Truth is Meaningless?

We each create meaning and truth in our own minds. People talk about living “their truth.” Are there varying degrees of truth, or is truth absolute? I am coming to accept that truth is entirely subjective, and depends on what you believe about life, about yourself, and about others. Unfortunately, this leaves me adrift in a meaningless world.

Now I find myself in existential crisis, on a cliff before a void of chaotic meaninglessness. If there is no truth, and if there is no meaning outside of the meaning I create in my mind, then what is the point of it all? What is reality?

My thought is me ~Jean Paul Sartre

I think, therefore I am ~ Rene Descartes

I exist as I am ~ Walt Whitman

It doesn’t matter. What matters is what we believe reality is. I give everything in my reality all the meaning it has for me. You do the same for yourself because what we believe is what shapes our lives: every thought, every feeling, every action.

Yes, water is wet. Yes, fire burns. I’m not saying facts don’t exist. However, facts and data can be skewed and interpreted to suit any agenda, any belief system. The meanings we assign to things are designed to reinforce our beliefs. What we believe truly defines our reality.

4 Ways Your Beliefs Create Reality

  • How you feel
  • How you behave
  • Which people and situations you attract or become attracted to
  • What meanings you assign to what happens

Reality really is what you make of it. Perhaps, after all, that is the point. Our experience of truth and meaning is a mental sleight of hand that helps anchor us, and bring order to a chaotic existence.

There is no truth, but you create truth. There is no meaning, but you create meaning. Your core essence is energy having a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual experience.

“Reality” is Processed Through 3 (or is it 4) Filters

  • Deletion
  • Distortion
  • Generalization

These filters are generally agreed upon by phycologists, and to them I would add “personalization” as a fourth filter.

  • Personalization

These processes interpret incoming information, and assign to these external events all meaning, truth and reality. Filtering mechanisms are not a bad thing.

Without filters, we would quickly be overwhelmed by the volume of sensory input we receive throughout an average day. In fact, mental filters are insanely useful because once you recognize your mental filters, you can use them consciously to reach a particular result you want. First, you must understand your filters.

Personalization

Personalization is a natural way to relate to the world. We relate external events to ourselves. This is a natural process that helps us find our place in relation to the world at large.

However, personalization can easily become destructive. Have you ever seen people talking and imagined they were talking about you? Have you ever had a partner or a friend listen to a song, and then imagined that their song choice was some sort of statement about your relationship?

We have a tendency to imagine external events somehow are about us, or reflect our value in some way. This is a sign of deeply held insecurities that should probably be addressed.

News flash: the world doesn’t revolve around you. Because humans are meaning making machines, we often look for, or assign, meaning where it doesn’t belong. Be wary of this tendency, and don’t automatically assume the worst.

Deletion

​Moment by moment, there’s too much information coming at you for you to notice all of it. Therefore, you simply delete some of it.

Your filters determine which stuff you keep, and which stuff you disregard. This deletion process happens so automatically that you don’t even notice it. We tend to delete whatever does not agree with our current beliefs or values. This is one way our minds make whatever we believe appear, to us at least, to be truth.

Distortion

​The filters in our minds also distort incoming information in order to verify what we already believe and value. This filter reinforces what we’ve already decided is true. This distortion might be adding something that isn’t actually there, or changing it to look like something we recognize.

Reality is not objective. When you experience an event that doesn’t mesh with your truth as defined by your values and beliefs, you’ll either leave out some of the evidence, or add something to it so that what’s happening agrees with your belief.

Generalization

The last filter I want to discuss is generalization. Generalization can be either positive or negative.

For example, when you were a child, you learned to tie your shoes. You don’t need to relearn shoe-tying when you buy new laces or shoes, or when you want to tie a ribbon on a gift instead of a bow on your shoes. You’ve learned a process, and that process is generalized to all similar situations. This type of generalization is a useful shortcut for your brain.

