Delusions, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention...


But, of course, I will:

I will always be a child, and my parents will always be my parents.

My country’s leaders are wise and good.

Thunder is caused by the devil beating his wife over the head with a frying pan.

The police only want to help me.

Pretty women are angels with hidden wings.

My country exemplifies bravery, generosity, and every other virtue.

Claw-hammers and Colt .45 revolvers are wise, and wise things don’t want to hurt me.

All airplanes and some women are beautiful, and beautiful things can’t hurt me.

If you have enough money, you can hire experts to do anything. For example, you could throw a very small rock into the middle of the deep woods, and the right experts could easily find that very rock; or you could get your head blown-off by a shotgun, and they could put it on again.

Behind the woods are the backwoods, and people who look like Lil’ Abner live in the backwoods, but you never see them because the backwoods are too far back.

Having sex with enough women will protect me.

Jesus is real, and he loves me.

Jesus’ father is real, and he wants to send me to hell.

The Holy Ghost is a vapor that does whatever Jesus and Jesus’ father tell him to do.

Doctors know too much to make mistakes.

I create reality as I go along, and it stops existing when I’m gone.

Everything is alive and knows what is going on around it.

My belongings appreciate me for taking such good care of them, and they miss me when I go away.

My houseplants enjoy getting a shower.



I am over most of these, but I’m hardly delusion free, and that’s only counting the delusions I know about. What do delusions offer that they keep me enslaved against my will, and how do my delusional beliefs compare with the delusional beliefs of others? For example, how do religious people—once they are grown—hold, not just to isolated delusions but to a thousand interrelated and often contradictory delusions, and not only NOT try to recover from them, but try to cling to them more fiercely; and how is it that I have been able to escape those kinds of delusions, but not others—the last three things on my list, for example—even though I recognize their delusional nature?

19 comments:

Linda said...

The last three things on the list are instances of anthropomorphism. Except for thunder and claw hammers, these are the only instances in your delusions of anthropomorphism.

Actually, the plants do "like" getting a shower. They don't have pleasure thoughts, but their "body" responds positively.

Everything may be aware of what is happening because most things respond to being observed. I doubt you can call it "knowing" or "awareness" but there is more to other things in our universe than we can observe with out puny powers.

I seriously doubt if your possession miss you or appreciate you in the sense your wife misses you, but if things are better kept while you are present, then things do benefit. Maybe you are hoping for reciprocity from your possessions. However, of all your delusions, I do believe these three are the least harmful and actually engender the most beneficial actions and thoughts on your part.

Maybe they are not so delusional as not stated perfectly.

I imagine your regrets also are few, too.

To answer your question, I don't know how you have escaped, but I am glad you have. So have I.

Snowbrush said...

"The last three things on the list are instances of anthropomorphism."

More specifically, I think, they're examples of panpsychism, the difference being that anthropomorphism projects human awareness whereas panpsychism simply projects awareness. There must surely be a dozen words for shades of belief in this area. I simply wish I could get away from them because to project feelings onto things makes me feel more responsible (and therefore burdened) than is prudent. Yes, plants respond in ways that knickknacks don't. They are definitely alive, can definitely thrive or suffer from our actions, and therefore seem deserving of compassion, but to think that they enjoy a shower in much the same way that a cat enjoys a belly-rub is probably an overstatement of reality, but it is an accurate statement of what I project upon them.

"of all your delusions, I do believe these three are the least harmful and actually engender the most beneficial actions and thoughts on your part."

As I see it, some delusions are nearly harmless (and most of mine would apply) in that they only affect a few people in a few circumstances. For instance, not much harm can come from believing that walking under a ladder brings bad luck (which it actually does if a hammer falls on your head). Other delusions affect millions in almost every aspect of their lives, and these delusions can turn ordinary people into monsters.

Elephant's Child said...

Smiles. Some of your delusions I share(d). The last and the second from last I still hold. And thank you for giving me pansychism. I knew there was a word - but it kept escaping me.

Snowbrush said...

"Some of your delusions I share(d). The last and the second from last I still hold."

Yet, you seem to imply that you consider them delusions. That's what's crazy-making to me, by which I mean a conviction that persists despite there being no evidence to support it, it (the conviction) apparently resting upon an inability (psychologically-based, I assume) to imagine the contrary as being true even though that appears to be the case.

Snowbrush said...

P.S. I've had some compelling hallucinations while on drugs. On the one hand, I knew they were hallucinations, but on the other, they looked--or sounded--as real as things that were real. I don't think my delusions are similar to these hallucinations except that they are more compelling in that I can't completely dismiss them as being untrue, although, if I had to bet, I would bet the farm that they are untrue because my greatest trust is in my rational mind.

