Surprising Suppository – Self Deception

Self deception can be agonizing. Most of us have witnessed ourselves or others thinking about some event and creating additional meaning based on our beliefs or prejudice. The significance we add can induce any emotion and be very compelling.  I will give some brief examples and let them stand for countless others. Then expose the way we create meaning.

“She won’t go out with me because I’m old.”

“He didn’t smile back because I’m fat”

“Obama wants bipartisan compromise, therefor he’s a communist, fascist, Muslim, who wants to take away our bibles and make our children gay.”  

Before proceeding let it be said the meanings above “might” be true. Perhaps consider all the things that “might” be assigned to any one of us explaining why we are late. There are far more possible wrong answers then there are correct ones.

The thought experiment. This way to PineappleImagine shoving a pineapple up your ass.

Pineapple SuppositoryIf you gave your conceptual powers to this task you may have winced at the thought.

Ouch!

We disobey this thought quite easily.

Now, imagine your lover or spouse sexing up somebody else.

We should notice that both concepts are constructed of the same substance – thought itself – and moreover coming from the same mind. Notice you were not compelled to insert the pineapple just because you imagined it. Could it also be so with other thoughts? Let’s  look a little closer.

One might say it would be painful to input the tropical fruit into the tush and no reason exists to do so. I completely agree. Why does a difference exist between the thought of the raspy fruit and the ideas about a lover? They are both mental reflections of things in the world. Both events are possible but one seems less likely to actually happen.

Cough, cough… excuse me.

We would not be tempted to identify ourselves with one of the above events. If we use the lover as evidence that we are – who we think we are – then any deviation from the roll we’ve assigned to them becomes a threat to a sense of our-self. Note the same mind constructs the sense of self that imagined the fruit and the excited lover. In other words,  with ideas we can construct a fictitious self and also imagine the meaning for this identity when a conceptual lover has a contrived sexual encounter.

If we take one of our original examples…

“She won’t go out with me because I’m old.”

This kind of thinking prevails in many ways. The mind reproduces the girl and the self and creates an inference based on prejudice. Is it that odd to see a younger woman with an older man? I don’t think so.  Now we see how habits of mind can create a false sense of reality when indeed the whole story looks like the pineapple narrative.

The good news

Pinapple Arrow

We are not obligated to believe or obey any narrative we conceive.

If we view all inference as hypothetical (or Maya as the Buddhists might say) our views of the world can be exchanged easily for better ones. This includes inferences about a self that you couldn’t find if you looked for it.  This identity  disappears in one moment of no mind and yet you still are!

Conceiving of ourselves may be one of the oldest habits. Like chewing gum we can do it without thinking, or consciously, and we can also spit it out.

So many flavors of gum

 

 

 

 

 

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