I’m often pulled, together with others, into a collective hallucination. I know that sometimes I am lured into seeing the world in a way that has very little to do with reality. Reading the news and scrolling my social feeds, I often feel like I’m in a funhouse with endless traps—I’m never sure which way is up, which surface is a mirror, and which turn will drop me into a maze from which I can’t easily escape.
It’s always a confusing trip.
Since I got interested in how the human mind works, I’ve been amazed and appalled at the unreliability of my mind and how casually it succumbs to the forces of influence in the environment (not just news and social media, but also the ideas of the people we live with, the cultural and societal notions that continue to wash over us, etc). Add to that the in-built biases in our minds, and the heuristics we like to use to take short cuts in our thinking…
I’m beginning to think of myself as a most unreliable narrator.
That’s why meditation is so important. The practice, at its heart, is about seeing reality as it is, adding nothing and subtracting nothing.
At times like this I catch myself thinking that meditation is the one important thing I should do in my life, above everything else. (Reading books and continuing to learn about how the mind works is also helpful. Unless you don’t mind life under the blue pill.)