Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About The Truth but Were Afraid to Ask

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The Biggest Problem Most People Have is that People Believe What They Want to Believe

One of the biggest problems in the world is the pervasive myth that we can believe whatever we want to believe because there are multiple ‘realities’.

According to this myth, reality is – ultimately – whatever the hell you want it to be and so everybody can live in their own ‘reality’, defined only by the limits of their own imaginations and beliefs.

By this definition all beliefs are equally valid, my ‘reality’ and your ‘reality’ are worthy of equal respect and are equally true – even if I decide to believe that I’m a unicorn and you should give me all your attention and energy – and we all need to tolerate each other’s beliefs without question because questioning such personal things as ‘reality’ is offensive and can upset people’s feelings.

This article concerns itself why this myth isn’t just BULLSHIT but also why it’s causing all kinds of unnecessary confusion and conflict in the world.

We will also explore exactly what it is to cause people to want to ‘believe’ in their ‘own reality’ in the first place and how you can IMPROVE YOUR LIFE by learning to step back from this instinctual, ego-driven tendency to run away from your own emotions – especially shame – instead of running towards reality in truth.

In short, we’re going to open up a can of worms that will help you to separate belief from actual TRUTH (or, more accurately, a truthful way of living) so you can stop holding yourself and others back with attachments to mental constructs, belief systems, and points of view that may help you in the short-term but which can only ever hinder you in the long-run.

If you feel like the world is going ‘mad’ or that people are putting more and more clown makeup on each day as the world becomes more absurd then there’s a good chance what you’re about to read will help you make ‘sense’ of things.

Here we go:

The Thing that People Usually Call ‘Reality’ or ‘Truth’ is Actually Just ‘Interpretation’.

When people say that this is “My truth” or this is “My reality” what they actually mean is that this “My interpretation”.

Actually, even in most cases of people simply talking about reality or truth, they’re also talking about the same thing: their interpretations of these things.

This is a subtle distinction but it’s important because truth and reality are actually OBJECTIVE (factual, basically) and interpretations are SUBJECTIVE (clouded by a person’s own experience and sense of themselves).

A story that I always use to demonstrate this when I’m coaching people or whatever is the story of ‘The Blind Men and the Elephant’ which is from the Upanishads or somewhere (which goes to show just how long the distinction between reality and interpretations has been causing problems in the human experience).

The story itself is pretty simple:

As the name suggests, it involves a bunch of blind men and an elephant.

Because they can’t see what they’re looking at – a metaphor for how we all naturally perceive and interpret reality incorrectly because of our limited human capacities – they all start to argue about their INTERPRETATIONS of the reality of what stands before them (the elephant).

For example, the guy who is standing near the trunk and gets hold of it, starts to argue that what they’re dealing with is a snake; the guy that’s holding one of the elephants legs starts to argue that they’re dealing with a tree trunk; the guy who has hold of the tusks begins to argue that they’re dealing with some kind of strange weapon (or whatever).

The point of the story is that all of them are dealing with the same underlying REALITY but because of their own individual vantage points – like our own life experience etc. and literal positions in time and space – they all come up with different INTERPRETATIONS about the same fundamental thing.

These interpretations have NO EFFECT whatsoever on the FACT that there is only ONE REALITY (the Elephant) but because they all come up with their own interpretations by focusing on the fragments instead of the whole they end up causing CONFLICT.

An interesting thing here is that it’s not the reality itself that caused this conflict and confusion – it’s the attachment that the blind men have to their INTERPRETATIONS and their conviction that these interpretations are the ONLY CORRECT interpretations.

This is interesting because it helps us to understand that the truth itself is beyond conflict because IT JUST IS WHAT IT IS.

The only thing that causes problems in our lives is our INABILITY or UNWILLINGNESS to accept this truth by stepping away from our own beliefs and interpretations.

In life itself, things work in the same way:

There is only the TRUTH (or reality in my view) as a WHOLE and it’s the same truth for all of us.

