What are our greatest delusions?

I think there are a few major delusions most of us subscribe to willingly or unwillingly. They seem almost inescapable, and yet, when you think about them, their falsity is all too evident.

1 — We are Special

The first delusion is that we are special and that there is a special kind of significance to our existence. It is not so. Whatever view of human uniqueness exists, exists in our own imaginations. Human beings think human beings are special. In addition to being vain, this view also creates an artificial barrier between us and nature and causes us to act in ways that are self-destructive. We are in truth just another animal whose workings are adequately explained by our understanding of nature. We are here, neither to save the world, and neither to destroy it. We are just here somehow.

2 — Education Ends

The second delusion is that education is something that can end. It is reinforced by the fact that at some point, they stop teaching us things in schools, give us a certificate, and send us out. This is a lie. There is no end to education. Some of the wisest people you will meet in your life will have no hesitation in calling themselves students. Learning doesn’t end till you die.

3 — Belief Has Magical Powers

While it is true that your belief in yourself can motivate you to do things you are fearful of doing, that’s about it. Believing does not alter reality (except when you change reality by believing in yourself). Belief is not, in and of itself, a magical thing that can reshape the world. And it is certainly not a substitute for knowledge. You don’t become smarter by believing. You don’t get to call yourself a better person because you have faith. It just doesn’t work like that.

4 — There is One Solution

The idea that there can ever be ONE solution for all the world’s problems — ONE god, ONE religion, ONE way of living — is a destructive one. The world we live in is a fundamentally diverse place and it thrives on diversity. It favours many over one. It values variation over uniformity. The universe, even upon cursory observation, reveals that redundancy is a primary need behind any system to continue existing. No ONE answer will ever satisfy all people. No ONE lifestyle will ever be able to accommodate everyone.