Things conceal themselves from us all the time. In plain sight they lie in wait. I’ve been spending a lot of time and extra reading energy getting into Heraclitus teachings. He believed that reality itself was deceptive, that permanence itself was an illusion.
Things love to conceal their true nature. – Heraclitus
Look around you, and you will eventually see he’s right. I’ve spent a lot of time training myself to be more mindful and be in the present. It has improved my ability to see through the illusions that come into my path and navigate around them. That said, deception is still out there.
Animals camouflage themselves from protection against predators. In war, soldiers cover themselves in camouflage, feign weakness to draw their enemy in, and fake strength to prevent an enemy attack. In sports the best coaches disguise one play for that of another to confuse their opponents. In politics politicians hide character flaws.
So, how do we combat it when it is all around us? One way, is to look beyond our first impressions of a situation and what we see in it. We need to practice harder and more frequently discovering what might be going on beneath the surface. This is an important strategy when you are dealing with ambiguous situations and messages.
Here’s some reflection points to ask yourself to get you in that mindset:
- What seems deceptive in your current situation? Fully explore it and examine it. That gut instinct that something is off, usually is right.
- What are some other patterns and processes that might be at work? Try to log them and train yourself to find them. Each time it will become easier and easier to identify the deception.
- What is lurking beneath the surface of what you can see? Deception is skin deep and you won’t have to dig to deep to find it.
- In what ways are you deceiving yourself? Our worst enemy is our own mind. We make things up when they don’t exist a lot. Especially under pressure or stress.
Deception is something we will come into contact with over and over again. Being naive about it can put you at risk. Any adversarial moment that happens to us deserves to be examined very closely. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s just smart.
This week’s posts might be a little lighter than last week. Taking some time out to examine my own life on a bit of vacation. Hope you have a great start to your week. Thanks for reading.