Posted by: Millard J. Melnyk | August 3, 2015

Fighting Ghosts

We fight because of the stories we tell — more accurately, because of the stories others told us.

Almost none of the conflict in the world originates from situations themselves or the facts about the people involved in them. Doable ways to avoid and resolve conflicts amply exist in almost every case, but people refuse to consider or try them because of stories they have in their heads — stories that often wildly contradict the facts. The contradictions would be easy to see if anyone bothered to look. But once people get fear in their heads, they close their eyes and refuse to consider options, especially those that imply they got it all wrong.

So conflict and violence are almost never necessary or natural. They are contrived. They aren’t the fault of nature or circumstance, but of paranoid, stubborn humans clinging desperately to stories they think they’ll die without. Then they act on those stories and, see? Sure enough, killing and maiming were unavoidable.

This is insane. More exactly, it’s paranoid delusion: believing that the stories we concoct are more real and true than the facts we belligerently deny, until fiction becomes fact and facts vaporize.

The world isn’t even barely as hostile as we think it is. Delusively paranoid people turn it into a dangerous place.

That’s psychosis, not “realism”.

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