We will continue to pass the human tradition of suicide forward until we point the finger directly at ourselves and assume responsibility for the faulty thinking we create. How exciting to discover the cause, even if we are it, because by accepting our responsibility we position ourselves to introduce the prevention education you will learn here. First, we must teach ourselves that truth1 is the required path to knowledge, not the dead end route we create by the self-defeating guilt that keeps us stuck in avoidance.
Nature has gifted us its latest model brain. Through our extensive use of symbols, we acquire the power of interpretation. We differ from other life by the degree we assign meaning to data and then create assumptions. Our assumptions become signals to turn on a specific thought, feeling, and action. Rather than obedience to the prescribed action pathways nature wires into the animal portion of our brain, we act on the combination of assumptions originating from the cerebral cortex portion of our human brain. Our interpretations create morality and a value system. Faulty assumptions lead to maladaptive, often dangerous, values. Values based on common sense are most likely to increase our ability to survive and thrive.
Our most universal goals include experiencing a joyous meaningful life in a peaceful loving world. It is obvious that we have yet to teach ourselves the assumptions that lead to our most preferred outcomes. If the values we assume by our erroneous interpretation of data cause most of our misery, we reach a simple to understand solution to better our life experience. Let’s identify the assumptions that are dangerous and maladaptive, no longer teach them, and proactively teach the wiser assumptions we discover as we apply common sense to our growing knowledge of cause-and-effect. There are a multitude of faulty assumptions, more than we can quickly address. However, we can initiate a dramatic improvement by selecting and modifying the most dangerous. The twelve faulty assumptions here identified can have a dramatic effect. We better our life experience with each modification.
Our ancestors were intelligent but they lacked knowledge of cause-and-effect. As we increasingly add knowledge, we continue to improve our power of interpretation. We have modified our ancestors’ worship of idols, unusual rituals, superstitions, and erroneous interpretations of natural phenomena. Our long history of replacing faulty assumptions with newer ones that conform to current knowledge would seem to make continued change easy. The really difficult challenge we face is facing ourselves and challenging tradition. Accepting responsibility to modify our sacred assumptive views requires that we acknowledge we are the source of the problem. Challenging faulty assumptions is risky because tradition punishes deviance. Tradition would have us blame and then punish whoever or whatever is responsible for our stress – that’s difficult when we are the source. Common sense would have us welcome recognizing our causative role because awareness provides us the opportunity to create “out of the box” solutions. Problem-solving is wiser than punishment in today’s partially civilized society where most tribes own weapons with ultimate destructive power. “An eye for and eye ...,” once adaptive, must now be replaced with “Love and respect our neighbor.” Cooperation and problem-solving is a worthy replacement for punishment as our primary means to achieve our goals.
1Common sense interpretations supported by the universal laws of cause-and-effect instead of the authority of a dictator