The thing that causes problems in our lives is that we all see this truth to differing degrees based on how willing we are to face it (which may be difficult sometimes as the truth is the truth regardless of what we ‘like or ‘dislike’ about it).

The question now becomes if the truth is the truth then why do we WANT to BELIEVE in something else?

Understanding this can help you to GROW REAL and live a life that’s aligned with who you really are and truly want to be.

To understand it you need to understand a common law of the human experience:

People Believe What They Want To Believe

There is an important difference – as we’ve hopefully just seen – between our interpretations of the TRUTH and the actual truth.

Our interpretations aren’t the ‘thing-in-itself’ (i.e. the TRUTH) – they’re just the CONCLUSIONS we come up with after perceiving whatever’s out there in reality and then interpreting these perceptions in the light of whatever STORIES and NARRATIVES we want to believe about life.

I often call  this set of fragments and confusions between ourselves and the truth ‘The Veiled Veil’ – that sounds fancy but all it means is that there is a twofold veil between us and the truth because of the way human beings ‘work’:

First, there is the veil of perception – i.e. what we literally perceive because of our bodies and the way they let information in (which is always limited because our bodies are fragmented and reality/truth is WHOLE).

Second, there is the veil of CONCEPTUAL interpretation – where we try to make ‘sense’ of the things we perceived in relation to the beliefs we already have and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, the world, and reality (which are conclusions that have already been fed through the VEILED VEIL).

Anyway, maybe that seems a little complicated but all it means is that the interpretations we have are made up of BELIEFS that are almost always informed by UNREAL information: unreal perceptions (i.e. not aligned with the actual TRUTH) and unreal interpretations (that we CREATE because of whatever we have going on inside ourselves and the stories we tell ourselves and want to believe in).

The long and short of all this is that there is an important distinction between our BELIEFS and the TRUTH.

Some beliefs might be more ‘real’ than others – in the sense that they may ‘point’ more closely to the truth than others – but in general NO belief is completely true because they are just FRAGMENTS of the truth as a WHOLE.

Now, there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with this – it’s just how things work: We need beliefs to make sense of the world and to interact with others (and ourselves to some extent).

The problems start to arise when we treat our beliefs as being the TRUTH and act like we’ve got everything figured out. When we do that we just end up causing unnecessary friction for ourselves and remove ourselves from the flow of life that is necessary for us to keep growing real and moving into life more deeply.

The other problem is that by acting like our beliefs are the actual truth we also invite unnecessary CONFLICT with others into our lives… For example, in cases when our interpretations of the elephant are different to somebody else’s but we both need to be ‘right’.

If beliefs cause all these problems – when treated as the truth – then why do we become so attached to them?

That brings us on to the fundamental law of human nature that we talked about: PEOPLE BELIEVE WHAT THEY WANT TO BELIEVE.

If beliefs are not reality or truth – which can’t be chosen because they just ‘are’  – then they are something that we have CHOSEN.

We didn’t just wake up one day and find these beliefs magically embedded in our heads – they’re something that we have decided to CHOOSE as a response to whatever it is that we’ve been through in life and what we want from life further down the line.

When you understand this you can ask yourself why ‘You’ or the people in your life believe the things that they do – if they’re just running on ‘autopilot’ you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re CHOOSING the beliefs that they have for one of two main reasons:

1:- To avoid some emotional ‘stuff’ within themselves (shame, guilt, and/or trauma).

2:- TO try and run towards some illusion they need to be true about life so they can keep telling themselves some STORY they want to believe about themselves, the world, and reality as a whole.

In many ways these  two motivating factors are interrelated (and go back to the unresolved emotional ‘stuff’ like shame) but the bottom line is that PEOPLE BELIEVE WHAT THEY WANT TO BELIEVE to avoid the truth about life (because when you’ve been ‘away’ from the truth for a while – not that it ever goes anywhere – then the truth will set you free but first it will piss you off and make you miserable).

