Month: March 2021
Most people dislike things that are complex. We crave simple things like sugar, salt, pleasure, and winning. Reality is nothing but complex systems interacting with other complex systems. Nothing in reality is simple if you examine it closely enough. When people simplify reality, they are only simplifying their view of reality. When something becomes too complex, it gets ignored or denied. Complex realities become unaccepted while they accept simple beliefs that do not exist. Their craving for simplicity overshadows their view of reality.
Reality that is complex does not make it unknowable. The only reality that people need to understand is the reality with which they interact. The average person need not know the reality of space or infinity. Understanding the reality that affects your health, relationships with others, and dealing with everyday problems only requires a basic grasp of reality. Depending upon the amount of reality acceptance in the society in which you live, understanding reality at a basic level is possible. Although reality is complex, individuals need not understand every aspect. Facts do not matter as much as understanding general concepts. Individual facts, names, and numbers are useful when talking to someone else about specific details of a subject, but they are unnecessary for a basic level of understanding.
Simple solutions only work on simple problems. The more factors involved in a problem, the more complex the solution must be. When people propose simple solutions for complex problems, they will ignore many factors. The simple solution may work for a short time or with a limited amount of people, but we must implement a solution that considers all factors if we will solve the problem for the most people. We must make compromises in dealing with complex problems. We cannot completely solve some problems. The goal in solving a complex problem is solving as high a percentage of the problem as possible. Complex solutions are not as satisfying as simple solutions, but they are necessary for handling complex problems.
Simpleminded strategies will work less well as sensible and well thought out strategies. If you quickly create a strategy, it will be a simple strategy. A well thought out plan will always consider more factors than a simple one. You may not always have the luxury of time for a well thought out plan. Emergency situations require quick and simple solutions. A simple strategy should be general enough to work in most situations. Most situations are not emergencies. Time restraints are usually self-imposed. Being late to work is not an emergency. If you are speeding in and out of traffic, you have chosen a simple strategy that will force you to make quick and simple decisions. If you get into an accident, it will be an emergency that was unnecessary and highly preventable. Taking the time for a well thought out strategy will help you make better decisions.
Craving simplicity is not a problem as long as you accept the complexity of the world. Understanding the complexity or offering solutions is unnecessary as long as you accept the entire reality of a situation. Complex problems involve many factors. Many of these factors will include other people. Each person must consider multiple factors to finding a solution that will satisfy the most people. As it involves more people, the more complex the solution will need to be. We can base even quick decisions on experience and a general knowledge of reality. Having knowledge of a complex reality is not as useful as understanding the general realities of the world. Simple solutions can not solve complex problems any more than complex solutions are necessary for simple problems. Accepting a general reality will help you much more than accepting simple solutions that do not address all the factors involved in complex problems.
Reality denial exists all over the world. We deny realities long proven true with evidence from multiple sources. Our beliefs shield us from realities we find unpleasant or confusing. We deny global warming despite an overwhelming amount of evidence from around the world. The more time marches on, the more absurd our denial becomes. We could excuse people thousands of years ago for denying realities most people did not understand, but we are being openly ignorant if we still deny these basic realities today.
Believing in something does not make it real. Our beliefs are temporary assumptions about the world. We base them on our experiences with the world and other people. No baby has ever been born believing anything about the world. They are a blank slate. Luckily, we have other people looking after us. They keep us alive until we become conscious of the world. We gather beliefs from our parents, mentors, and teachers. Accepting reality is impossible if we only learn about other people’s beliefs and not reality.
You do not have to believe in your need for food. Your stomach feels hunger and you know to eat. Your beliefs guide you toward what you eat. If we allow our children to choose what they eat, they will probably only choose things that taste good to them. Most of these foods will be high in sugar, calories, and salt because our palates are not sophisticated when we are young. We believe what we eat only needs to taste good. When we are older, we learn about nutrition, but still eat mainly good tasting non-nutritious food. Our beliefs allow us to ignore the damage we are doing to our bodies. We believe we no longer can control what we eat.
