Guide Illusive Secrets: Discovering the Power of Self-Honesty

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Thank you for reading. Thanks for your thoughtful response here.

James Patrick McDonald LIMC

And I do believe the context you describe about perception now that I understand what you mean is powerful. Having said that, I seek your advice for a CEO that uses this, "perception is reality" as a defense from not wanting to accept what can be best be ascertained as the the truth.

This "the truth is relative" view seems to be growing among the CEOs I encounter. Perhaps they are trying to emulate Steve Jobs supposed reality distortion field. I just don't know. There is subjective truth and relative truth. Chocolate is better than strawberry, is a subjective truth. Insulin is better than ice cream to treat diabetes is a objective truth.

Truth does have a definition and I subscribe to the correlation definition. Knowing Jesus and the truth that he asserts is confirmed in reality as we experience it. We are slaves to sin. This is why we ALL feel poorly, self image, etc. We all know we are sinners about to be found out and will be judged by the one who put this conscience in us. Not something we made up or are taught.


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Receiving Devine forgiveness through Jesus' work on the cross is how you "feel better" about yourself, because you are free from the power of sin when he gives you power over sin from the inside by grace through faith. Anything else that makes you feel better about your sin is not truth, but a lie. Read Jesus' words in context. Become his apprentice or continue to remain lost. Infinitely valuable, but still, lost. Happiness is achieved by living a moral life, which includes sacrafice and suffering.

Your perception of the topic is right there. If not, give it a chance. I am 67 and have recently been diagnosed with vascular dementia. I have approximately half of the brain I once had. For years I have known what it is like to be the elephant in the room and no-one wants to tell you. MRI pictures dont lie. That is my definition of truth. When I was informed of the truth about my condition I felt the happiest I have felt in years.

I no longer had to impose upon eminent people anymore. The truth is what it is. Perhaps a better word for it is reality. The truth can be invested in an MRI image, the state of ones bank account. You are bankrupt or not or other things that don't change. Truth is essentially a constant or in fact, " the Elephant in the Room".

The truth of this blog for me is that the blog and responses are all blanket statements. I feel the statement " the truth will set you free" is more about the human condition and about finding comfort within the self through an exploration of personal responses to memories. It is about an unravelling of differing ways of reflecting upon incidents in the seeking of intrinsic honesty within the self as opposed to honesty within the extrinsic expressions of the story. In my mind, the truth will set you free means seeking truth within the self despite any social or economic stories or practices of cultural norms.

If an individual can be completely honest with themselves, about their true motivations and intentions, then despite outward shows of behaviour, the freedom will be the ability to move on to the next stage of exploration,which might a seeking of mediating the conflicts between what is felt and what is actioned. However, there are many levels of truth seeking in many surface disciplines of human endeavour. A social activist may use this term to provoke enquiry into social justice.

A lawyer may use this term to facilitate a process of justice. An accountant may use this term to describe the benefits of integrity and a psychologist may use this term to help describe the change benefits of psychotherapy. In my mind the truth is in my mind because of the potential for it to become an ambiguity once it is translated into language and shared with others where it will become the truth of the group should the cultural norms of the group agree with it.

You have a great mind Christyne, I agree with you whole heartedly. That Christ meant to seek an inner truth, not nescesarilly outward perception of the worlds truth which is transient. Lao Tzu also said "Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. There is always absolute truth, the facts, what transpired. That can never be a perception. How you conceive the truth may be a personal perception but if you can't analyze the "facts" you can NEVER discern the truth.

Don't make a general statement that applies to most people. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the scientology 'church'. You should have used his quote. Jesus' quote is not. If something is true for me, and is not an absolute truth, it will not set me free. Likewise, Mr. Hubbard, so far, with his teachings has not set anyone free. The thrust of your article is about people's viewpoints and making life somewhat more bearable. Jesus' teachings concern THE truth, the absolute truth, and the latter will set one free.

I'd like to respond to the last few comments for my post. First, thank you for reading. Second, the point of the post, as is described in the statement above, is to allow people to step outside of their perceptions, which they far too often perceive as "truth" and understand they might not be correct. The point is to question thinking, question the stories we tell ourselves, and understand there are other, equally important stories that might be "true". This may lead to less conflict with others, less stress, and a happier existence.

The fact is, because of our nature, because of how both our brains and minds work, we cannot know the "truth". Our histories, our personal stories, affect how we perceive reality. If there is an "absolute truth" we are incapable of knowing it. Again, thank you for reading and for your comments. You certainly add another perspective to the topic.

We must define our terms. Truth for example, I prefer the correspondence definition. William Berry contradicts himself in saying that we are incapable of knowing truth. Is that true? The truth Jesus quoted is himself. If you know HIM you will be set free from idolatry. God will impute his righteousness to you and impute your sins to Jesus on the cross and you will be saved. First, thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

The contradiction in the title of the response you refer to is purposeful, sort of a Zen koan, if you will. As for the rest, I suppose it as you say at the end, "if you think I do find it interesting, however, how you begin your comment with a call to the logical, philosophical argument, then degenerate into a completely faith based position, which, by logical accounts, defies reason. Again, thanks for reading and commenting, and best with your personal truth.

