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Going Wrong . . . Happily September 29, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Magick & Mystery, Mindfulness.

santa on the beachIs it better to be “right” or “happy”?

Stated another way:

If a belief makes us happy, does it matter that it’s based on a mistaken assumption?

Let’s take a child’s naive faith in a divine, caring, paternalistic deity.

Or in Santa Claus, if you prefer.

Is that naive belief a “stepping stone” to greater understanding of the cosmos and the child’s place in it?

Or is it a crutch?

220px-EdisonDiscLabelBunkIf a child is happy believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy . . . should we burst his bubble?

Should we point out the fallacy of mistaken beliefs, even if it causes “happy idiots” to become “troubled existentialists”?

Is it better to be “right” or “happy”?

Stay tuned ~> maybe we don’t have to choose!

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Don - September 29, 2015

I believe firmly in stages of growth and stages in the development of the individual. I’m a developmentalist, Nancy. Therefore in areas of faith and belief there are stages, which are universal, which we go through, and need to go through. I believe that when these stages are not gone through and negotiated properly, the belief system becomes naive and ultimately a crutch. It’s my experience that this process of development is intricately linked to happiness.

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

Many beliefs arise from Ego’s desire to “tame the chaos” and make sense of things. Like a baby blanket, hugging our beliefs to us makes us “feel better.” Even if they are not true.

For example, when someone dies, people often say, “they are going to a better place” ~ the statement is comforting, even if it is a mistaken assumption.

The belief in heaven as a place makes some people feel better about “letting go.” So they don’t examine it too closely. Just like children don’t examine the myth of Santa Claus too closely.

If we view every thing that happens as a “stepping stone,” there is no need to label “X” as right or wrong, good or bad ~ it just is.

That acceptance allows us to “let go” of our security blankets as we enter the flow of life as it is.

Don - September 29, 2015

When do you make a judgement on “X”? I believe there is a moment when you do and that’s when X mutates in to a form of imperialistic fundamenralist truth which through it intolerance begins to impinge on the rights of others.

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

That’s why I like the video I posted in response to Hariod’s comment ~ in it the farmer refuses to go along with his neighbors as they judge happenings from their limited vantage point.

Instead, he lives with the uncertainty of “maybe.”

In that he reminds me of Scrooge on Christmas morning, dancing like a giddy school boy while singing, “I don’t know what I don’t know but NOW I know that I don’t know what I don’t know.”

2. Hariod Brawn - September 29, 2015

I like Don’s thoughts and schematic. Perhaps at the same time we can leapfrog the issue in suggesting that we teach children what conditioned thought patterns and belief actually are, which is to say ever-provisional, inferential, contingent, subject to influence?

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

Great idea. Beliefs are subject to interpretation (mere puffs of opinion) since they are contingent on inferences we reach from our present (and limited) vantage point and perspective.

3. Pix Under the Oaks - September 29, 2015

I am going to stay tuned… πŸ˜€ I do like being happy… πŸ™‚

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

Me too! The more willing I am to “just be” (without concern about being “right”), the happier I am.

4. Rainee - September 29, 2015

Interesting post Nancy. I don’t think we have any obligation to take away peoples’ faith through rational argument. After all, science is continually discovering new (rational) truths that make the former ones redundant. I believe in live and let live – as in “I may not agree with what you think but I respect your right to think/believe whatever you want to.”

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

Live and let live is a great way to “let it be.” Thanks, Rainee.

5. anotherday2paradise - September 29, 2015

Interesting question, Nancy. I think Rainee has expressed perfectly my thoughts on this subject.

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

When we accept that we do not know all there is to know about the Magick and Mystery of LIFE, we can relax and enjoy the ride.

6. Val Boyko - September 29, 2015

Like Don, I believe in human evolution. Some people may not be ready for the truth … And creating stories around a paternalistic God provides security and comfort.

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

I enjoy pondering the mysteries of the Universe.

The JOY (for me) is in the journey, the pondering . . . whether or not I ever arrive at “The Truth.”

What a relief to shed that great weight!

Val Boyko - September 29, 2015

The joy is in the pondering without being attached to any particular outcome … yes indeed!

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

Embrace all with joy . . . anything can be a gift of gold in disguise.

7. Jill Weatherholt - September 29, 2015

I’m with Pix! Being happy is addictive…and good for your health.

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

It is good for our health.

And being happy today makes it easier to be happy tomorrow because we create cells that are designed to feel happiness.

8. NancyTex - September 29, 2015

I used to be envious of people who seemed to have blind faith, something I had never experienced.

Now, I consider myself fortunate to have a critical mind. I can appreciate what others think and believe, even if I don’t share those same thoughts or beliefs. Each to his own.

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

Ego tells stories to make sense of experiences. If pieces of a puzzle are missing, it makes stuff up. It judges people, places, and things by comparing and contrasting, rather than accepting things as they are. It hates to be wrong, and never wants to admit it made a mistake. It values consistency and fears change.

Blind faith is its creed.

If we stay tuned to this constant ticker-tape of thought, we miss the moment and all it offers. We are too busy worrying about whether it’s going to rain tomorrow to see the glorious sunset today. Through mindful awareness, we strengthen our connection with the universe, our world expands, and we are no longer relegated to one myopic corner.

Instead of spending our time sorting through dusty filing cabinets and stale memories, or relying on blind faith, we seize the day. 😎

NancyTex - September 29, 2015

Carpe diem, NH!

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

Yes! We might as well live. ~ Dorothy Parker

9. William D'Andrea - September 29, 2015

It’s easy to say that what you believe doesn’t matter, when things are going well. But when you’re caught in earthquakes, wildfires, floods, volcanic eruptions, wars, riots, and other catastrophic events, you need to know that what you believe in is true, and has been tested, and is your strength, your shield, and your fortress, where you will survive through the evil times.

