Monday, August 28, 2006


I hear a lot of philosophers talk about the illusions we live by.
I've thought about this, wondered about some illusions in particular:

Time, of course, is one. We are physical creatures that are born by the circumstantial coupling of our physical parents... and then we die when our bodies can no longer stay alive. Humans have figured out a way to log this period of consciousness by creating the system of time. Amazing that humankind existed before time. Even as children we live simply as moments between nighttimes before we understand what time is and how it works. And then as we become more and more disillusioned by the numbered years, we convince ourselves that we cannot do certain things because of age without ever even trying.

Another illusion is pain. I saw a man on TV having varicose vein surgery and they cut open his leg while he just lies there without the aid of any drugs at all. He held warm saliva in the middle of his tongue and thought about a beach paradise. I think anyone could be capable of this with a little work. Pain is a signal that our bodies send to our brains to alert us of potential damage. We know that having a leg cut open is perfectly fine when performed cleanly and carefully, so why do we flip out anyway? Is it possible to ignore the signal when knowledge of the situation overrides it?

Off the top of my head, I can think of two other illusions: the pleasure of sex and the taste of food. I know there are many others, and becoming aware of them is the first step toward controlling them.

So therefore I know I am still being deceived…

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