Let’s explore these two aspects of ‘People believe what they want to believe’ in a little more detail:

We Choose Our Beliefs Because of Our Emotional Relationship With Ourselves

The best thing we can do for our long-term self-interest is to accept the TRUTH and to work with it. If we can do that then we have a better awareness of ourselves, the world, and reality and will be able to act on this awareness to get better RESULTS.

Those ‘results’ will be different in the context of everybody’s life, depending on what it is they’re trying to achieve with their lives.

No matter what, though – no matter who you are or what you’re trying to do – the one thing that we all have in common is that the only place where we can get results in the first place is the same for all of us: REALITY.

Or as I say all the time, “REAL ALWAYS WORKS”.

That being said, it makes RATIONAL sense to try and ensure that our beliefs are as closely aligned with reality in truth as possible.

The problem is that – for a lot of us – this may involve going through the short-term pain of giving up some of our illusions and aligning ourselves with the truth again.

Because most of us don’t want to feel ANY pain and would rather stay in our comfort zones this means that we defend the familiar beliefs and patterns we’re used to against the truth(even in cases where they’re making us miserable because we don’t get any results).

This is where the emotional ‘stuff’ comes in:

The MAIN reason that people choose to keep believing things that go against the truth is because choosing to believe the truth instead will cause them SHORT-TERM emotional pain.

Actually, it’s not ‘the truth’ that causes this problem for them – because being aligned with truth feels ‘good’ (as you’re flowing with life and living in a creative and authentic way).

No, the thing that causes this pain is the LOSS of illusions that have been ‘protecting’ us from our unresolved emotional ‘stuff’ like shame, guilt, and trauma.

It goes like this:

-We have difficult emotions that we don’t want to face so we create a version of ourselves and a BELIEF SYSTEM to go with this version that explains these feelings away.

-Because this belief system is designed to explain away something that actually exists (the feelings) it is UNREAL from the outset.

-When the truth comes along (however that might be) it threatens the foundation of the unreal belief system by letting reality back in.

-Once reality is back in the picture, we can either FIGHT against it (a battle we can never win) – which will just cause anxiety and unnecessary tension – or we can start to face it.

-If we ‘face’ the reality/truth then we end up removing the unreal belief system and the EMOTIONS we were trying to hide resurface.

It’s not ‘The Truth’ that caused the emotional turmoil – it’s the shattering of the beliefs that were trying to hide unresolved ‘turmoil’ that was already there (and probably got worse by being avoided for a period of time).

As a general rule – general because we can become REAL and wake ourselves up from sleepwalking through life – most of the beliefs that people have are a product of their emotional relationship with themselves.

If they feel ‘bad’ about themselves – consciously or unconsciously – they will become more RIGID with their beliefs because they need to believe that certain things are true so they can keep avoiding their emotional ‘stuff’ (which will be DISSOLVED if shared with others or simply embraced anyway).

People who are RIGID like this are not open to any disagreement because they’re not willing to learn (because that threatens the belief system they created).

If you look at the world around you – especially online – you’ll see that there are all kinds of people rigidly attached to certain belief systems and defending them like their lives depend on it.

Like we already said, the TRUTH is beyond any conflict – it’s only the interpretations that cause problems. These people arguing rigidly online aren’t defending the truth but their interpretations… Hopefully, you now understand why – because they need it to be true so they can keep avoiding their feelings about themselves (as shame-driven people).

If people have a HEALTHY relationship with themselves and their emotional ‘stuff’ then they aren’t DRIVEN by shame (etc.) but instead live in a way that lets them keep going more deeply into the TRUTH about themselves, the world, and reality and DISSOLVING their shame.

These people are easy to spot because they are not RIGID about their belief systems and are ready to grow and keep evolving (though they may still have CONVICTION about their values, intentions, and principles).

Ultimately, this is the difference between being OPEN or being CLOSED – if you’re open, then you’re willing to let the truth in and change your opinions so you can grow and evolve; if you’re closed, then you’re unwilling to let the truth in and simply want to stay the ‘same’ (for the reasons we talked about).