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

What better way to fill the pews and collect coins for the coffers than with FEAR? :mrgreen:

William D'Andrea - September 29, 2015

I wasn’t talking about sitting comfortably in Church. My concern is what happens when the Church Building has collapsed, along with the entire community, and everyone has only himself or herself to rely on.

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

It appears you’ve been hijacked by FEAR of a future that doesn’t exist. Instead of living in the NOW, you are battling imaginary dragons and doomsday scenarios.

For what? Do your beliefs need defending?

10. Kate Crimmins - September 29, 2015

Crap, there’s no Easter Bunny! Now you’ve ruined it! On a note similar to other commenters, I worked with a woman who always said, “I’m putting this in God’s hands.” Although raised religiously my memory says that “God helps those who help themselves.” I think the “concept” of giving a problem off to anyone/thing is just another way of letting go. I’m not sure if thinking that someone else is working actively to solve it gives more comfort. I live near Philadelphia and the pope’s visit this week had a profound effect on a lot of people. People were nice to each other just like they are for Christmas. I hope it lasts longer.

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

I think you’re “right.” πŸ˜‰

When we say things like “I’m putting this in God’s hands,” we are “letting go.” We are accepting that there are things we cannot change. Instead of resisting the “what is” or struggling against the current, we accept that much of life is outside our control. And beyond our ken. Once we see that we don’t always get a vote, we can “let go” and “go with the flow.”

I wonder if the Pope’s visit encouraged people to be “nicer” because they remembered to press the *PAUSE* button and tune in to the present moment?

Kate Crimmins - September 29, 2015

I think the “pause” button is true. He is a kind man and encouraged kind actions (unlike some predecessors who were more exclusive with doctrine than inclusive).

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

Kindness echoes! πŸ˜€

11. brickhousechick - September 29, 2015

I vote for being blissfully wrong and happy, most of the time. Nothing like it! Oftentimes, the more we know the unhappier we become! πŸ™‚

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

There is truth to the adage, “Ignorance is BLISS!”

Here’s to not knowing! :mrgreen:

brickhousechick - September 29, 2015

Here, here! πŸ™‚

nrhatch - September 29, 2015

In uncertainty lies all possibility.

12. Debra - September 30, 2015

I am not even sure how I would answer this question, Nancy! I often consider that thinking in and of itself is a bit of a wet blanket on happiness. LOL! I’ll have to think about this a bit. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - September 30, 2015

Yes! The mind is a wonderful servant and a terrible master ~> if we do not control our thoughts, our thoughts control us.

Thinking can indeed be a “wet blanket.”

A quiet mind, like the surface of a still pond, provides a more accurate reflection.

13. L. Marie - September 30, 2015

The photo of Santa relaxing on the beach makes me smile every time I come here. And then I finally realized I hadn’t commented. Silly me. When I was a kid, I was so disappointed to learn that Santa didn’t exist or was based on the life of a real person who didn’t fly around on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. I prefer the imaginary version. So I love the thought that he’s relaxing in Florida somewhere.

nrhatch - September 30, 2015

Santa still makes me smile. Especially the idea of him heading to Florida after the Christmas rush is over. :mrgreen:

I don’t remember when or how I learned that Santa wasn’t really delivering packages around the globe on Christmas Eve. Once I knew the truth, I peppered my parents with questions about him (e.g., how does he deliver presents “down the chimney” on buildings without chimneys?) to see if they would “come clean.”

14. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - September 30, 2015

Thank goodness I get to “stay tuned” because I wasn’t sure I was ready to make that decision!!

nrhatch - September 30, 2015

Haha! Let’s hope you’re “right” to stay tuned. πŸ˜›

15. Carol Ferenc - September 30, 2015

Noooo!! Let’s not burst the child’s bubble. Let them be kids for a while.

nrhatch - September 30, 2015

Too late! I already spilled the beans and let the cat out of the bag . . . I bet I’m on Santa’s naughty list. :mrgreen:

Just kidding.

Your comment made me smile ~> sometimes happiness trumps the truth! Especially since “the truth” is often a flexible concept.

Carol Ferenc - September 30, 2015

Well said!

16. Patricia - September 30, 2015

This makes my brain itch. I think I will just let it go and be happy with my beliefs and let others be happy with theirs. Works for me.

nrhatch - September 30, 2015

Yes! Happy thoughts . . . happy life!

In contrast, when our thoughts make us miserable (i.e., we’re stuck on stale reruns or envisioning “worst case scenarios”), it’s time to change the channel.

Sometimes even a small shift in perspective pays dividends by expanding our horizons ~ from “doom” to “gloom” to “vavava voom.”

17. diannegray - October 1, 2015

What an interesting premise, Nancy. I think everyone should believe in what they want to believe in (as long as it doesn’t hurt other people) πŸ˜‰

nrhatch - October 1, 2015

Yes! Our beliefs allow us to negotiate LIFE . . . even if they are not 100% accurate.

18. colonialist - October 2, 2015

This is an immensely challenging topic!
I believe that the things most people believe in are simplistic and rather ridiculous. Nevertheless, if that is the maximum their intellects can attain, then it should not be interfered with unless the beliefs are harmful to themselves or others. In children, beliefs stretch the imagination and should be encouraged until their own reason (hopefully) sorts the wheat from the chaff.

nrhatch - October 2, 2015

Well reasoned answer, Col. One of the best things about life (at any age) is being able to IMAGINE . . . even if we can no longer transform a cardboard box into a space ship.

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