An expert of some kind on a recent PBS talk show said there was “no way” a connection between my lucky hat and the good fortune I enjoy whenever I wear it (as I am seen doing above, 20 years ago, with my daughter). At the heart of that seemingly sensible certainty is a form of delusion that causes so much of the harm we humans inflict on one another. It is the delusion that “our best sense of things,” is, in fact, “the truth.”
This is why I’m convinced the universe has a great sense of humor. Despite an ocean of evidence suggesting that just about any conviction we have will be found, sooner or later, to be incomplete (if not downright nuts), all too often we remain infatuated with the notion that our view of things is “the” view of things. We’re like first graders wearing our parents clothes, pretending to be masters of the universe.
The fun starts the day we start realizing how silly we behave.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), famous philosopher, pacifist and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, was once asked whether he would be prepared to die for his beliefs. “Of course not,” he replied. “After all, I may be wrong.”