Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Lack of Trust Leads to Dislike.


I'm reading a book called "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss and the main character Kvothe said, "A lack of trust leads to dislike," and then I thought of all the people I do not like, and I realised that I do not trust them all. This is obvious, but still, I have never really made this correlation before. From this quote, I proceeded to think about trust, relative to my life and I was accosted by many questions and realisations; even now.

Do likeable and attractive people stimulate our trust for them? Do our trust for them actually reflect their real trustworthiness or do they merely behave in a way that suggests to our mind that they can be trusted? What came first: trust or like/ distrust or dislike? And, what are these behavioural cues that make us trust or distrust people? Is this quote a load of bullshit?

The Merriam Webster dictionary states that trust is a "firm belief in the character, strength or truth of someone or something," a belief in the reliability of a person or thing, and to my surprise, everyone I have ever disliked, felt slighted by, distanced myself from, or scowled at the mere thought of, gave me the impression that they can not be trusted! People I dislike are people who have made me feel uneasy, by being unreliable to me in many different ways, but mainly by making me feel unable to depend on them in some way or another. It's probably why I generally dislike flighty and shallow people. 

This is obvious. Lack of trust does lead to dislike. It is just that, I have never correlated a lack of trust with dislike, so explicitly. This would mean that products we like are due to the fact that we trust them, sure but why do we trust them? Do I like Mercedes Benz because of the design or is it because I find the brand reliable? If it is the latter, and I suspect it is, then it suddenly dawns on me why marketing and branding are an important industry, because for products to be bought, they need to be liked and to be liked, they need to be trusted! 

That is why we go through tons of priming, to make us trust certain things just by looking at them, for the benefit of some, and detriment for most. It is how certain facial features, certain complexions, and certain body types are liked more than others, for example,  if we see an overweight person, we have been primed to distrust them, because there is a belief that to be overweight, one does not care about one's health, one is sloppy and a destructive human being with no self control. Similarly, as a society, we trust masculine humans over feminine humans, because we have been primed to associate masculinity with strength, protection, provision which are all things that make us feel safe. Heck, men are even deemed immune to gossip, holding grudges and more harmonious than women who are apparently always gossiping and bickering. But here we are living in a bellicose world ruled by these very men, so what is the truth?

What a conundrum. What a mess!

Sure, if you have actually done something to make me not trust you, then my feelings of dislike might be justified, but what of complete strangers that we recoil from without having said one word to them, and those to whom we open up for no apparent reason? It is these prejudices that we must challenge within ourselves, and the reason why we should always question our feelings for people, especially negative ones, but question all feelings because opening yourself up to a wolf you trust will leave you not in good stead. 

The sad fact is that trust can be falsely engineered, and there is no real correlation between trusting a person and a person being trustworthy. Some people have not done anything, but because they behave in a shifty manner, due to their own demons and whatever secrets they have, they just end up repelling people. A person can present themselves in a way that makes you trust them, and conversely, a person can present themselves in a way that makes you not trust them. 

Now, I have to wonder, do the people I dislike, because I do not trust them, deserve my dislike, or am I suffering from some subconscious drive as a result of being primed into disliking them? Of course, I knew I had prejudices, but I wasn't thinking of them in the context of trust. Well, it has only been a week of this line of thinking so I am not sure, but at least, I am certainly questioning myself a bit more. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spiritual Vigilance and Critical Thinking.


One who is not truthful is not a spiritual person, but flesh carrying a broken spirit. But, before we go any further, what is being spiritual, and do you want to be be it, or is it overrated?

Being spiritual is being loving, not just of others but loving of the self also. You need to love and know yourself in order to love and know others, and then simultaneously, you get loved and known by others. Being spiritual is being of benefit to others, adding value to other people's lives, but adding value because your cup runneth over with such goodness. Being spiritual is being truthful, filled with integrity and duty to serve, being governed by a morality that is conducive to one's happiness and that of others. It is living a positive life that does not cause pain to others. It is creative and constructive living which builds instead of demeaning, degrading and destroying one's and people's joy. That is my definition of a spiritual being. That is the life I committed to lead a long time ago.

