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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Why Do We Fear The Truth?

Why Do We Fear The Truth?

By Robert J. Burrowes
Information Clearing House
February 19, 2014

If we want to take appropriate action to fix something that is not
working properly, then it is necessary to understand, precisely, the
nature of the problem.

Obviously, if our diagnosis is inaccurate, then the solution applied
is unlikely to work.

This principle of needing to understand a problem accurately before
we can devise and implement an appropriate solution applies in all
fields of human endeavour, whether it be a mechanical, scientific,
health or environmental problem, or a conflict at any level of
human relationships.

The most important impediment to understanding and resolving
any problem or conflict is our fear of knowing the truth.

We spend a lot of our time trying to deal with problems and
conflicts by deluding ourselves about the cause and/or the
solution necessary.

For example, the truth is that most of us are addicted to using
violence in one or more of the following ways, among many others:

We want to reserve the right to use violence to control or
'discipline'our children, we want to pretend that our unhealthy
diet is not the cause of our ill-health if we like eating all of
those unhealthy foods, we want to be able to consume more
than we really need and pretend that the ongoing destruction of
the natural environment and the accelerating climate catastrophe
are unrelated to our own behaviour, and/or we want to buy those
cheap consumer goods made by exploited workers (and sometimes
even child labor) in those factories in Africa, Asia and Central/
South America where the largest corporations are less encumbered
by such considerations as a requirement to pay fair wages and
taxes, to address health and safety concerns, and to consider
other human rights and environmental issues.

And we want to blame other people for our conflicts if looking
ourselves deeply in the mirror might tell us something about
ourselves that we don't want to know.

But if we want to deal adequately with any problem or conflict,
first of all we need to be courageous enough to acknowledge
the truth, including any truth about ourselves.

Why is this so difficult?

Why have we become afraid of the truth?

Like all of our fears, the fears that tell us that we cannot
understand a problem and that we cannot fix it originate
in our childhood experience.

Evolution has given all human beings an enormous array
of potential capacities for knowing the truth in a diverse
variety of circumstances.

These include sensory perception such as sight, hearing, smell and
touch to provide accurate information about the external world;
feelings such as thirst, hunger, nausea, dizziness and physical pain
to provide accurate information about the state of our body and
what it needs; memory to store and provide access to learning
from past experience; a 'truth register' to detect lies and other
misinformation; intuition to 'listen' to and remain in touch with
'the big picture' of life as a whole; conscience to enable us to make
and act on those difficult moral choices that, for example, might
ultimately require us to act against social conventions or unjust
laws; more feelings such as fear, happiness, emotional pain, joy,
anger, satisfaction, sadness, sexual ones and a vast variety of
others to tell us what is happening for us in any given situation
and to give us the power to behave appropriately in this context
when the time is right; and intellect to acquire, interpret, analyze
and evaluate information from these and other sources, such as
written material.

Tragically, however much of modern socialisation seriously inhibits
or even destroys the development of these genetic potentialities,
by inflicting what I have called 'invisible' and 'utterly invisible'
violence on us throughout our childhood, because they would
make us powerful in ways that run counter to what society wants.

As a result, we each become a 'socially-constructed delusional
identity' student, employee,soldier, citizen, who is readily
manipulated and coerced by society instead of becoming the
powerful individual, our 'True Self' that evolution intended.

For most of us, one outcome of this violence is that we learn
to not trust ourselves and to fear the truth that is internally
communicated to us.

As a result, decisive action, outside that which is obviously
socially endorsed, becomes impossible.

In contrast, powerful individuals who know the truth are not
unthinkingly obedient.

Powerful individuals trust their 'inner voice', as Gandhi called it:

'You should follow your inner voice whatever the consequences'.

Despite the fact that our fear is often telling us that some
problems are monumental and there is no way forward
(which, for example, our fear might tell us in relation to
the vast environmental challenges we now face), in fact
there are sensible, straightforward solutions to virtually
all of our problems.

And while this will mean that we often need to change our own
behaviour, most of those changes will require little effort and
can be easily accomplished.

Of course, the genuinely powerful individual is able to take
responsibility for making changes that set an example and
inspire others to act too.

In contrast, if we wait for others to take the lead or if we lobby
elites to act on our behalf, we will usually find the experience
pretty disempowering, and this will reinforce our fear that
problems cannot be solved.

So, for example, if you want to take powerful action on the full
range of pressing environmental problems yourself, then you can
certainly do so.

One way is to participate in 'The Flame Tree Project to Save Life
on Earth' and to invite others to participate as well.

And if you are unafraid to know and act on the truth, that human
violence in its many manifestations now has extinction howling
outside our door, then you might also like to consider joining
the worldwide movement to end all violence by signing the online
pledge of 'The People's Charter to Create a Nonviolent World.'

The bottom line is this:

Can you still hear your inner voice?

And do you, like Gandhi, have the courage to follow it 'whatever
the consequences'?



Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding
and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since
1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and
has been a nonviolent activist since 1981 and he is the author of
'Why Violence?'

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37696.htm

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