THE MOST IMPORTANT TRUTH IN LIFE
KNOW THIS AND LIFE WILL BE MASSIVELY BETTER!
You may be disappointed, at first, in this truth. But as you fully understand it, you will see that it is the gateway to a massively better life - and to eliminating alot of nonsense in life and stopping the huge amount of the wasting of life!!!!!!
Often, if we've believed other things and become attached to those beliefs, we will have the experiences in these two sayings:
"The truth will set you free, but first it'll piss you off!"
"The truth will set you free, but first it'll confuse you..."
So, stick with this, until you learn enough about it to decide what is true.
All of life is strictly mechanical.
This is the only thing that is provable - and all the other theories are not provable.
There are no "ghosts", mystical entities, "favorably inclined" inanimate objects (such as "the universe"), or made up characters that somehow become real. Yes, there are things for which we cannot come up with the exact mechanism (because it is hard to see or discern), but "made up explanations" are not valid. (This is explained in The Believing Brain summary page.)
BUT WHAT ABOUT "MEANING"?
Before getting to the "why this is true", let's handle a rather big obstacle we put in the way of accepting this. That obstacle is one we "made up", so it is not real and thus not permanent and is easily changeable. It is a bit like learning that Santa Claus is not real, but it is hugely beneficial.
Although everything in the universe and in humans is mechanical, we have the unique ability among all creatures and "things" to create "meaning". Meaning is essentially "importance" and its innate essence is "value". Basically, we decide (create) what is of value to us - and when we do that which is of value to us, we experience value and can also accumulate "value" in our lives - and that "accumulated" value is, in itself, the value of life. (To understand this more, read What Is Life About? How To Maximize Happiness In Life and The Meaning Of Meaning - Something To Be Clear About.)
We have a false belief that something means more if it comes from another source (that we respect), such as other people or a god assigning the meaning of life). But we just made that up. The belief that is actually true is that we are the source of meaning - and this means that nothing else is the determinant of meaning, period, period, and period!
KNOWING THIS TRUTH LEADS TO SOME OTHER GREAT TRUTHS
One of the biggest wastes in life is living in the fiction that there is "fault" in us, that self-criticism is valid, and that we can get our way through punishing ourselves and/or others. When we see that it is all mechanical and that the path you take in life is due to certain sequential causes and effect, you are freed from the "should be different/better" crappola. (To understand this more, read, and decide if you accept this, Your Path Is Your Only Path Under The Circumstances - And There Is No Fault In You.) Perhaps the truth of no fault is the second most important truth, as it will relieve us of a huge part of feeling bad in life, plus it'll free us up to only play the life game from the viewpoint of "I am at cause over my life" - so we can just go about creating what it is that will get us what we truly want. (To "get" this more definitely go to Cause In The Matter Of My Life, for if you realize that you are cause in the matter of your life it frees you from one of the greatest mistruths, and one that causes much powerlessness in life - the belief that you are powerless and dependent. And once you "get" that you are cause in the matter of your life, you will begin to operate more from the viewpoint of being responsible for your life - and that is the proven gateway to a better life and to all success that is not by blind luck.)
SOME SIDE NOTES...
HOW PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELING MISSES THE BOAT
I have never seen, no matter how wise the counselor, a counselor who doesn't "start somewhere in the middle", without explaining the whole chain of logic and facts behind the actual psychology of the mind.
They may try to build up people's self esteem, but miss correcting the underlying principle that perpetuates the lack of self esteem - that there is no fault, that it is an objective world. As in all of life, there is a causal chain or a way that "one thing leads to another". And since intervening in a causal chain as early as possible is often the most effective way to change the end results of the chain, we must go back and correct, or install in the first place, the initial beliefs or assumptions that the rest of the chain is based on.
Chain 1 might be:
I must be loved to survive --> I must get the approval of others --> therefore it is a threat to not get their approval ... (and so on, into emotional oblivion and/or a life "run" by this, a life wasted compared to what is possible).
If we correct this as early as possible, it might look more like this:
Life is mechanical --> Every effect is from a cause --> I have the ability to learn and think --> therefore I can learn what is necessary to create an effect --> therefore I am at cause in my life (and not dependent on others...) --> my life will be much better!
Without going back to construct the whole chain of logic and facts, one cannot, in my opinion, be as effective in having people change their own psychological belief system and consequently their lives.
TYING TOGETHER "HOW THINGS WORK"
Once one realizes that all things are mechanical, including cause and effect, then it frees one up to look deeper at the "psychological chain".
The question that would have to be asked:
If the result is a person "feeling bad", what causes that.
Since feeling bad is a "sensation" resulting from an interpretation of a chemical signal and since chemical signals come from a pattern recorded in the brain (related to survival in a primitive sense), then the mechanical source is a conscious or unconscious thought (which is essentially a belief). Anyway, without doing this logic ad nauseum, this leads us to construct and operate from the following chain:
Everything is mechanical --> the brain evolved to better survive --> brain patterns match to anything occurring that is "associated" (those are called thoughts) --> our thoughts/beliefs have a set response recorded in them to get us to do a survival action --> chemical messengers are sent that make us feel good or feel discomfort --> we then act.
Since brain patterns (beliefs) cause chemicals (emotions), to have better emotions, we need to intervene and change the brain patterns. (Duh! Of course! But many people prefer to believe that feelings come from magical genies rather than some old boring physical cause and effect!) Therefore, we simply need to learn what causes a good emotion and what doesn't, what works and what doesn't work - and then choose to do that which works, using our higher brain to decide that - and then to fully install a workable pattern/program so that we get an automatic good reaction and a good behavior - as that is very doable, since everything is mechanical!
THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT FILLING THE GAP WITH A "MADE-UP"
The classical mathematical cartoon is of a professor solving a great mathematical puzzle by writing all of these great formulas on the chalkboard and getting to a certain point before the final conclusion is reached, wherein he inserts "and a miracle occurs". This is what we call a gap filled by nonsense.
Lots of spiritual leaders do this, reducing their effectiveness (yet still providing lots of good in a lot of cases).
If we leave a gap, we essentially leap over a step to another step - this doesn't work, since everything in the real world is step by step (each cause causes an effect which is then the cause of the next effect...without any intervening assumptions or miracles occuring Again, see how this is done by reviewing The Believing Brain summary page.