Blind To Our Own Blindness

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Photograph Compliments Of Rhoda Alex

Humans are great at being wrong, whether we admit it to ourselves or not, blind to our blindness. Whether right or wrong, our convictions, and belief in our self-perceived correctness carries us daily.

For instance, I’m very good at finding great deals on used automobiles. On my last purchase, I was so confident in my ability to spot a great value that I dove head-first into buying the SUV. My mechanic later told me the badly rusted frame needed replacement; so much for finding great deals. I believed in my aptitude to such an extent that I blindly and hastily made the purchase.

The Plight Of Philosophers

Of some things we feel that we are certain: we know, and we know that we do know. There is something that gives a click inside of us, a bell that strikes twelve, when the hands of our mental clock have swept the dial and meet over the meridian hour. – William James

We all have a moral code and a unique philosophy toward life. Philosophers expound upon theories of ethical values, reasoning, logic, and varying attributes of metaphysics. These views on life are highly subjective in nature.

Philosophic concerns involve the mysterious, inexplicable, baffling, or impenetrable.

What spurs a person to seek out principles for “correct” living? The factors are lack of knowledge and the incapacity to make sense of life’s peculiarities.

Being human, these philosophers are at least half wrong in their evaluations, and that’s being kind.

A philosopher can develop concepts that become tenets of cults or particular social movements. Often the philosopher lives out the perspective they are expounding.

We owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to Pythagoras and his cult. The Pythagoreans brought us some pretty on-point contributions to mathematics, music, and astronomy. However, the cult had some pretty outlandish beliefs and practices, leading to persecutions from fellow Greeks.

Even in ancient times, common sense wasn’t that common. Plato believed that the requirements of perfect intelligence did not require higher truths. Yet he thought poetry was immoral; all part of the philosopher’s burden. 

My Take On Philosophers

Photograph Courtesy of Kenny Eliason

The models of the world that we hold dear are the foundation of our beliefs. We have created representations based on our perceived realities. It isn’t challenging to view the world as a small child, knowing that our perceptions of the world are simply how life is. We do this because of the emotional investment in our beliefs, presuming those assumptions are accurate.

The reality is that each day differs from another. To survive, our philosophy towards life cannot help but evolve, adapting to the changing circumstances of our ongoing story.

In my world, Plato can shove it up his can; poetry is essential. That’s my opinion on the philosophical nature.

Do You Know About Anton’s Syndrome?

Anton’s Syndrome is a unique form of brain damage that affects the areas of the brain responsible for processing visual information. Its primary characteristic is that the patient does not realize they are blind. These persons create alternate visualizations which help them deny their affliction.

Anton’s Syndrome is extremely rare. Does it remind you of anyone? How about yourself?

What Does It Mean To Be Blind To Something?

There are four levels of knowledge:

A) What you don’t know.

B) What you think you don’t know.

C) What you think you know.

D) What you know.

Willful blindness falls in the B and C categories. They both are catalysts to self-deception.

Love Is Blind (Or So They Say)

Love can create intense happiness and satisfaction in your life. It can also produce extreme pain. I used to try to figure it out but have pretty much given up.

Ah, relationships. I’m not good at them. Many friends tell me, “You just haven’t found the right person yet.”

Yet? I’ve had many opportunities. There has been much circumspection about the women I have let slip through my hands. There were good ones, and there were bad ones. The problem was I had little appreciation for the good ones till they were long gone. Even then, I’m not sure I loved them till they were history, or even if I can call it love. I can reminisce about past relationships, but does it do any good?

The loves of my life were all ephemeral, transitory for whatever reasons.

Trying to attain a family consumed years. I wanted the spouse, the children, and the legacy. I desired those things.

Are our perceptions of a romantic partner and the hope of a family based on objective reality; were mine?

Yoda Might Have Said, “Blind, Love Is.”

Photograph Compliments Of Eric Ward

Relationships rely on healthy expectations. My mother is pragmatic. She once told me there is no such thing as a 50-50 split of responsibility in a marriage. One person will do more and take on a more significant burden than the other.

Long-term relationships are complicated. The roles of breadwinner to most-involved parent, encourager, and empathizer, can move from one partner to the other. One person’s strength compensates for the other’s weakness. Life isn’t static, and neither are our relationships.

My brain becomes illogical in the throes of new romances. As my love or infatuation, increases, seeing flaws in the other person decreases. I would search for connectivity with my perspective love in whatever way possible. Being afflicted by delayed intelligence, I needed time to sort through my ability to make necessary relationship commitments. Here I am, still single.

It’s all about emotions. At the beginning of a new romance, we love from our hearts. You may have known the person for years beforehand, but when the catalysts of emotion develop, you become a lost soul. Your emotional state can overlook character flaws you have observed before. Your relationship has entered the lusting phase. In this high state of attraction, we give our paramours more freedom. Therein lies the challenge, or danger, if I may.

You feel fortunate to make your romantic partner happy. Do you throw your rules out the door as you seek your and their happiness? You are content with the consequences no matter what they say or do. Sound familiar?

Can You Trust Your Memories?

