold that we know on any level to be false creates a conflict within us that we most commonly use to abuse our emotions in furtherance of denial. We drug ourselves with our feelings until our false beliefs and expectations feel reasonable or until we cease to care about how reasonable they may be. This behaviour itself feels reasonable because we have normalized dishonesty. Self-dishonesty is part of our inter-subjective reality. We must change this in order to feel better in our daily lives and to collectively survive as a species. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say we needed to change our ways long ago if we wanted to collectively survive, because it doesn’t look like we will with the current pace of our climate crisis.
Purging our worldviews of falsity is a lifelong process. It’s also a great deal more work than it needed to be due to the amount of falsity people have created and propagated. To have any hope of honestly accepting ourselves we must first recognize and reject the false beliefs and expectations we already hold. We lack the benefit of a clean slate, rather we are indoctrinated with delusional beliefs as a matter of course.
It’s difficult for me to suggest where anybody else might start this process of purging falsity because our experiences and memories vary so much, person to person. Facts that are blindingly obvious to some people inspire denial through the expression of terror by others. Start with the fundamentals – matter is what matters – and go from there.