Christianity is a knowledge based tradition not a faith based tradition. He is order, and reason. You cannot claim to know anything without first starting with God. Evolution cannot even get off the ground to get to self awareness or morality. This is your belief system, and although you accept it as true, I do not. I like how you capitalize fool. God is only order and reason if you believe it is. Other theories would say differently. So this is belief. But I do not wish to digress into religious debate with you.

There is no way either of us will change the other's mind, so again, I wish you the best in your truth. Not unintelligent. Truth is singular and universal. Santa Claus is not true for me or anyone. Regardless of what you say or think to be true. The question "can you know truth? It is what is real, regardless of what i want to accept. Philosophy is the best means of discovering truth. It would behove all of us to have our belief systems grounded in truth. I believe in defending your position you might be overlooking the point of the article. My writing, all of it, is geared to help people be happier, to experience more peace, which is something many philosophers have suggested is the purpose of life.

The article's focus isn't on a philosophical stand that there is no truth, though that could be argued; the point is that an individual's thinking might be wrong, that what one often takes for the truth is simply a personal perspective. It is geared at helping one step back from their thinking, which can be erroneous, and look from a different perspective, or at least suspend judgment. You are turning it into a philosophical argument about the nature of reality.

My question is what difference does it make? Can you really not admit your thinking about a relative event, your personal perspective might not be correct? If that is the case, which honestly I believe your arguments suggest, then I am sorry you feel that way and I hope you eventually find your way to a more open and accepting mind.

As I denoted in the comments, I have no trouble admitting I could be wrong. But rather than making myself feel better by ripping apart inconsequential pieces of an article, I am trying to help people be happier by offering alternative views. Or, as us psychologist types say, reframing possible distortions in thinking. Is this why they are prescribed drugs by psychiatrists , because truth does not matter? The definition that the philosophers used in happiness is the pursuit of a virtuous life. Sadly, something that ties the hands of the psychologist.

A happy life, that is a virtuous life, has meaning, that comes from a transcendent truth. It accepts suffering, and sacrifice, and are you ready for this,? The selfish person that lives for no greater thing than himself will never be happy or at peace. And nobody wants to be around this selfish person who just lives for his happiness.

If you want to help people be truly happy and at peace, give them the truth. They need meaning and purpose. If you admit that you could be wrong, then why would i listen to you? The problem psychology has is that it has no model for normal. Adam and Eve were perfect. It went and is still going downhill from there. Take an objective look at how they were and how if we could actually live the ten commandments make our relationships with ourselves, others, and God better. You know there is a God and he has given us the instruction manual.

The bible used to be a main text book for aspiring psychologists. This is because it is THE authority on the soul. Perhaps you could do a google search or study on what the bible has to say on the wellness of the soul. You wold be surprised at how much truth psychology has discovered to be in the bible. The more you write, the more you prove my point. You have a preconceived idea of who I am, you argue against that, you argue your perception, and you believe it to be true. But the whole time you are just doing exactly what I advocate against, implicitly trusting your thinking, your beliefs, and creating distance between you and others.

Thank you for providing the live example to what I am proposing. As I tried to say months ago, you and I will not see this similarly, and with my point being so eloquently made by you I see no need to continue the dialogue. Thank you again. You again contradict yourself.

Are you not implicitly trusting your thinking and beliefs by what you are espousing? Only you add a question mark after it. We all have to implicitly trust in and rely on our beliefs and thinking to function. And news flash! No matter what you think say or believe there will always be distance between others and people who disagree because of sin. I would prefer to know, confirm, and live, than to constantly being my own skeptic. Of course I have an idea about who you are. But is is not preconceived. It is based on your statements. And yes my perception of them. So long as they are confirmed to be true, then I can make any judgement I want, whether you like it or creates more or less distance between us.

I may want more distance, between us not happiness or peace. You may be Hitler or the like. Neville Chamberline. Do you really believe the antidote to impossibility of absolute knowing is solipsism? Becouse the statement "perception is reality" is in fact a pretty good definition of solipsism.

It basically removes whole area of intersubjectivity and put's one at the center of the Universe. Have been there, to this New Agey stuff and I don't recommend it as a way to enjoy one's own mental wellness. Not for everybody for sure. Your definition of faith is flawed. The biblical definition is the same you use when you follow your doctor's orders who you have no idea what or how he learned it. Not some silly baseless wishing or hoping. We all exercise this kind of faith everyday. Well, at least there is a benefit to thinking I may not be right.