People Need Stories to Give Themselves Hope.

When it comes to certain situations or expectations about the future, people – especially shame-driven ones – will believe what they want to see, not the actual truth about life.

Again, this comes back to their relationship with themselves because their underlying ‘stuff’ affects the things that they think they want or need from life.

If somebody feels ‘bad’ about themselves, for example, they might think that what they need is a relationship with somebody (just an example). This will affect both their PERCEPTIONS and INTERPRTATIONS of what’s in front of them.

A simple example of this is unrequited or one-sided ‘love’:

Sometimes, if somebody is particularly lonely, desperate, or feels that they can’t love themselves they will perceive themselves as being ‘in love’ with somebody and also perceive that somebody else as being in love with them too (even when they’re not).

A similar example is when somebody is horny and they have a crush on somebody (who in this example isn’t interested in them in return) and so they start to look for ‘signs’ that the other person is interested too.

In both of these cases, the person in question has a NEED that’s driven by their emotional or physical relationship with themselves and they WANT the truth to be a certain way.

When they fall into this cycle they start telling themselves a story about how the other person (in this hypothetical example) feels the exact same way… It’s not because the other person actually does feel the same way but because the person telling themselves the story wants reality to be that way.

Other examples of people WANTING to believe bullshit stories like this often revolve around avoiding reality in the form of HARD WORK:

The short version of this is that when people set themselves ‘difficult’ goals they often start to become disillusioned by all of the hard work involved and so they start to believe in ‘MAGIC BULLETS’ that can take them out of the law of cause and effect and get them IMMEDIATE RESULTS (i.e. results that don’t involve work).

If you look around you’ll see this stuff everywhere:

-Business gurus online selling people a SHORTCUT to getting million dollar clients overnight.

-Weight loss products that will help you lose weight FAST with minimum EFFORT.

-Astrology reports (or whatever) that will give you all the answers you need RIGHT NOW.

There are a million different variations of these kinds of thing but the reason there’s so many isn’t because they actually get results or have anything to do with the TRUTH but because people WANT TO BELIEVE in these products to tell themselves the story that they don’t have to do the work required to get actual results (and so they buy these products and send themselves on a wild goose chase that just makes things worse in the long-run).

Finally, another example of where this ‘story’ thing shows up is when people are giving you advice:

Almost always – especially with unwarranted advice, at least – they aren’t telling you anything about the actual TRUTH but they’re telling you how they want to see the world.

If you’re trying to do something ambitious, for example, and somebody gives you the ‘advice’ that it can’t be done they’re not advising you but telling you how they WANT it to be. Probably if you dig into their past it’ll be because they already gave up on their ambitions and have some shame around it.

I could write about this all day but what I want you to get from this is that most of the stated beliefs out in the world aren’t the truth but a RESPONSE to it. That response is always motivated by some emotional ‘stuff’ and if you want to stay TRUE TO YOURSELF you need to know this so you can check yourself and others.

What To Do: Stay TRUE.

The only way not to fall into the BELIEF TRAP is to remember that beliefs are just beliefs but the truth is the truth.

There’s a quote by the physicist David Bohm that I’ve been throwing around for years:

“Your opinions are something that you have, not something that you are.”

We need to become familiar with this idea if we want to keep growing and evolving beyond  the limitations of our identities and the belief systems that we have CHOSEN because of them.

This starts by learning to understand how beliefs are formed in the first place, how they’re distinct from THE TRUTH, and how we identify with things because of our own emotional ‘stuff’ in order to keep telling ourselves certain stories.

If you want to move forward with some of this stuff then keep TESTING your beliefs.

Ask yourself questions; make sure you know how you reached certain conclusions. More importantly, be open to CHANGING YOUR BELIEFS because if you’re so convinced that they don’t need to change then you’re just keeping yourself from the thing that you actually want: THE TRUTH.


If this story inspired or helped you then please share it with others! 🙂

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