Have you ever sat down and commiserated about past events with friends? Ever notice that they remember things you don’t, and vice versa?

Why do we remember the things we do the way we do?

It’s all about the emotion we feel, whether good or bad. We tend to reconstruct our memories every time we reprocess them. Have you noticed that when reminiscing about a particularly challenging time or event, you might remember how bad it was but do not recall the specifics?

Selective memory doesn’t necessarily apply to just the bad times. We can forget specific good times as well.

My point is that many of our memories may not be correct recollections of the actual event. Every time we revisit them, our brains slightly reinterpret our remembrances. Yet, we hold onto the altered memories as part of who we are. It’s a part of ourselves that lends to our willing blindness of whom we believe we are.

My Concerns About My Memory

I have become very concerned about my memory lapses, so I scheduled an appointment with my doctor.

After a barrage of tests, my doctor gave the diagnosis. She told me, “It’s straightforward: you suffer from CRS.”

“CRS?” I stammered. Fearfully, I asked, “What’s CRS?”

“Can’t remember Shit.”

On top of CRS, there is the Delayed Intelligence. My mental condition is terminal.

Blind To Our Shortcomings

Photograph Courtesy Of Amir Geshani

Belief leads to action. Perspective is the basis of our daily judgments, whether for ourselves or others. We may or may not be comfortable in our skin, but it is the only skin we know. Accepting our decisions and habits as the standard operating procedure for life is entirely natural, whether good or bad. We constantly regard others by our moral standards and wonder why everyone else is not behaving “correctly.”

It boils down to this: we attribute our personal biases and self-serving motives to other people’s beliefs. It’s a common human habit. Our identity is inextricable from our assumptions; it’s as simple as that.

In the past, I have allowed myself to be overly critical and judgmental of others. I developed the habit of noticing people’s failures, imperfections, and weaknesses.
Ego and self-righteousness are markers of being blind to our shortcomings.

The practice of criticizing others did not lead to contentedness. I had to change how I perceived others and realize that my judgmental attitude hurt me more than those I judged.

Other people could avoid my presence, but I couldn’t walk away from me.

I realized that my beliefs and perceptions could be at odds with those of others. Other people may not know what I know or believe as I do, and vice versa. The learning point was accepting those conditions, moving on, and living with the circumstances.

Sometimes The Self-blinded Suffer From A Seared Conscience

It’s easy to fall into the trap of compromised behavior. If what you are doing is wrong and you do not have to face the consequences of your actions, why not continue as you are? If the status quo isn’t affecting you negatively, then why be worried?

Been there, done that. Life equals daily habits. I want to think that the strength of my integrity carries me through each day. At times, I have had to question how I live my life.

If I continue on and pretend I am better than I am, who is suffering from deception?

People can fool those around them for a while, but eventually, they will pay the price.

We can be like someone who looks into a mirror and, after turning away, forgets how they look. Without personal introspection, what do we have left?

Blind To Our Attributes

Self-deception is complicated. When we set out to deceive someone, we know the actual situation but lie. Our deception is intentional.

Like deceiving others, when we mislead ourselves, it is intentional. When we deceive ourselves, it becomes a contradiction. We believe one thing but simultaneously don’t believe it. This paradox is where it gets sticky; and complicated.

My musical history is fraught with self-deception. The belief in my abilities was a far cry from my actual capabilities.

I fully embrace that we do this because facing the truth is too uncomfortable. Ignorance is bliss, and a little knowledge becomes a dangerous thing.

Finding The Attributes You Think You Don’t have

Whether you realize it or not, you have strengths others don’t. How do you find those?

The first question is:

What do you love so much you would do that thing without any compensation, financial or otherwise? We are talking about passion; people make careers out of passion.

Next, ask yourself what abilities you have in which you are confident. What about yourself makes you proud?

Identify those things to which you gravitate. Couple that with those things which you receive compliments.

Think about those areas of your life you want to improve. Chances are you already demonstrate an innate talent around those things.

When you objectively break it down, The list gets pretty big.

Lack Of Belief In Yourself

You have extraordinary qualities; do you realize that? Lots of us suffer from blindness of our strengths. Our outstanding qualities often seem ordinary to ourselves when others see traits they might envy.

The great equalizer is failure. If you consider failure a way to build strength, kudos to you. Those moments of learning the hard way often come with a sting.

It is difficult to give a circumstance your best shot, then fail. The risk is in damaging your preconceived identity.

We are subject to doubt and insecurity, the roots of imposter syndrome. Many extremely high achievers suffer from this. You would be surprised at how many Nobel Prize Laureates have imposter syndrome. Its prevalence is in all levels of success-oriented individuals.

Blind Faith

Do you believe in God? Do you think there is no god? Whatever you accept as the truth is a faith system. You decide how far the confidence in your beliefs will go.

We can try to persuade each other of individual beliefs, but in the end, a person will only believe what they want.

We can believe what we will, but the great separator is death. The absolute truth is that on the other side of this world.

Philosophically speaking, I’m frequently half wrong in my evaluations, and that’s being kind.

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