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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %TRAGIC MIS-BELIEFS LEAD ADDICTIVE DISINTEGRATION 900505 Our beliefs are the assumptions, attitudes, convictions, perceptions, etc. which we regard as so reliable that we do not question them and act upon them as true. Mis-beliefs are mis-leading beliefs infect us as do bacteria and viruses, and undermine the integrity of our most intimate thoughts, self-talk and dialogue. Like viruses and bacteria our mis-beliefs are usually invisible. Viruses and bacteria are usually invisible because they are so small that human eyes need magnification assistance to see them and their structure. Mis-beliefs are usually invisible because they are parts of collusive games of mutual self deception, and lead to the confusion which is characteristic of relationships between and among addicts and codependents. To clearly perceive mis-beliefs requires a process similar to visual magnification to render them and their structure visible. So long as our mis-beliefs are invisible and infecting our most intimate thoughts, self-talk and dialogue so long we cannot enjoy real personal health or really healthy personal relationships of any kind. Many mis-beliefs are intimately inter-related to each other in ways which relate to dishonest self-perception. Through the infectious processes of our mis-beliefs we do not honestly perceive ourselves or our relationships, and approach them under false impressions. Many human relationships are conceived in ways which are mis-led by our mis-belief that we as persons are fundamentally independent of each other; i.e., that we are NOT essentially inter-dependent in any meaningful way. So long as we are mis-led by such mis-beliefs we cannot enjoy fundamentally open and honest relationships with each other. To enjoy authentic relationships we must become aware of the ways in which such mis-beliefs mislead us; and openly perceive their consequences and acknowledge their sources. So long as we mis-believe that we are NOT essentially inter-dependent in any meaningful way, we approach each other falsely in ways which undermine the possibility of meaningful and satisfying inter-relationships. Mis- beliefs about the level of our inter-dependence naturally undermine our most intimate dialogue; beginning with our dialogue with ourself, our self-talk, and carrying over into our most intimate personal relationships with our friends and lovers. All meaningfully open and honest intimate relationships involve various forms of acknowledgement of the essential ways in which healthy people are intimately inter-related with each other, and with all other living creatures. When natural forms of such acknowledgement are absent from intimate relationships, there is a process of disintegration in the relationships. When the process of integration is effective, more and more natural forms of such acknowledgement of interdependence develop in intimate relationships. The process of personal and communal integration involves participants in many ways in identifying the consequences of their mis-beliefs, and in recognizing how those consequences flow from mis-beliefs which have previously been treated as truths beyond question and examination. Usually we attribute the consequences of our mis- beliefs to circumstances in our environment. We blame other people, bad luck, fate, etc. Such projections of fault are part of the confusion generated by our mis- beliefs. Unless we raise questions about our role in our own sufferings and examine carefully how our attitudes, assumptions, and false convictions might play a role in generating our own sufferings---we are hopelessly trapped by our own tragic misbeliefs. We are led into tragedies by our mis-beliefs. Tragedies are not due to technical errors or due to our failures to perfectly do what we believe we should do. Tragedies are due to mis-beliefs which mislead us; due to the ideals and values which we regard with excessive confidence. There are no technical procedures by which we can avoid tragedies. To minimize tragedies we must uncover the mis-beliefs which are kept hidden by our collusions. To discover and clearly see our mis-beliefs and their tragic consequences we need each other's help. In the absence of intimate dialogue with people who are the victims of mis-beliefs which are different from our own, we are unaware of the contrasts which might reveal to us the presence of our mis-beliefs. We are all victims of our own kinds of mis-beliefs and only as we engage in open and honest dialogue with different people can we discover them. We are essentially inter-dependent in our need for honest dialogue with each other to discover and cope with our mis-beliefs. Often people regard themselves as better than others who believe differently; and avoid dialogue with those who are so foolish as to believe differently. Such people cut themselves off from others, and become alienated in ways which make it impossible for them to learn from people who have different mis-beliefs. They become miserably self- righteous and unable to learn from the mistakes which they repeat over and over in tragic ways because of their own unexamined mis-beliefs. They are unwilling to own their own mistakes, and unwilling to learn from the consequences of their own mistakes; choosing instead to blame others. Often we are mislead by the mis-belief that we cannot enjoy security in the absence of control of our environment. We mis-believe that it is possible for us to achieve security through the control of our environment; and so through the control of other persons. Our mis- beliefs confuse us as to what kinds of relationships are desirable, and confuse us as to how to go about enjoying relationships which are meaningful and satisfying. Our mis-beliefs lead us into fixations upon techniques by which we mis-believe we can fix ourselves and our meaningless and unsatisfying relationships with ourselves, others and our environment. We seek to achieve what we think we want through fixes, technological manipulations of self and other through various addictive behaviors. Our mis-beliefs tragically lead us to seek technological control as the means to salvation from all that troubles us. Due to our mis-beliefs we are confused and cannot perceive the sources of our suffering; and we blame it all on factors outside ourselves. In truth the mis-beliefs infect our most intimate thoughts, attitudes and self-talk in ways which we need to try to discover. If we do not try to discover our mis-beliefs there is virtually nothing which others can do to help us. We are essentially interdependent upon each other, but we are not totally dependent upon others. Others cannot do for us what only we can do for ourselves. One of our mis-beliefs is that others can do for us what only we can do for ourselves. Too often we (through mis-beliefs) act as if we can do nothing for ourself; as if we cannot take good care of ourself, or should not take good care of our self. If we are unwilling to admit that we might be victims of our own mis-beliefs, and are unwilling to seek to discover what our mis-beliefs are; then others cannot reach us, and cannot do our job of recognizing our mis-beliefs. To escape from the prisons of our collusions and our mis-beliefs we must be willing to admit that we might be wrong, that we might have made some mistakes of proportions greater than we have been willing to imagine. Our most basic assumptions, attitudes and convictions can all be dishonest and tragically misleading. We lock ourselves in our own prisons if we refuse to admit to this truth. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================