Every individual is an institution. We learn what works for us from birth through our caregivers, from those that we learn to respect and/or hold in high regard. We learn to successfully navigate the pitfalls of life by appropriately applying what we believe operates in our best interests. Each time we have any measure of success using the tools that have collected over our lives, those tools are then made permanent. We apply them over and over effortlessly without fail. Once we reach the level where modern society categorically bestows the title of adulthood on us, we then assume ourselves to be experts in the craft of “living life”. We live blissfully until we meet another person that questions our approach. These persons can potentially undermine our credibility and cause the institutions that we have built over our lifetime to crumble around our feet. We will fight tooth and nail not to allow anything to permeate the “Bullshit (BS)” that we have learned to subscribe to over our entire lives. Instead of applying to our lives that which we ultimately understand to be endowed by truth or logic, we will often weave new information into the brand of BS that we subscribe to in an effort to fortify the institution we have became accustomed to living within. In this instance we stop connecting with those around us who care about us and are interested or inclined to make us better. Self-improvement at this point is outside of our grasp.
I was recently exposed to a book that I’d heard quite a bit about. The book is entitled “Prometheus Rising”, written by Robert Anton Wilson. It’s an exploration in the workings of the human mind and how to get the most out of yours. He offers a point of view where he states, “Whatever the Thinker Thinks, The Prover Will Prove”. This is an explanation in a few words that expresses the simplicity in which we manage to curtail our own intellectual growth and become the impetus for discord in relationships whether professional, personal or romantic. If a person believes that they are correct in their beliefs about any situation and another person chooses to shatter your perceptions by offering another point of view, the individual will circle the wagons to ensure they protect themselves and their institution from the likes of you. They will continue to assume their infallibility (illogical thinking), because their approach has worked thus far in every other situation with overwhelming similarity. They will seek to prove you’re the one who is wrong so, their approaches will remain sound and therefore protect the institution. This is necessary from the individual prospective, because the psyche cannot take a blow that will open up their personal history of problem solving to outside scrutiny. After all, the first law of Nature is “self-preservation”.