« In which I discover a boundless source of instant gratification | Main | Adventures in reality testing »

The Prestige Have you seen The Prestige? In this beautiful film two great illusionists fight a personal and professional war. The film ends with the narrator saying: “the audience of an illusionist’s show does not want to know the truth”. Scientific studies agree, and our economical attitude to the truth is not restricted to performance art...
Working as a counsellor one is continuously faced with clients’ denial of some aspects of reality: a woman who does not want to know his husband is cheating on her, a man who refuses to acknowledge his workaholism. One wonders, how can they not see? The answer is that we continuously redefine reality to fit our false beliefs: “My husband is working hard every night until early morning because of that new client”, “I just want to make it to Sales Director and then I’ll really start enjoying life”.

The good news is that a degree of self deception is good. For example, very happy couple often have a larger than life vision of one another. I know I have been using denial on pretty major things, and I am surely self-deceiving myself on something right now. In fact, denial and repression are useful defence mechanism: there were times in which the truth was too difficult to face, and what about now? Are you ready to accept new information?

- Think about a difficult problem: the first one that comes into your mind is the right one
- Accept that you might have been unawarely ignoring information relevant to its solution. It was good you did that, it was not the right time.
- Is now a good time to solve the problem? If you decide it is, talk things through with someone you know capable of listening in a non-judgemental frame of mind. You will find new insights. If now it’s not a good time to solve the problem, go ahead and decide that you’ll temporary leave everything as it is.


I think that in many cases the person doesn't really believe on 100 % in those "false beliefs". Many of us just want to be the victim of the illusion and do it quite consciously.

mmm...Of course I think everybody has a nice small box full of our lies and we do not like to open it up in front of others...many times we try to believe in OUR LIES..but we know the truth.

I think it's a good idea to speak to someone which I can consider out of judgment and free to counsel me in a specific case. For sure he will open my eyes to something different from my point of view. The only thing I disagree is to say that we believe in our lies...I do not think so.

Thanks Leonardo,
I believe there's a place inside us where we know what is true, and yet such knowledge is not always conscious.

Post a comment

( Name required )

( Email required, never displayed )