You Can Face Reality

What is true is already so.
Owning up to it doesn’t make it worse.
Not being open about it doesn’t make it go away.
And because it’s true, it is what is there to be interacted with.
Anything untrue isn’t there to be lived.
People can stand what is true,
for they are already enduring it.
Eugene Gendlin

(Hat tip to Stephen Omohundro.)

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  • http://emotionsforengineers.blogspot.com Tony

    M. Scott Peck in the Road Less Traveled says something like, “Mental health is a commitment to reality at any cost.”

    Gendlin’s take on it is spot on too.

    I have an article that I’m writing on that in my emotionsforengineers blogspot.

    I will definitely link to this site as well.

  • TGGP

    “Mental health is a commitment to reality at any cost.”
    Depression is considered a mental illness. The depressed are less biased in their self-assessments than the population as a whole. Personally, I agree with Caplan and Szasz that “mental illness” is a poor borrowing from medicine to psychiatry and is usually unfalsifiable.

  • http://emotionsforengineers.blogspot.com Tony

    The depressed are less biased in their self-assessments than the population as a whole.

    Can that be true? What about their assessments of the rest of the world outside themselves? My experience with depressed people runs very counter to that. Do you have any references to that?

  • TGGP

    Do you have any references to that?
    Yes. They do underestimate the probability their their depression will end, however (I’ll see if I can find the link to where I read that, it was likely another GMU blogger). I don’t know about other cognitive biases in the depressed.

  • http://www.myspace.com/iamnow Rob Zahra

    This quote sounds nice and is useful if taken metaphorically, but it is technically less universally applicable than it appears, because there is a map/territory confusion. Surely there exist hypothetical agents in certain environments who by more accurately modeling themselves directly cause their own destruction. In other words, yes we are already living with reality, but no we are NOT all already “living with *living with reality*”. Accepting the quote uncritically, one might feel a false sense of assurance that this plan cannot fail.
    Rob Zahra