346. Self-deception

October 29, 2014

My chief discovery through the medium of introspection is the degree to which our minds are creations of our own experience. They are not given to us so much as made by us out of the wholecloth of our daily living and memory of prior experiences. So when we gaze out at the world, the world we see is not so much the world that is there, but more the world we have created for ourselves to suit our personal temperament and inclinations. When Sunnis and Shias are at odds (or, say, Democrats and Republicans, men and women, young and old, Blacks and Whites), it is their respective world views that are at odds, not segments of the real world.

We all know this in the abstract, yet find it easier to do battle with one another on the basis of our favored, internal perspectives. Strange business! The history of the world is the story of our being at each other’s throats, not of reaching out in an effort to increase our personal understanding of what’s going on. In that, we seem determined to put our worst foot forward, as we did in waging war against Iraq in 2003, and now bombing ISIS out of existence (which is part of the same problem due to our myopic vision of the world).

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