Truth is the very core of being a spiritual person. If you are not truthful with yourself and others, then you are living only a shadow of the person you can be. Trust me. You can not be a fully actualised being when you deny truth in your life, because truth is what you are, and a self-actualised person does not deny the self, they embrace it. If you are not living in truth, you are inadvertently pushing truth and love away from your life because truth and love are two sides of one coin. By denying truth in your life, you are creating an energy of dishonesty around you that is likely to create suspicion and discomfort around you. By not living in truth, you put so many things out of balance in your life, things that can only be balanced again by truth.

Unfortunately, people view truth wearily because truth can be used against you in the world we live in, to mock, and kick you when you are already down, because truth makes us vulnerable to cruel people, but up to a certain point, only where our egos are concerned. In the greater scheme of things, truth never hurts. So, remember that the saying "truth hurts" is NOT true. Truth may reap "bad" results only because people are assholes who punish others for being their true selves.

I have chosen to speak the truth for many years now, despite how those of below par intelligence view it. At the end of the day, I am truthful in order to have a harmonious and loving life, to do my part for the world I live in, and by contributing loving energy to it, not to be celebrated by people who lack the intelligence to understand the essence of truth. I have been called desperate for being loving to people. Yes, loving is called desperate by these unintelligent people. I have been called cruel for denying people when they asked me to hurt them, because some people have no foresight to see a gesture of love for what it is.

"Asked you to hurt them," you ask? What manner of twisted human is this?

Well, let's make a simple example.  If someone suggested or encouraged I lie to them in order to inflate their ego, I refuse. I will not mislead another person just so that I can be favourable in their eyes, or so that I can make them feel better about their lot. What I do though, is tell you the truth and what you do with it, whether it is to inflate the ego, or humble the ego, is up to you. Once you live in truth, you will find that you see a lot of beauty in the world, so there will not be many reasons to lie to say kind things to others. Truth opens the the eyes, making us see more to compliment and praise. My purpose for speaking the truth is to add value in people's lives and mine. But, even that is subjective, to be honest.

How is this lying or withholding the truth harmful to another? How does it do a disservice to others?

In my opinion, prolonging someone's healing, prolonging someone's ability to face themselves as they are, and keeping them in stasis, is not a loving act. It keeps the person in a vibration of pain much longer than necessary. Telling a person what they want to hear instead of the truth is harmful for that reason. It prolongs and even increases the intensity pain. Contributing to the harm of another is something I chose to not partake in, unless I am willing to suffer the consequences.

Sometimes, being truthful is realising that certain behaviour is harmful to you, and stopping it. Truth can be practiced in many ways, but all ways require regular self-evaluation, critical thinking to see if you are on the right track, regular changing of erroneous thoughts. That is how one cultivates spiritual vigilance. You need to look inside yourself and see how you are being silenced to speaking your truth. Are you being silenced through fear of loss of friends, spouse, social prestige, career dominance, resources like money, and so on? Do you even know that you are being silenced by fear of loss? How do you solve this quandary? Is there a way to live in truth and minimise your losses if this is a change you want to make?

All these questions have answers, but you will never know the answers to them when you are not spiritually vigilant, i.e. You do not think critically about your life. Like all sheep on earth, you are governed by external forces and fear. You are so paralysed by fear that you don't even see that you do not have to live the way you do. You are so blinded by fear that you can not even see that you have options and some are within your grasp. You are so disabled by fear that you don't even see that you are not living fully. If you're anything like me, I know that you know that life has to be better than this, humans have to be better than this, but since I can not change people, I endeavour to change myself.

Truth and fear can not coexist, because truth is enlightening, and fear darkens. So, make the effort to incorporate more truth in your life until it is all that you are. And stand by your truth, even though it may cause some backlash, because the reactions to the truth are temporary, but truth is everlasting.