“The more intense the emotion, the more we feel justified in imposing our feelings, even if we generate those feelings through fiction. Christians burned people before the public eye believing they were witches and heretics. In relationships we suffer fiction, countless men and women endured derision and violence from a lover for imagined reasons. Our prejudices will run automatically unless we have a pressing reason to arrest them. We will dare attempting trial and error when we must. Ridding ourselves of errors, including the mistakes of past generations, is to remove the rubbish; the alternative is to live in a mental garbage dump.”
Excerpt: The Relevance of Kabir, By Todd Vickers
Long ago in India, two young friends go off to make their fortunes away from their small village. In the course of time one is accidentally killed. The survivor comes across a wanderer who mentions he is going to the home village and the survivor asks the traveler to convey a message to each family, tell his own family of his success and that he will be returning with enough to give them all leisure. To the family of his friend, to tell them that he died.
In the course of the time it took the wanderer to travel to the village, he accidentally confused the names and told the family of the dead man of his good fortune and pending return. To the clan of the living man he told of his death. The wrong family celebrated and the wrong family grieved. We see both HAPPINESS and MISERY can be based on falsehood.
This gives us reason to doubt any teaching that uses the happiness of its adherents as proof of its truth. Any such teaching must account for happiness based on fiction or deceit. Happiness that rests on what is false is under threat from the facts. (What happens when the living friend comes home.) The problem with illusions is that disillusionment follows them like a shadow. We often turn away from facts to keep an illusion alive and that invites more misery as the time and spark of life we waste for nothing.