Generalizations are bad when they stop us from seeing differences that make something unique, and assume that it’s exactly the same as something else. When I think of bad generalizations, I immediately think of all the “isms” like racism or sexism etc. However, generalizations also go beyond the “isms.”

For example, I’ve been known to say that pop music sucks. I assumed all pop music was bad. (3 sentences repeated over and over, to me, is not compelling songwriting.) However, as a friend once reminded me, “just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it sucks.” There are pop music songs I do like, so it doesn’t all suck.

Bad generalizations can be found in most limiting beliefs. People may not be aware of all the generalizations they make.

When you hear words like all, never, always, no one, everyone, and nothing, you might start looking for generalizations. For example: “All employers will take advantage of me.” “I never get a fair deal.” “Bad stuff always happens to me.” “No one cares.” “Everyone hates me.” “Nothing ever works out for me.”

When your filters personalize, delete, distort, and generalize the input, what you perceive is not what initially came through your senses. The filtered version may or may not serve you.

Do Not Look For Truth in Your Beliefs

​Beliefs are things you hold to be true. These beliefs tell you who you are in relation to the rest of the world.

Every deeply held belief is true to the person who believes it. Regardless of what you believe, through your mental filters, you will find a way to create consistency between your life and your beliefs. You do whatever it takes to make your beliefs true, and so do I.

Since everything is true to the person who believes it, evaluating beliefs based on whether they are true or false is not helpful. Instead, evaluate beliefs based on whether or not they are resourceful, as in, do they create the desired results and experience of life?

Your beliefs, in combination with other aspects of your internal map of reality, create the actions, results, circumstances, and experiences of your life. You develop beliefs based on early life interactions and experiences, especially with your primary caregivers. Significant negative emotional experiences create beliefs that are not resourceful, and cause us to focus on what we do not want.

The mind takes whatever you focus on as an instruction to create something. To get what you want, you have to focus on what you want, and have beliefs that help the mind to create that result.

How To Create Resourceful Beliefs

The first step in the process of replacing unresourceful beliefs with conscious, resourceful beliefs is to discover what your core beliefs are. The most effective way to determine your core beliefs is to examine the results you are getting.

The most effective way to replace beliefs that do not serve you with those that do is to observe how beliefs creates results in your life. This watching process causes whatever is not resourceful for you to fall away and whatever is resourceful to remain. Once you have watched the creative process with awareness and have seen an unresourceful belief fall away, you are more likely to consciously choose a more resourceful belief that creates the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical results and outcomes you want.

Another way to create resourceful beliefs, is to chunk backwards. What result do you want? What do people who achieve the result you want believe about themselves or the world? Adopt those beliefs through affirmations and creative visualizations. Act as if that belief is and was always true for you.

When you visualize, remember to add movement, and colour, and sound. Get right into it, so that you visualize first hand what it’s like to live life with your resourceful beliefs. Doing this regularly for a minimum of 21 days will help you replace less resourceful beliefs with more resourceful beliefs.

Why Create Resourceful Beliefs

As long as you continue to hold the same beliefs, you’ll continue to get the same results. There’s no way to continue to hold the same beliefs, and get different results. You need to create resourceful beliefs to be effective in achieving your goals.

If you have unresourceful beliefs, you will sabotage your own efforts. A cycle of self-sabotage is demotivating, but it serves a purpose: it creates consistency between your results and your beliefs. If you are self-sabotaging, then I urge you to examine your limiting beliefs.

To install a new belief, focus on it as often as possible, and in every way you can think of. Changing core beliefs can happen in the blink of an eye, but it usually takes time to complete the process. Take it one step and one day at a time, and let the pace of your progress be okay.

Truth Is Meaningless

Unfortunately, true or false judgements are useless. Our brains will literally skew our perception of reality so that whatever we believe appears, at least to us, to be 100% true, all the time. Rather than asking if your beliefs are true, try asking if they are resourceful.  If they are not resourceful, create  more resourceful beliefs for yourself. You will find your reality much improved. When you ask the right question, you get a more helpful answer.

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