Why does the truth hurt? People spend most of their lives being skewed, i.e. in denial, having a wrong view of self and the world, and are unaware of their bad habits. People live in an invisible prison cell. Others create false images. Do you see any of that in yourself or family members that get defensive and use guilt or anger as defense mechanisms when confronted with the Truth? Ever have a girlfriend or boyfriend that liked to play mind games? Why does the truth hurt so much and why do humans run, hide, or disguise it?
- Ego. People create their own identities and personae. Many of us like to be “good” and very few people consider themselves to be “bad”. Even a depressed person thinks he or she is “good” and they sometimes blame others or society for turning them “bad”. Part of this delusion is that if anyone points out one flaw, offers constructive criticism, or suggests a way to improve, a person generally considers this a personal attack and their entire self-made image is damaged. Thus- attachment to the “Self” is the reason.
- Clinging to beliefs. Preconceived notions, whether they are traditions passed down from family to you, thoroughly researched independently, or just part of instinct, actually close your mind. Beliefs usually correlate with actions and lifestyles. If someone has lived his or her life one way based on a belief, they will resist changing it even in the face of new evidence. Again, it’s related to this Western notion of being a separate, fixed “person”, and getting stressed out over change, even though change is part of every aspect of existence.
- People believe truths are debatable. Even since Nietzsche killed God, morality has been downhill and being self-centered is much more acceptable. Most people don’t have a far-reaching perspective and are focused on snapshots of the present, with no sense of history or how uncertain the future really is. What is “bad” one day may be considered “good” the next. It could be argued, however, that there is a Truth- the True nature of reality, which is not debatable, and your petty struggles and desires are meaningless in the grand scheme of things. The point is, however, that you should strive to be more objective in analyzing your life and why you believe in certain things and feel/react to things.
- Pure selfishness and greed. Why let the Truth get in the way of seizing power?
- Pat on the back. Humans seem to be conditioned to desire praise, support, and positive reinforcement. In this society where achievement and “success” are measured in dollars and status, any view contrary to a pat on the back is considered to be a failure.
Check this book out for a different way of viewing yourself and the world: The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching