Your Facts are Not Facts

the journey

 

I went to see a Christian movie this weekend, “God’s Not Dead”. The gist of the movie is that a college philosophy professor hates God and makes all first year students sign a statement that says “God is Dead”. His justification is that it will speed the class along. The movie mostly centers around a young student who is a devout Christian and as such, can’t sign the document, so the professor forces him to defend his stand in three lectures to the class over the course of the movie. As the kid makes an argument the professor takes pleasure in poking holes in it, but the kid always comes back. The interesting part of it is the use of “arguments” and “facts” against one another, and seeing how some of them are very open to interpretation.

My sister has this story. It goes like this: Say you’ve got two girls who are identical twins and separated at birth. One lives with this family on the west coast, everyone in the family is amazingly above-average attractive. The other goes to live with a family on the east coast. Everyone in the family is off-the charts brilliant. But the two girls are just average. Not ugly, not stupid, but not particularly gifted in either area either. Say both girls meet guys who they think are perfect at about the same time, and they both get dumped about the same time. No real drama around the break-up, the guy just felt they weren’t “the one” for whatever reason. So both girls talk about the breakups in their therapy. The girl who was raised by the super gorgeous people might think the reason why he dumped her was because she wasn’t attractive enough, while the girl who was raised by the super smart family might thing it was because she wasn’t smart enough. Both might be wrong. But they grew up always feeling a certain way, and it’s internalized so much that they believe it. These are their facts, their core beliefs about themselves. “I’m not pretty enough”, “I’m not smart enough”.

Their facts are not facts.

I did a lot of string unraveling this weekend. I can look back on my life and see how I came up with this idea that’s caused me to hurt others and myself. I took all these unrelated things, stimuli over my life and strung them together in an equation that without inspection made sense, and then I took that equation as a central fact that steered my life. A + green + 11 + the square root of a dog’s bark + ninety eleven + Suzy Jenkins down the street + pie = 3.

Now I’ve got to undo all that crap, all the habitualized behaviors that’s created, all the emotional responses that have been caused by that fallacy as self defense mechanisms.

My facts are not facts.

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One Response to “Your Facts are Not Facts”

  1. […] Of course I read it before I emailed it over.  And the emotions just came flooding back.  Only with some of these new realizations as a result of all the “work” a lot of “stuff” looked and felt…  different.  What’s happened in my head and heart over the 40 years to make me what I was was cumulative.  There wasn’t just one thing, one magical moment that caused everything.  Or maybe there was/were a couple moments that started it and then there was a snowball effect.  That made it bigger and messier.  Not sure.  But the Charlotte thing was definitely a part of it.  I think maybe it was one of those events that reinforced my facts that weren’t facts. […]

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