The written word is not necessarily any truer than the spoken word, and the act of writing something down doesn’t make a thought true.
The reason I mention this is because I see that a lot of people have -for lack of a better word – gullibility when it comes to written words. They’re more likely to believe the words if they’re written down as opposed to spoken. I have theories as to why this is the case… because a lot of books are filled with facts, it’s easy to believe that all books are filled with facts unless the words are obviously false or made-up or labeled as fiction. It’s also easier to believe opinion words when they are mixed in with words that are true. Which means a random opinion could be thrown in among a bunch of facts, and people are more likely to believe it because it is surrounded by facts, and their brains aren’t switching gears to notice the presence of an opinion.
I was very gullible about written words until two years ago at the age of 29, so definitely don’t feel bad if you are in this camp. I’ll explain further – it’s kind of a funny story.
I uncovered that I was more gullible with written than spoken words while taking the Lefkoe Freedom Course. In the course, I was to write down the thoughts I had that were causing my emotional upsets, and the conclusions I was jumping to.
I remember I had a moment when I was writing down my beliefs – the false beliefs I didn’t want, and panicking because I was writing them down. I realized the reason for my panic. It was because I was subconsciously thinking If I write these horrible beliefs down, that means they will become true. This subconscious thought had been causing me anxiety throughout the course, because I was supposed to write down my beliefs frequently.
And that’s how I had a breakthrough. I believed that written words – unless very obviously false – were the truth – and that writing down a subjective thought would make it come true! I started laughing when I realized that this was my belief. It was such a huge breakthrough for me, and a tremendous relief.
I knew that if I wrote down the words “The moon is made of cheese,” that it wouldn’t come true. It was only the case when I was dealing with more subjective thoughts that couldn’t easily be disproven. So if I were to write down the words (or read someone else’s words) that said an opinion – I was very likely to begin agreeing with that opinion and find evidence for why the opinion was valid.
I realized, in retrospect, how much this particular nuance of thinking had affected my mind and my ability to think freely, and therefore damaged my emotional state. I also realized that if I had this nuance, there are probably a bunch of other people that still have it too.
Gullibility in the written word explains a lot of things. It certainly explains fundamentalism based on written texts.
How is my life different now that I’m way less gullible with written words? I feel more at peace. I notice opinions now – whereas before I would accept them as truth. My mind is much freer. Opinions tend to stick out like a sore thumb to me. I’ll be reading something and be thinking… truth… truth… truth… opinion… truth… truth… false… truth… I can tell the writer is upset emotionally here, and therefore believing something untrue…. truth… truth…
Remember: just because it’s written down, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true. And just because it’s spoken, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true either. Check your sources.