Another way we are caught in a certainty cycle is self-deception. All ideology can be a necessary illusion and when we can use a construct to justify our actions or validate a decision, we add veracity to the thesis. This doesn't make it true in the real world but can make it seem like truth in our heads. I am guilty of self-deceit. When I want an ill-conceived or poor choice to be correct, I can create a mountain of evidence that supports my choice, regardless of the outcome. The gymnastics of justification can be rigorous and require physical, emotional and intellectual flexibility. It is funny that I can muster the ability to ignore contradictions rather than muster the conviction to admit an error in judgment.


"The truth that survives is simply the lie that is pleasantest to believe."-- H. L. Mencken


We constantly convince ourselves of things that are not true. We delude ourselves about trivial stuff and earth-shattering stuff: Who we are and what is going on around us, why we did/do what we did/do, and how it will all work out. We blindly ignore the behaviour of elected officials and then rate their performance, not on how their work improves or weakens your life and the lives of our community but rather by whether we voted for them or not. “History is a set of lies agreed upon.” ~ Napoléon Bonaparte


Most of the time we lie to ourselves in order to maintain a sense of control. After all, no one likes feeling vulnerable or helpless. “People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception.” ~ James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room


All of us experience the world through various filters—most of which are designed to make life more bearable. I have come to understand that I can no longer bear the burden of someone else's truth when I only believe in it because it is easy.

That position begins with another lie that I have used to deceive myself - "life should be easy, comfortable and convenient". If that is your first principal, then all forms of collusion are needed to insist that when things are inconvenient and difficult that you are on the wrong path. In truth (that which I call truth, today), all the most important and meaningful decisions, actions and relationships in my life require hard work, persistence, and discomfort.


I am not suggesting that you never claim a position, accept a truth or draw a line in the sand. In fact, I do it every day. But at the falling of the sun and as I lay my head on my pillow, I reflect on my reasons and consider if I am using protective, manipulative,  self-delusion to help or hinder my mission.


“It is a self-deception of philosophers and moralists to imagine that they escape decadence by opposing it. That is beyond their will; and, however little they acknowledge it, one later discovers that they were among the most powerful promoters of decadence.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power