If someone tells you the world around you isn’t real or what you think it is, watch your wallet!

June 8, 2014 by Joshua
in Awareness, Freedom, Nature

“The world you see is not what you think it is.”

How many organizations start with this philosophy? It piques your curiosity—“It isn’t?”—to hear what comes next.

The next step is the tricky one: “We’ll tell you what it’s really like.”

They rarely word it so bluntly, but many organizations start this way. For all I know they’re right. What I do know is that once someone gets you to doubt your senses and awareness, they primed you to believe anything they say.

I’ve meant to write this since the meditation retreat a few weeks ago. Though Buddhism is less intrusive than most major religions, it still rests on supernatural concepts like reincarnation and enlightenment. I didn’t appreciate someone telling me if I didn’t do things the way he suggested I would suffer in infinite lives to come. Other organizations threaten harsher fates based on other things they want you to believe by having you doubt yourself first.

People often say such things to children too young to critically examine what adults tell them, often things those adults learned before they were old enough to critically examine what adults told them, and so on. Those children grow up not realizing they’re believing something with no foundation except someone told them to believe it. They confuse what they see and feel with fantasy. I’ve written plenty on beliefs and believe you have to have some because you can’t know everything at once, but I suggest you’ll do better creating your own beliefs than accepting others’ uncritically.

Like I said, I don’t have any more access to absolute truth than anyone else does, but I don’t think anyone else has greater access than I do either. As best I can tell people who tell you to doubt yourself and believe them want to control you, the opposite of freedom.

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1 response to “If someone tells you the world around you isn’t real or what you think it is, watch your wallet!

  1. Pingback: Why is "know thyself" hard? » Joshua Spodek

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