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essentially a mental phenomenon. This is considered a keystone to understanding the nature of life. It is further understood that the universe conspires with our beliefs—whatever they are. The other day I listened to a

By Jim “Redtail” Collins I

t seems that the leading edges of science agree with the wise fool “Nasrudin,” who appears in

Sufi teaching tales making illogical observations such as “If I hadn’t believed it, I wouldn’t have seen it with my own eyes.”

Though conventional wisdom

insists that seeing is believing, scientific evidence suggests it is likely the other way around. We might feel certain that we know what is “out there” in the physical world, but our conclusions are primarily an interpretation of the mind. Central to the teachings of

all the wisdom traditions I am familiar with is a recognition that the universe is

radio interview with psychologist James Hogan, who was plugging his new book, I’m Right and You’re an Idiot, which discusses the epidemic lack of civility in social and political discourse these days. Among other things, this book points to a major impediment to most people’s ability to achieve happiness and expanded awareness: our insatiable appetite for certainty. The certainty principle is at an

odd polarity to Heisenberg’s familiar uncertainty principle, a central plank of modern science, which points to the virtual impossibility of being absolutely certain of anything, no matter how hard we try or how fervent our belief. The certainty principle, on the other hand, is based on the observation that most people, when given a choice between a certainty likely to be painful or an uncertainty likely to be pleasurable, will invariably choose certainty. It is ironic that many of us

would rather be right than happy! We all know people who seem unable to accept that their perceptions and beliefs

MMy E. Ewing, DC New Clients only. *Some Insurance Accepted 18

might be flawed or might interfere with their understanding, but this tendency plagues all of us. It is wise not to believe

everything you perceive ... or everything you think.

Most of us subscribe to the

popular illusion that what we experience as the sights and sounds of the outside world constitute reality; however, as with many cherished assumptions, considerable research evidence suggests otherwise. However, most of us also prefer the familiar (certainty) and continually strive to maintain and replicate it as though it were hard-wired into the brain. It is well known that the brain

has the ability to override our senses, which it often does, constructing what we perceive based on experiences that have calcified into beliefs and expectations. The brain has a strong tendency to reflect what you are feeling even when

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