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  • Foto del escritorKaren Ness

Your Truth My Truth

My space, your space, your space my space! My truth, your truth, your truth my truth… What’s wrong with that? Right, wrong, wrong right, just as much a part of my truth your truth, your truth my truth. What happens when we cannot agree on anything? It is perpetual conflict, forever war, outside, inside, inside outside.

Conflict, war, is not just external, with others. With others, we can get mad, get even, turn the other cheek, or keep our distance when conflict arises because we don’t agree or because their beliefs become harmful behavior. The choice, though, is always internal. The conscious choice is made by the rational mind.

Our rational mind can invent any scenario we want it to invent. That is its job: What if…? Look at the facts and consider the values and then make one or more plans. Choose among the best alternative scenarios. Life, death, pleasure, misery, truth, lies, knowledge, ignorance are some of the values the rational mind weighs and prioritizes. It can then enlighten and even override the control of the unconscious over the body.

The problem with the rational mind is that it has a limited capacity for processing information. It only works in a linear fashion. Also, facts and values can conflict with each other and, so, since the tools and methods available to it for ascertaining the truth are not always available or are costly or painful to attain, it tends to choose the scenarios with the most pleasant prospects.

The unconscious is different from the rational mind. It works holistically, not linearly. It sees the big picture and contradictions to that representation of reality; it never loses sight of survival and the other really important factors necessary to make a decision.

The most common way that the unconscious signals a mismatch between the partial view of the rational mind and the representation of the holistic mind is through pain and cognitive dissonance. The rational mind has devised ways of dulling the pain and discomfort of cognitive dissonance, since there are circumstances under which it must override it. It’s not a problem if the dulling is only occasional, but when it becomes habitual, the harm that is caused to the body, brain, or accurate representation of reality becomes irreversible.

Chronic cognitive dissonance in the brain, like any chronic malfunction in other parts of the body, causes its own damage to neurons and their connectivity. Enough damage could, theoretically, cause the uncontrolled chain reaction of cell replacement typical of cancers.

But then again, this could be a false scenario, or in post-modern parlance, narrative, that my rational mind has generated to justify my utter refusal to have anything to do with a person who plays the “my truth your truth” game, in order to keep myself safe. Simple fear of getting hurt and ignorance of how to reach a person who I cannot reason with because we do not agree that there is a Truth might be a simpler explanation. A Truth that I cannot attain might be even simpler, fewer variables. Who knows? My head hurts…Good night!

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