When Beliefs Outweigh Facts

Beliefs are a personal opinion or story we make up when facts are unknown or we choose to ignore them. For instance, the belief that the earth is flat was eventually debunked once the facts became overwhelming. The disturbing trend today is why so many continue to have beliefs that ignore facts. For instance, no one can deny the fact that the planet is getting warmer every year, and it is caused by increasing CO2 and methane in the atmosphere. The science proves it, but the cynics find it only too easy to dupe large numbers of people, who are only too willing to be duped. We are increasingly living in a morass of beliefs disconnected from reality, facts, or evidence. Why is this happening?

How does our brain connect us with reality

The part of ourselves that interacts with one another and lives in the world is our body. In the last decade, using MRI technology, science now knows all new information enters the brain from the senses: what you touch, hear, see, smell, taste, and what touches you. The part of the brain that lets us reason and think came later. All information that enters the thinking part of the brain comes from the older, “sensory” self. Ideally, the two parts of the brain work in congruence as a unified whole, with neither taking precedence over the other.

How do we disconnect from reality

We evolved an ability for the conscious, thinking part of the brain to override or ignore the sensory part of the brain. This is useful if you are in shock after a traumatic injury, but it serves you less well if you habituate ignoring what you feel. The consequences of becoming chronically disconnected from what we feel is that we are free to make up any story we like to justify our behavior and actions.

Why do we disconnect from reality

In the 17th century, Rene Descartes postulated that the body is a machine controlled by the mind. It was convenient to indoctrinate the Cartesian philosophy into every institution as the world industrialized. Today, our disconnect is an existential threat to all of us as we continue to ignore the realities of our collective behaviors and actions that are destroying the ecosystem we rely on to live. Society must transition to become congruent with the science , and quickly.

How to reconnect with reality

Every sense is activated by movement. Your body, through what it feels like to move, keeps your mind connected to the reality of your world moment by moment. Becoming aware of how it feels to move is the first step toward reconnecting the mind with the body to become a seamless, unified whole. My new book called Getting Smarter – It’s Not What You Think is a practical guide that shows you the way.

When your mind and body are congruent you feel the consequences of your behaviors and actions. Your mind, connected to the here and now through your body, functions in full awareness of that which is outside of you, and you are less inclined to deny reality. Learning through how you move enhances and restores compassion, empathy, and the moral compass you were born with so that reality, facts, and evidence once again balance out beliefs.

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