quotes Illusion of truth

25 July 2021
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Updated 25 July 2021

Illusion of truth

As we start gaining awareness, our brains begin to record everything from our environment.
Over time, we will be programmed on different aspects of life as the norm, mostly defined as culture, customs, or religion. It is often not permissible to differ on or question such norms. At times, voicing a different view becomes like a sin that clashes with the collective mindset. It is a well-established cultural system deeply ingrained in consciousness. It governs behavior and practice, it guides our daily decisions and the entirety of our value judgments. Defining what is right or wrong, beneficial or harmful, permissible or forbidden, not to mention the influence of ego and intentions sometimes on those decisions.
It is no secret to anyone that there are many wrong deposits that we grew up with that affect our personalities and perceptions. Most of them are related to social life and hinder our mind from logical thinking.
The problem lies in the difficulty of changing these concepts because a person is affected by the habits, concepts, and beliefs that they have grown up with. Therefore, it is difficult to reconsider them as they have turned into beliefs that stifle critical thinking.
For example, the issue of girls’ education was taboo as education was limited to boys only. Also, couples used to meet for the first time only on the night of marriage. While these things and behaviors may have been acceptable in the past, it is no longer the case.

It is no secret to anyone that there are many wrong deposits that we grew up with that affect our personalities and perceptions. Most of them are related to social life and hinder our mind from logical thinking.

Asma Al-Janahi

Such assumptions took many years to change and establish a new societal thought, and conditions are now ripe for accepting renewed thought due to the speed of development in various aspects of life. However, does human thought develop socially and culturally at the same speed as the economy, industry, and technology?
To be fair, not all social axioms are wrong. Some of them may be true. Others may be illusions that we have adopted generation after generation, thinking they are correct but, in reality, they are just practices that govern our decisions and obscure our awareness. It is frightening that our current awareness is false, forcing us to repeatedly question every decision or judgment we make. Is it a preconception or a judgment that is in line with the new reality in which we live?
It is true that every country is proud of its heritage and culture and considers these as part of its national identity. But this does not necessarily mean that thought cannot develop, especially in some social customs and traditions. Our ancestors adapted to their own circumstances.
Each era has its own circumstances, culture, values, and requirements.
The new generation must possess the ability of creative thinking and deeper awareness. Let us be more rational and aware of the decisions and judgments we make about our children, and about some of the changes we notice around us in society. Are the decisions and judgments based on sediments and assumptions? Fear of society’s views and criticism? Or are they decisions based on important factors, needs for the future and the happiness of others?
In conclusion, our minds should not be led by perceptions that we received and adopted as they are, painted different versions of the truth.
Rather we want to better manage our minds so that they are not just receptacles that receive, but think and analyze situations to become leaders of positive thought and know how to differentiate between real consciousness and illusion.
Let our identity be an identity of coexistence and tolerance, and an identity of respect and humanity, with acceptance of change in action, thought, and practice.
I end my piece with a quote from the Saudi writer and thinker Ibrahim Al-Blaihi: “Whoever grew up in China, was raised on Confucianism, and whoever grew up in Europe is Protestant. Whatever we are raised on, becomes the standard. We call it identity, instead of teaching a man to be free from preconceptions.”

• Asma Al-Janahi is a UAE national with over 10 years of management experience in government excellence and the sport sector. She writes about management and social life.