Silencing the Voice of Reason (Part 3): The Pros and Cons of Speaking the Truth

Thursday, February 18, 2016

It is highly recommended to read Part 1 and Part 2 before reading the following.

We’ve already established why and how disconnected people react when in confrontation with reality, and that in order to remain in denial and disconnection one has to ignore trauma and silence reason—that of other people and in themselves. Here, I will talk about the personal and social effects of being a voice of reason.

There are both negative and positive consequences related to being a voice of reason in our society.

The negatives:

1. Social outrage. If you decide to be principled and to have high integrity, you see that most people don’t objectively see reality. If you share your insight and stand up for what is objectively right, some of those people will get upset and try to silence you. Remember, in their eyes, the problem is not the horrors and injustices of reality that you are describing, but rather the problem is YOU describing it because you are challenging their denial and delusion. It triggers emotional pain because they haven’t dealt with their trauma and therefore they perceive your behavior as an attack from you towards them.

2. Personal attacks. Because people perceive your voice of reason as a personal attack on their psyche, they try to “defend” themselves by ATTACKING you. For some people, receiving aggressive comments, insults, and threats can be very stressful, especially if they still have a lot of unprocessed trauma themselves. Being personally attacked may lead to self-doubt, retraction of your statements and theories, social isolation, or endless debates—both externally and internally. In other words, in such a scenario the voice of reason has been successfully silenced, or at least subdued.

3. Ostracism. Another way people deal with pain is fleeing from the situation or removing a trigger. Since YOU are the painful trigger in this case, they may either distance themselves from you or ostracize you. This may also lead you to a similar set of unpleasant outcomes as personal attacks do.

4. Idealization. Some people get overly excited when they hear a voice of reason and then unconsciously project their fantasy of an emotional savior onto them. This clouds their overall perception of the person thus making it impossible to see them realistically. Many—especially occasional truth-tellers, pretenders, and the blissfully confused—may take it to be a good thing. However, this, mixed with false mass-validation, seemingly boosts—i.e., unrealistically skews—their already unrealistic self-esteem. Eventually this leads to delusion which is now mixed with ignorance and a sense of self-righteousness; it is well known that ignorance combined with confidence combined with power can be dangerous. In other words, false validation and inflated acclaim can result in self-overestimation, which is a form of reality distortion.

5. Vilification. The other side of the same coin is seeing a person worse than they actually are, especially if the individual doing it idealized them beforehand. It’s part of a psychological phenomenon known as black and white thinking, where a person perceives someone as being either unrealistically wonderful or unrealistically bad. So at some point, a voice of reason may be perceived as being evil and dangerous, which may lead to mass bashing, unreasonable criticism, and other forms of silencing mentioned above. Living in a highly delusional and disconnected society results in people perceiving each other unrealistically on a mass scale and enabling each other’s delusions, be it idealization or vilification, overestimation or underestimation.

6. Insanity. If you are the only one who perceives and processes reality accurately and everyone else you encounter is delusional or insane, then at some point you may actually become seriously mentally ill. There’s a saying which, in so many words, means that if you spend too much time around crazy people, you will start doubting your sanity and actually become mentally unwell, too. This is what people experience as children when their thoughts, feelings, and experiences are routinely invalidated. But the same can be said about staying invisible, or being fake, or being a part of—or even on top of—this toxic culture. Famous, rich, and otherwise highly rewarded people may lead miserable lives despite achieving “success.” Many of them simply kill themselves because they prefer being dead over staying a part of a rotten culture that they both contributed to and that greatly rewards them for staying fake or invisible.

The positives:

1. A realistic map of reality. I believe that, despite all the potential struggles, problems, and fears, it is always better (fundamentally) for an adult to accept reality as it actually is. That is the root of sanity and mental health. By having an accurate map of reality—both of your external and internal reality—you can navigate it easier. Accepting reality as it is eventually results in profound clarity and authenticity.

2. Genuine happiness. When you are actually in a close connection with reality, you can be more effective in achieving your goals and being authentically happy and peaceful.

3. Awareness and validation. When you publicly describe reality as it actually is, you are spreading awareness and validation. There are many who are silent because they are afraid, yet, they internally agree with you as they see the same things. It provides them with validation and they are thankful for that. Some people who are spreading the voice of reason strive for validation themselves because at the moment they are not as resolved as they can be. By doing this, they can hear others echoing the message back, which provides validation and empowerment. However, as mentioned in the section about being idealized, instead of being dependent on external validation, it is vital to learn self-validation and to have a healthy sense of self-esteem.

4. Personal satisfaction. By openly describing the unpleasant aspects of reality, many people get satisfaction. Vocalizing reality is important, truly valuable, and requires courage. It has an impact on your life and on the lives of others. Even if it is sometimes difficult to see, especially when a person feels attacked, ignored, invalidated, or self-doubtful.

5. Friends and allies. When you are truly real, and have integrity and courage, you can actually meet those rare souls who also value growth, integrity, and courage. When you speak, you are visible. For many, being visible is terrifying because they were trained to stay invisible and self-erase. But how can others know who you really are if you are hiding? Being visible, principled, and having good priorities leads to healthier personal relationships, starting with a healthier relationship with oneself.

6. A better future. By spreading awareness, reason, clarity, and validation, you are contributing to a better world. Whether it’s standing up for somebody (be it you or someone else), or spreading awareness, or sharing useful information, or talking about your difficult experiences, you are contributing to a great cause. Sometimes it may seem that nobody cares, or that only people 500 years from now will fully grasp what you are saying. However, even if nobody truly understands or appreciates the meaning and importance of your vocalization of reality now, it is still important, it is still valuable, and future generations will have something to refer to and learn from.

Again, the detriments and benefits of being in reality and describing it to others vary from person to person. It can sometimes be stressful, confusing, or even scary, but in many cases the positives outweigh the negatives and lead to a more authentic life.

Take the leap and stay visible!
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  1. great article, Darius. thank you for it.

  2. Your writing is an inspiration, Darius. As are you videos, podcasts, and all the work you do. Thank you.