Why People Have Trouble with the Truth – Part 3
In Part 1 and Part 2 of this article we talked about mind’s ability to get very quickly into denial rather than accept an uncomfortable truth and we also proposed some ideas as to why this happens. No, we did not assume there is any “psychological disturbance” present. We took another direction, and we discussed Values, Values levels transitions and different ways of thinking which create behaviors – one of the resultant behaviors and modes of thinking would result in denial.
Awakening? Or Transition to Values Level 5?
That is the moment many call awakening. For some it can create a paradigm shift or a transition in life. They might begin to question all they once held as “true”. It is a difficult moment to admit to all your friends you just bragged to that you spent all that money for a worthless blender. It could be a very difficult moment to face all your family members and peers when you discover that the significant other in your relationship is being unfaithful. How many people you know that accept jobs, relationships and conditions of life they deep down detest, but think this is how it should be? That’s right – many decide to delve in deep denial. It happens more often than not, especially if you lived for years in an ignorant bliss.
It is much easier to convince yourself there isn’t a problem, even when compelling evidence suggests otherwise. Instead of diving deeper into the issue, some will choose to simply continue along as if there’s no problem at all.
In a situation like the one described above, which many times is called “the awakening” there is constantly a distinct possibility that all your other life’s beliefs would fall under doubt and scrutiny, and that is even more threatening. It happens quite often – it is called the “middle age crisis”. People going through it don’t understand – it is not a crisis – it is finally breaking free from restraints put on you, breaking free from “should’s” and “must’s” and “have to’s” that had one single role – to satisfy some system, some thing or somebody else. However I have to admit – it is a hard process. How many people are truly willing to upset the proverbial apple cart to this extent for a glimpse of a “new truth”?
Unfortunately more often than not truth has a way of touching a deep core within us even when it comes uninvited. Whether we like it or not, truth is truth.
Being naive and ignorant or a victim of some form of conditioning may have a blissful quality to it. But it does not represent who and what we are. The good part is that all people are endowed with powerful minds and an even greater will, so they are all prepared to handle the most difficult of matters if they so choose. Living in denial or rationalizing away fear of consequences offers no ultimate remedy.
Breakup Could Presuppose Freedom
Here is another example. Many times we feel intimately connected with an institution or belief system. We’ve been conditioned to believe that this is “right”. We don’t know anything else. We simply “know” this is how it should be because we’ve been told so – little are we aware that it is not necessarily correct or true. If we think for instance about our way of life, our nationality or religion, then we are likely to only see the positive aspects of it. We don’t want to know about “the others”. This is not important. And when I say the word “important” you instantly should know that I refer to values, since our individual values represent what’s important to us.
“More entertainment please. More reality shows. More Justin Biber and Miley Cyrus please. More gossip and sports. Help me escape into the “good life”. The other “truth” is too much to handle. I don’t want to know. And if you bother me again and again with this uncomfortable truth, I will get really angry and make my life into a crusade to punish you.”
So, when presented with an uncomfortable truth, many will prefer to simply dismiss it. The manufactured untruth they believe is more attractive and definitely easier than the truth they’ve just witnessed. If this happens in conversation with you, they may offer hypocritical smiles and faked interest, but when it really comes down to it they can care less about the truth you convey. Ignorance is bliss.
Unfortunately since many people choose to rather deny the truth and prefer to drift away into an easy mediocrity and indifference, we create a world of make-believe. And then the pretended game of righteousness becomes the “norm” and the ab-normal ones are the ones who dare to point out the truth. The emperor has no clothes they say….
Like everybody else I was conditioned in early childhood. I have accepted a system of thinking which was imposed on me by operant conditioning. Only much later in life after I learned NLP and Time Line Therapy®, and began to discover what my real beliefs and values were, I started the process of learning to think for myself. I started to research the work of B.F. Skinner. He was one proponents of the idea that human free will is an illusion and any human behavior was the result of the consequences of that same behavior. If the consequences were bad enough, most likely that action would not be repeated; however if the consequences were good, that behavior would be strengthened. His techniques were “improved” and continue to be applied on a grand scale.
I can see how this could work, however it irritated me. Maybe human beings are half animals, but to ignore conscience and consciousness completely is a little much for me. Human beings can think – we can think about thinking – we are not just animals. Sorry Mr. Skinner and all of your followers, but we can think and we can recognize conditioning. Can we be conditioned? Yes. I am clear about that. All I have to do is look around when I walk on the street. It happens in all the schools, organizations and institutions. However indulge me here – so good was Skinner’s operant conditioning chamber that his daughter with whom he experimented a lot ended up committing suicide around the age of twenty.
After NLP and especially after Time Line Therapy® – which allowed me to let go of a plethora of Negative Emotions and Limiting Decisions accumulated from childhood and early conditioning – a strange situation began to happen. I have found that even an uncomfortable truth is preferable to a comfortable lie. It really seems that the truth, even if uncomfortable like hell has the potential of setting us free. So, having to go through a shocking discovery seems a small price to pay in the greater scheme of things.
And yet there are those of splendid intelligence that still cannot accept or will not accept anything but what they’ve been conditioned to accept as “the truth”. Intelligence has nothing to do with neurological Values Levels reflected in different types of thinking. For these folks, their conditioning simply won’t allow it. And why should we care about those? Because it affects all of us. Where is the society going when most of us refuse to accept glaring uncomfortable truths even if they stare us in the face?
If you choose the truth you will have to be willing to go through the fear of being ridiculed by your friends for spending so much money for a worthless blender. If it stinks admit that it stinks. You may be laughed at, and you may feel stupid and ashamed for a fraction of a second … so what? You might be surprised to hear that many other of your friends admire your courage to tell the truth. You may feel a new sense of freedom.
But here is the question then; how free is free enough?
Until next time, be well.