Thanks for this stimulating post....
I was intrigued by the premise of your post, entitled "Intentional self-delusion", and the Wikipedia explanation which seems to support Affirmations as the "Illusory Truth Effect". What struck me about the overall "illusory truth effect" is that the outcomes (i.e. actions) of said effect is extremely dependent upon the "incomes" (i.e. thoughts") upon which the outcome is based. Writ large, (think the "advance of civilizations"), this illusory truth effect seems to be responsible for how slow that "advance" is
, wouldn't you agree?
Can there be any truer indictment of the history of mankind’s exploration and discovery of both scientific and religious Truth than to acknowledge that it is replete with examples of this or that scientist or religious prelate pontificating that this or that phenomena is impossible ???
If we understand that the words "limitations" and "grasp" are simply metaphors for "beliefs", then it becomes transparently obvious that transcending "limitations" and exceeding "grasp" is really an exercise in PERCEIVING REALITY IN ITS TRUE DIMENSIONS.....AND APPLYING THE UNDERSTANDING THEREFROM ACCORDINGLY.
The "belief" in limitation must then be seen to be SELF-IMPOSED, and if self-imposed....IT MUST BE SELF-REMOVED !!
Although I didn't read the entirety of the footnotes and supporting articles attached to the Wikipedia article you referenced, I did look for, but was very surprised to notice, that there was little notice paid to the extremely important role of the "conscious/subconscious" mind mechanism, itself,
upon which so many of these "tests" were performed.
I only ask because the "conscious/subconscious mind mechanism" is the VERY MEANS by which we inculcate the "intentional self-delusion(al)" set of ideas into our children to teach them (and ourselves) "how things work around here", right? Wouldn't it be extremely important to consider that, according to equally reputable scientific studies, the subconscious cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality? (see references below).
Consider that the truth about the "reach" of our very understanding of REALITY is that each and every advancement has come about AFTER WE DISCOVERED WHAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN TRUE, AND WAITING FOR US TO DISCOVER IT....
...even when the tightly held ideas WE THOUGHT WERE TRUE were REALLY based on false information and dogma, WHICH virtually everyone believed, transmitted, and acted upon AS IF TRUE .....that is, until others, following their OWN ideas came along, who had quantifiable, repeatable, verifiable evidence based on a DIFFERENT set of ideas that turned the paradigm of established scientific or religious consensus on its head !!
Cases in point:
Do the Heavens still rotate around the Earth? Not after Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo. Are time and space separate from one another? Not after Einstein. Did you get your vaccines this year? Thanks to Pasteur you did. Is the Earth still flat? Ask Erickson, Columbus or Magellan for the answer. Do you have to study your science homework or read the scriptures of whatever faith you profess in the dark? Not after a little help from Gutenberg and Edison. You can readily see the impact of individuals with their OWN ideas helping other individuals change THEIR ideas about these things, which eventually results in the civilization changing, right?
Culture is habitual behavior of ideas as practiced by individuals, who form larger groups, and which is writ large as those groups identify themselves as parts of a civilization. As the individual’s ideas about him/her self change, so does the culture in which the individual resides, which in turn affects the groups that form the civilization. How do these ideas become part of a culture? We, as transmitters and receivers of meaning in our various languages, are taught, from childhood on, to AGREE upon the assignment of meaning. For instance the meaning of “blue”
(such as "when you see such and such a color, it is blue
). Once, while observing a “blue”
pen in a plastic holder, it had not really struck me what a hold the habitual meaning of "blue"
had on my thinking. Not only did I realize that "blue"
is simply a concept taught to me from childhood on, and re-taught every time I see "blue"
, but I realized that the framework of assigned concepts I call my world view is similarly reengergized every waking moment. I learned in that short moment, that the concept of "blue"
does not apply to the reality of the pen's existence just because I habitually recite the NAME I've been taught for one of its attributes. But I realized that's HOW CULTURE IS LEARNED
THIS is how cultural values shape sensory experience.....
Idea by idea. Individual by individual.
So what is the cure for the disease of "intentional self-delusion"? If you consider the idea of culture and identity carefully, the ONLY
difference among cultures and identity is in the beliefs upon they are built....period. More specifically, it is the beliefs which comprise each individual's SELF-IMAGE
that make culture and identity what they are. Now if the culture is based on intentional self delusion, as unequivocally demonstrated in EVERY ONE OF THE CIVILIZATIONS MANKIND HAS PRODUCED, wouldn't it make sense that, instead of building civilizations upon "self-deluded" individuals....
....the individual, which is the most important part of any civilization, should be taught....and then continue to learn for him/herself
, how and where to find quantifiable, repeatable, verifiable
evidence of answers for themselves ??? Why?
....because each individual is a radical "case in point" AFFIRMATION of Truth learned, lived, and shared, DESPITE societal pressures to coerce subversive conformity to only a limited, authorized understanding of Who each of us really is.
Hope this and the references below, help further the catalyzing stimulus your post has ignited for us to consider....
The Power of Perception