It prompts us to seek the truth. Even once the truth is found it should be examined regularly as we have strong tendency to twist it for our comfort. To say absolute truth can not be found really saddens me. According to the article's argument, it is pointless to argue against my disappointment. In life, we need convictions. Yes, our convictions may not be true. In that case the faster we discover that we were wrong the better. Still, not having any convictions, right or wrong, seem If someone thinks I am wrong, I would like to hear why they think that way. I may be convinced that I was wrong which is good if I was indeed wrong or there is a better way.

Or, I may not be convinced and hold to my convictions. Having open mind is important as it serves to examine our truth, but believing that there is no truth does not do any good for me as it devoid any meaning to what I do believe to be true. I rather be told that I am wrong than hear that we are all right or we are all wrong.

Wait a minute, is that we are neither right or wrong? Anyways, something in me tells me that can't be right. Sounds like an easy way out than a solution. People have different perspectives and different ways of thinking. I love that we are different. Still, to say that there is no truth because we are different seem You can be wrong, right? There is no point in trying to convince me to see your way, right? Happier if we all admit that there is no absolute truth.

Another quote might be, ignorance is a bliss. Reality can be really rude in correcting our false beliefs. Gravity is no respector of persons. If you try driving down main street doing 70mph you will learn another truth. The judge somehow knows the same absolute truth. All glory goes to God. He gave me a powerful mind and enlightenment in that He is the author and meaning of life as well as reason and order, so that I am able to know Him.

From what vantage point can anyone possibly claim to perceive absolute truth? Everything we think and know is filtered through the human body and brain other species perceive and "know" things that we can't due to our sensory limitations , and is imperfect and incomplete. So-called objective truth so commonly turns out to be wrong that it's hilarious to me that anyone claims to understand what things are or how things work. We very often hear, "we used to believe that It's belief.

“We do not see the world as it is. We see the world as we are.”

Always has been and always will be. There is nothing else. You sir, have become irrelevant, because anything you say, you have already admitted, you could be wrong. Really this is logic Happiness is a byproduct of a virtuous life. Which includes suffering, sacrifice, and self denial. This is what the framers of the constitution and the Declaration of Independence meant in the pursuit of happiness. We really should teach this again in school. It's an oldie but a goody. Whilst I am prepared to accept that I might have misunderstood what you said, I think there is a fundamental flaw to this approach.

Suppose I adopt your suggestion and consider that there might be other truths; I stand back from the situation and look at it from the other person's point of view; I become less focused on me and try to be more open to other ideas. I go on holiday for two weeks and while I'm away my mom takes my year magazine collection and dumps it in the trash. I come back from my holiday and notice how bare the bookshelves are but my mom denies there ever was a magazine collection. I am now this Zen Buddhist master you postulate so I accommodate her reality and we move on.

Can you just run by me once again how accommodating other truths is supposed to make me happier? If you read the article and watch the Kathryn Schulz video linked in the article I believe it will clear some things up for you. There are also books written about how people are less happy because they believe their distorted point of view. I get your argument that there is an accepted truth we agree on. The article's point is that often what people believe to be true, what they are convinced is reality, the stories they tell themselves, aren't.

They'd benefit from stepping out of themselves, questioning their thinking, and looking at alternative points of view. The article doesn't suggest that you are always wrong, and that obvious reality such as all personal belongings missing should be denied.


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  • It suggests when in a disagreement, you question your perception of the situation. Hope this clears it up. You said, "I get your argument that there is an accepted truth we agree on," but that isn't my point at all.

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    The point is that if I am the only person in the group who is open to the possibility of other truths, then we either fight each other or I accept their truth, or accede to their wishes, or just give up. There never comes a point when the other person sees things my way, or accepts that I might be right, or concedes they might be wrong.

    It is always me that gets his views and opinions stomped on, or ignored, or brushed aside. I have to do what they want the way they want it done. I speak from first hand experience, this does not lead to happiness, it leads to utter misery, total isolation and deep despair. The point of the article is less isolation.

    I suppose in an extreme case, where this happened often and repeatedly and only one was open to other possibilities, then yes, that could be miserable. But that certainly isn't the point or hope of the article. Too often people isolate themselves by believing they are right, and refusing to see other possibilities.

    As such the article might help, might tone down the arrogance of their position. If I were repeatedly the only one to question my thinking and work at seeing another's perspective, than I wouldn't remain in the relationship. I would not keep company with such close minded and arrogant individuals who simply pontificate about their correctness and want me to acquiesce to their perspective.

    The hope of the article is that more people will question their perceptions, not that a select few will and will allow others to run amok over them. Thank you for reading and for your comments. He realized this release from suffering through his ongoing practice of honesty, spirituality, deep self-awareness, and an openness to guidance from powers beyond his comprehension.

    A profound awakening process began for Jim in the early s and today his developing practice of suspending judgment is key to Jim's rediscovery of inner peace. To learn more about Jim and his work, visit his website: www. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD 9. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview In Illusive Secrets: Discovering the Power of Self-Honesty, McDonald demonstrates the power self-honesty has to change our lives, and he asks with tender compassion if we have the willingness to meet our true selves. Product Details About the Author.

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