Elephant's Child said...

There is so much that I accept as true, while not understanding it. Quite a lot of science to begin with. Really given that acceptance of other people's wisdom it is surprising that I have never taken the religious delusions on board. I am grateful to be without them though.

Stephen Hayes said...

As I get older I believe more and more in the notion that we create our own reality as we go along and it's gone when we're gone, much as you say. Everything is an illusion. Didn't Plato suggest this?

Snowbrush said...

"There is so much that I accept as true, while not understanding it. Quite a lot of science to begin with. Really given that acceptance of other people's wisdom it is surprising that I have never taken the religious delusions on board."

As religious people are often fond of pointing out, we all take many things--including many important things--on faith, yet, in saying this, they seem to be implying that all faith is equal, something which they give no sign of believing. The difference between how religion arrives at truth and how science arrives at truth couldn't be greater, the former being based upon authority or personal experience (in the case of people who are "spiritual but not religious") and the latter upon impartial investigation; the former being "the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow," and the latter changing as new facts are discovered; the former discouraging scrutiny and, oftentimes, violently persecuting nonbelievers, and the latter encouraging scrutiny and, at worse, laughing at creationists, flat-earthers, and so forth. I also have the confidence--the faith if you will--that if I don't understand a scientific truth, I can find sources through which to learn why it is so (something which I have often done), but when I tried my best to do the same in regard to religious "truths," I almost immediately hit a dead-end.

Snowbrush said...

"Everything is an illusion."

Would you mind terribly sending me all of your illusory money?

"Didn't Plato suggest this?"

He believed that everything on earth is but an imperfect copy of a perfect form.

Snowbrush said...

P.S. Perhaps you simply meant that everything is illusory in that we interpret it without the possibility of complete understanding, and therefore our interpretation is necessarily subjective to a lesser or greater extent. If this is true, I apologize for my flippant remark, which came from my experience of having people say that they don't really believe (as judged by the way they live) simply for the sake of argument. Maybe you'll recall David Hume's argument regarding causality, his point being that what we interpret as causality might only be proximity. For example (his example), if one billiard ball hits another, and the other moves, did the first ball cause the movement, or did they simply occur at the same time, and how would we know even if we repeated the experiment endlessly? From a logical position, maybe his argument makes sense, but I can never satisfy myself that arguments that are inconsistent with how someone lives are made in good faith. They have their place, but I would consider it a very small place.

lotta joy said...

I will always remember my first and last medicinal marijuana cookie that you helped explain to me. I remember thinking that everything was real (as in having energy), and the noodle I had on my fork was indeed exuding energy. Never again!

My mind is gray matter that has always sufferend with OCD and I need to stop over analyzing everything. I know people with delusions of grandeur and superiority. THESE I have illusions of shoving them into the abyss of silence.

But the older and more tired I get, the more I realize that most of my life were illusions, and it's time to just deal with the facts, as Sergeant Friday used to say.

BUT with limited time to visit my fantasies, my reality is getting too harsh to deal with.

Now, when I water my wilting plants, they feel no joy, but are probably saying "Where ya been, bitch."

Charles Gramlich said...

Are you trying to tell me these things aren't all true? dude! :)

Strayer said...

I don't like the word anthropomorphism. It has been used around me too often by people saying it means projecting human feelings, including pain, on animals. When we are animals too. Seems so egotistical, superior and crap. As for what EC stated, about the knowledge of man, in regards to producing religions, on the one hand, and scientific discovery on the other, I'm with her. Some science is good and true but nowadays, you be hard put at some universities to find young scientists who even know what the scientific method is. Then you have the almost weekly shifting of the medical research winds...this is good for you, a study says. The next week...why this very bad for you, a study finds....I've become skeptical also of much science and its claims.

I love my delusions. Sometimes I live in them for the pure escapist joy of having a nice world, for a change, of my own creation, where cats are fixed, fed and happy (but clean their own litter boxes), and I am queen, and the weather is just as I want it to be and usually there is a beach involved in my world, and an azure casual ocean out there.....I'm all for delusions. Sure beat reality.

PhilipH said...

None of it matters one jot nor tittle.

We are all clinging to the wreckage called life.

Eventually we all let go.

Joe Pereira said...

I love reality. Reality is interesting,amusing and exciting. Yes, yes,that's my delusion. Great post, nicely

Putz said...

ALSO ALL IS VANITY

Mim said...

why do people hang on to delusions? Clearly because it's too scary not to.

I know it is for me.

Linda said...

I enjoy coming back to read this post.

Joe Todd said...

Pretty women are angels with hidden wings. I used to think this way and now I live in a house filled with 100's of Teddy Bears..Many of them would like to act like "Ted" LOL