The Holy Grail of Personal Growth
We all have a foot in two worlds. Two realities. There is the internal world, the one which exists only between your ears. Your conscious mind. Your soul. Your being. You, and only you, decide what gets in, what stays, and what goes. In the internal world you are all powerful, writing all the rules, directing all your actions. For all practical purposes, King of your own castle.
The external world is a completely different beast. It includes everything outside your castle, what most people would refer to as “the real world”. Unlike our internal reality, where only you have access, the external world is shared with others, most of whom do not have your interests at heart. In fact, some of the more nefarious ones are constantly looking for ways to breach your castle walls - but that is a blog for another day.
Connecting these two worlds, and allowing for seamless movement between them, is our senses (sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste). In effect, they are the drawbridges, providing a pathway for our internal conscious mind to form perceptions about the external world. Perceptions come in two kinds: what you know, and what you feel. To be even more specific, facts and beliefs.
One of the largest sources of depression in this country is people’s inability to reconcile the two worlds. When you get right down to it, we are all tasked with the burden of having to serve two masters, the one between our ears and the external world. In all fairness, this is no easy task.
The psychologically healthy reconcile the two worlds by questioning everything - including authority, the prevailing conventional wisdom, and most importantly, our own beliefs. Only by looking inward and tending to the very foundation of our castle, namely our belief structure, can we grow as human beings. Ridding our internal worlds of misperception, bias, group think, and other questionable beliefs requires extreme vigilance. Neglect this task, and you are likely to join the 90+ million Americans who spend their sleepless nights clutching half eaten jars of Prozac.
The sane folks among us, in perfectly logical manner, look outside their castle walls and see the external world as it is. We then mold an internal belief system specifically tailored to fit into the external world we see. In short, we are beholden to the reality of what is.
The less sane folks among us, beholden to the fantasy of what should be, form their internal belief system first, and then set out to mold the external world into fitting their beliefs. That is both the epitome of arrogance, and the root source of most depression.
Making matters worse, many of these folks go through life as though their beliefs are fact. When external reality presents evidence contradicting their beliefs, their ego gets pinged, and the drawbridges go up. No new information will be allowed. They might hear what you say, or look where you are pointing - but they won't listen and they won't see.
These people are easy to spot. They will NEVER engage in a discussion of facts, because their faux beliefs can not withstand scrutiny. So they retreat to the safety of their castle, and name call, always attacking the messenger, but never the message. Examples include: Dr. Malone is fringe, Joe Rogan is racist, RFK is anti-vax, and in keeping with the theme - your father smelled of elderberries.
Worse yet, many of these deranged people end up in positions of power. They then take those false beliefs into our shared external world, and impose them without regard to practicality, cost, or consequence. Socialism, wind farms, covid vaccines, the war on drugs, are just a few examples of their specious beliefs in action. Not only are all of these things colossal failures, but they only exist due to the hubris of people too dim witted, and too stubborn, to undergo the rigorous psychological task of questioning their belief structure. They much prefer to spend their time around a herd of the like minded, chasing hits of dopamine by validating each others misguided beliefs. Massage my confirmation bias, and I will massage yours.
Bagholder is of the opinion most of you 90+ million on anti-depressants could rejoin humanity tomorrow without the meds. All that is required is for you to quit trying to change the world. Recognize you are king of your castle, and as such, your beliefs do NOT define you, but rather you define your beliefs. Holed up in your internal castle, with the bridges up, traipsing through the real world as though your beliefs are fact, is the well trodden path to the Prozac jar. If it is the the path to personal growth you want, start by questioning your own beliefs.
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