Originally Posted by mercuryrising
That was a great post Bob. Kudos, man. Very useful to an irrationalist like myself.
Tonight at work, I was thinking about why I don't do the things I say I'm going to do or I think I should do. And generally, it because I fall into one of the reasons that you mentioned. The last one I find particularly insidious.
Do you think these go in stages? Like does 3 lead to 4?
I'm glad the post was helpful to you.
I didn't number them because they are a sequence. They are really bullet points. I think they feed each other but I don't see a hard and fast progression.
My biggest problem historically has been #4 also. I don't know if it was best for me to say it was related to #3. It's not causally related, at least not strongly; it's just that both involve ignoring negative information to sustain an illusion. The difference is the illusion. For #3 it's the illusion that suffering is desirable and necessary as opposed to simply being the consequences of beliefs that are untrue or ill-suited to you. For #4 it's the insistence that things must be or go a certain way -- basically, adhering to a bogus cause and effect chain.
The problem with letting go of your pet cause and effect beliefs is that it usually involves the death of a dream or assumption that you're terribly fond of -- to the point where you actually have to do some grief processing because letting go of the dream is a huge short-term loss. As an example, having been raised in "fundie" Christianity, one of my false expectations was that my faith was the correct answer to all of life's challenges and problems and therefore since I had this knowledge, things would basically go well for me. This caused me to reject the painful lessons life was trying to teach me, dooming me to repeat them over and over. But to stop doing that I had to let go of the certitude and security provided by my faith -- and let's be honest, I had to let go of the ego gratification of knowing it all. Smug little bastard that I was, I did not want to be taken down a few pegs!