Sun, 10 Dec, 2023

Reality, Delusion And The Truth We Seek

By Bimal Gaire

Photo Courtesy: Now and then we tend to ignore the simple facts and live in our own made up reality. This is the human behavior and we are not far from this practice. This can be referred to as delusion which means or illusion. Delusion is prevailed everywhere. There are two sides to this idea. It can be due to ignorance and traditional belief or due to failure in accepting the truth.

Reality is not always easy to deal with and delusion can help people to cope with the bad feelings and unhappy moments of life. The future and its uncertainty play a key role in making people delusional. These provide some comfort and strength to act on such wicked and miserable moments. Lucky charms, astrology and superstition are some of the examples of comforting delusions. The search for comfort and pleasure is a never ending process and these delusions can become a virtual reality and intrusion to truth. No matter what we do, the truth is always there. No matter how hard we try to fool ourselves, we cannot escape the reality. Eventually, it will hunt us down and we will not be in that position to defy it. Sound like a cliche, but, it is an act of hiding your head under the sand and pretending to be invisible - Ostrich algorithm.

There is a big question regarding the existence of god. People are pretty sure that the God exists. They believe in God as if they have seen God with their own eyes. People die due to diseases, natural calamities and God does nothing to save them. If god is the almighty then how can he take the lives of millions of innocent creatures. Some may argue that god has a reason behind that. And that same reason makes people believe that god has taken people with him to a beautiful place, far from this horrible place. This gives some comfort to the people and they believe in god to get comfort and to ease our pain. There is a reason for our existence. Whatever happens with us, is for good. But a bit of knowledge and reasoning ability prevents us from accepting such things as anything other than some myths. People exhibit a different phenomenon to prove the existence of god. Movement of statues, statues drinking milk, etc. sometimes we see that women start to speak in a strange tone and start acting differently. They are worshipped as god. This is simply ignoring the truth and be living in a false theory. The actual cause of these short of activities can be cleared out by psychology, but we never take that into our mind. 'People believe what they want to believe' is a fact indeed.

It all starts right from the birth of a child. Parents tell different fairy tales to their children. The world is a cruel, complicated and a painful place. This is the truth, but, they cannot tell this harsh reality to their babies. So, these children become delusional from the very start of their life.

We have been hearing about the existence of extraterrestrial beings, we now believe in them. People make different stories related to them. We often see news stories on TVs and watch different Hollywood movies related to these beings. Some people even claim to have seen them. We don't want to be alone in this universe so, we believe that there is someone out there very far from us. We want to conquer the universe with modern space ships that do not exist. But, still we have that hope of building one and travelling through space like we do here on earth. Channeling and reincarnation are quite popular among some traditional society. Not only the traditional ones even modern educated people are delusional in these matter. Talking to the dead ones gives them comfort. This is where they can be vulnerable. They are being manipulated by some smart minds whose sole purpose is taking advantage of these helpless people.

The world is changing; there have been various break troughs in the field of science and technology. With the change in time, the needs and desire of people are growing even bigger. There are many unfulfilled needs. As unfulfilled needs influence and drive the human mind, they make people delusional. It is the brain, that creates and sees objects, not the eye. So, it creates a virtual world that provides solace to the people.

And there is this thing called the placebo effect. This is the delusion of the people. If you give something to a sick person saying that it is some kind of medicine, then that sick person tends to be a bit relieved taking that thing. It is the state of mind. They choose to believe and they get what they want. Recent experiments state that, even the serious diseases get cured to some extent because of the placebo effect. Delusion may provide some sort of comfort, but, they may not be long lasting. To be honest, they are not always comforting. On a practical level, reality offers much greater comfort than myth. The comfort that we get from modern inventions depend upon our understanding the world as it is and not how we wish it to be. They may create negative impact to the person as well as to the society.

Science also has a degree of uncertainty and can offer different exceptions. There is comfort in learning various phenomena of science. In a world where there are risks and dangers, it is nice to know that medical science and technology offer ever improving odds of recovery.

Accepting reality is a very important thing and it can improve our decision making and planning capability. If we accept that natural calamities and disasters are inevitable, then we can be prepared and plan for the safest ways to avoid and minimize their harmful effects. We can also take some concrete steps to reduce their likelihood. It may seem like a good idea to shelter children and keep them from harsh realities, but making them aware about these dangers is the best way to keep them safe. Ignorance or delusion may be comforting and pleasant for a short period of time, but, can hunt us down in extremities. Its important to be able to cope with problems but its more important to be able to solve them. A good grasp of reality may ultimately be the best gift parents can give their children and the benefits may extend well into the future.

Yes, delusion may give some comfort but, we should be sensible enough to decide what is good and what is bad for us. Even in the dire state we should find the glimpse of light. Truth may hurt us, but we have to be able to live with the reality. This is the truth of life and we must accept this simple fact.