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Too Few People Question Assumptions

Published on July 8, 2024

We all have the bad habit of assuming our assumptions and beliefs are valid. Everyone has a set of beliefs. We want them to be true, so they are true to us whether they are or not. Assumptions are beliefs that guide our lives for good or bad, so it is more than helpful that our beliefs are true. However, people’s beliefs can be like roots entrenched in ancient soil—clinging fiercely, digging deep. These beliefs reach deep into our minds, smothering any whispers of truth or desire for understanding. These are the kinds of beliefs whose roots are so deep they are impossible to uproot.

Fundamental beliefs are the foundation on which we build our lives. From them, we form other beliefs. Our interrelated fundamental beliefs and different ideas derived from them are called a “belief system” or “worldview.” Assumptions are often unconscious, meaning we usually take them for granted. Societies and civilizations are built on certain assumptions.

It can be said that basic assumptions are those we cannot help holding; however, understanding how our minds work depends on how we examine our beliefs and assumptions. This all has implications for our personal life and relationships with others, as it does in our relationship with the world and what is happening in it. Ultimately, our decision-making rests on our assumptions and beliefs and, thus, the quality of our life and health.

It is imperative to see and understand how our entire world of experience is running on top of the total of all of our perceptions. We run our lives on top of these basic internal programs, which we assume to be true. Basic assumptions are like our biological computers’ basic operation system. It is interesting but true that even if our assumptions accurately reflect reality, they can complicate our lives when they are too pessimistic.

We make basic assumptions that what we perceive is true, and then we make more basic assumptions on top of these basic assumptions, like building a house of cards. If we have misperceived something early on in our perceptual construction of reality, we are vulnerable to a meltdown, to an internal crash of our internal reality maps.

The Implications For Our Personal Lives

Many people have trouble with assumptions. For instance, we can assume that a person loves us. And then they do something that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that they do not, and yet we will cling to our basic assumption. Sometimes it’s the reverse. Our mates love us very much, but we begin to assume the opposite because of something they did or did not do. “You did not see me this weekend, so you really don’t love me.” We assume things all the time, but we don’t know what is true and what is not until we check out the truth.

We can have strong feelings based on assumptions that hold little or no truth. So this ego block operates powerfully and usually unconsciously until we begin to learn to look at our basic assumptions and start the humility-forming habit of checking out if our assumptions are, in fact, true or not. When we assume that a person is thinking or feeling a certain way, it is a matter of humility to check out the reality of that person’s world. But we usually don’t ask; we assume our perceptions are accurate and are too lazy or afraid to check out the reality of our perceptions.

We need to understand how something as ordinary as a basic assumption can block our ability to communicate and how this can mess up our relationships.

Christopher Hills says, “We even want our assumptions to be true to rationalize our feelings of hurt, and yet we are relieved when we find out our assumptions were wrong. People make such assumptions because they cannot see how their egos operate. They cannot see the real possessiveness or expectations at the root of such assumptions. This blocks them from getting inside the other person’s world and discovering the real reason. The antidote for basic assumptions is to check out your feelings and thoughts humbly, which means not assuming they are true.”

“So this is the first step in learning to be a good communicator and loving being. It is to learn humility and understand that everything we think and feel about ourselves, life, and others is not necessarily true. Few people have the humility to check their perceptual structures of reality. This is, in essence, the work of what Einstein referred to when he said, “I believe the main task of the spirit is to free man from his ego.”

Assumptions of the World and What Is Happening in It

We would love to assume that what the public media and our governments tell us is accurate. We expect our doctors and public health officials to say what is correct, and the same goes for our scientists and politicians. Yet today, at least half of the public probably does not believe anything said in the public narrative.

If we assume our planet is warming, how is it possible that on July 1, 2024, Greenland’s ice sheet posted an unprecedented 4 Gigaton summer gain? Data from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) show this is the highest daily July gain since records began in 1981. During a period usually marked by significant summer melt, the charts show extensive snow and ice accumulation, with deep blue areas indicating significant mass gains. The 1981-2010 averages call for a 4 Gigaton melt at this time of year. We saw a 4 Gigaton gain, adding to the 2 Gigaton gain the day before. Do you think what is happening in Greenland matters?

Bad News For Intelligent Cognitive Function

Organizational psychologist Richard Davis says that people are losing the cognitive and social skills they need for a thriving personal and professional life. “We are at risk of losing this essential capability that I call receptivity,” says Davis, the managing director of Toronto-based leadership consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates. “It’s the ability to have good judgment, to have insight about people, and it’s a major concern.”

Technology, social media, and artificial intelligence are to blame, Davis adds: People rely so much on their phones that they’re increasingly unable to make judgment calls on their own. “It’s a cognitive ability that you need to actually exercise in order to not lose it,” he says.

Most people never learn to listen deeply, which is one of the significant factors that compromises human receptivity.

Dr. Mark Sircus AC., OMD, DM (P)

Professor of Natural Oncology, Da Vinci Institute of Holistic Medicine
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine
Founder of Natural Allopathic Medicine

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