The history of reality denial has many origins. The earliest and most influential beliefs most people had were their religious beliefs. Of all religions, Christianity in all its forms tops the list of most influential around the world. As science emerged, scientists exposed religions as denying many fundamental realities. Many religions, especially Christianity, fought to hold on to their beliefs (and their followers) using racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination. All these forms of discrimination existing today can trace their roots to the religious discriminatory practices of the past.
The reality denial of the past led to many negative concepts people believed were real. The concept of good and evil led to concepts of winning and losing, simplistic this or that thinking, heroes and villains, moral and immoral behavior, us versus them thinking, and other reality denying concepts. These concepts led to most forms of discrimination we see today. We label things such as racism as the problem. The problem is our beliefs that began these racist behaviors. Race is a non-scientific concept born from racist beliefs. Eugenics was one of the worst forms of discrimination stemming from these beliefs.
The only way we can get away from these negative beliefs is to value our knowledge over our beliefs. We base all our beliefs on ignorance because, once you learn the reality of what you believe, they are no longer beliefs. They are knowledge. Most societies around the world continue to base many of their laws on beliefs rather than reality. Basing our laws on reality means we only create laws that solve actual problems for all of a society. We need to stop valuing people’s beliefs about reality. Until we do this, reality denial will continue.
The first part of accepting reality is accepting the reality of your Health. Ill health will hamper your perception of reality. As your health improves, you will be happier and your view of life will improve. Most people would benefit by examining their health more closely. You can only work on health problems you accept as real. You can start with your physical body. Are you dramatically over or under weight? Do you have frequent illnesses or health problems? Do you eat nutritious food and exercise? The answers to these questions will tell you the state of your physical health. Next, start thinking about your mental health. Are you a content person? Do you have anxiety, depression, anger, confusion, or other issues preventing you from being happy? The answers to these questions will tell you the state of your mental health. The reality of your health depends on your physical and mental health working together to improve your overall health.
Knowledge can help you improve your physical and mental health as long as you accept the reality science can teach. Science examines reality without bias, opinions, or inconsistencies. Science allows everyone to gain knowledge about the world without having to conduct experiments themselves. Examining established science will allow you to understand reality. All scientific information gets updated, re-examined, and questioned by other scientists. Science is constantly developing and growing. Our understanding of reality grows with it. Science examines what we cannot perceive with our senses alone. The knowledge learned from science can help you understand and accept reality.
Your Thinking about the world will improve your perception and knowledge of reality. Knowing why you think as you do is much more important than expressing simple but clear thoughts about what you believe. Filling your head with the thoughts of others will only result in thinking like they do. If they think negatively, you will have negative thoughts. Reality is neither positive nor negative, it is a mix of both. Focusing on the positive aspects of life will give you a positive outlook on life. As your thinking becomes more positive, it will cause your behavior to improve. This will improve your relationships with other people and the world.
When you accept other people in your life, your Behavior toward them will affect them as much as it does you. Your positive interactions with other people will improve until you and the other people are happier and healthier. You will notice others who are not happy or healthy because they are not accepting the reality of their life. If you know them, you can try slowly to get them to accept more realities to improve their lives. Some will resist or deny reality, but others will accept the realities in their lives. Through your journey of Reality Acceptance, you will have learned the skills of living a happy and healthy life so you can spread reality acceptance to others.
Reality Acceptance Introduction
Accept reality for what it is, not what you want it to be. People and groups who deny reality do so because reality is against them in their minds. Reality is not their friend. If you dislike how the world is, deny it is that way. If you do not agree with someone else, deny anything they say has validity. We all perceive reality differently and interpret what we perceive differently. To accept reality, you must become a reality detective. We do not perceive reality in simple to understand presentations. Our experiences, senses, and beliefs mask reality. We can only understand reality by gathering the perceptions of others and matching them with our own. Life will present you with many problems to solve in your life. Accepting reality will lead to better outcomes for these problems.
I have broken Reality Acceptance into four different categories. I explain these categories here.
Examining reality is difficult. Most of us have spent a life with beliefs, biases, and a singular point of view about the world. Widening your focus to see the reality of any situation requires accepting a diverse group of perceptions. Reality Acceptance is a skill you must develop. I will help you accept reality, but I will not explain reality. If I claimed to explain reality, you would know I was lying. I will give you the skills to discern reality even when your senses, experiences, and beliefs tell you something different.