Brutal truths are the hardest truths to face. But facing them and ceasing to live under illusions are not only acts of self-liberation, but ones that empower you to be a better person.
There are some brutal truths about life that most people choose to neglect because they make them feel uncomfortable.
What about you, do you choose to ignore or to face them?
1: The universe doesn’t care about you
This is what we know so far:
The space in which we find ourselves came into existence around 13.8 billion years ago, and since then has expanded to a hundred billion galaxies. Our galaxy alone contains 100 billion stars. Of these stars, many are several times bigger than our Sun. 1,300,000 earths would fit inside our sun.
Not only is most of the universe uninhabitable to our type of (carbon-based) life, 95% of it does not even seem to consist of the same type of matter (but 68 % dark energy and 27% dark matter). On earth, conditions for life are not much better.
Only with the help of technological achievement have men and women been able to maximize their capacity to survive as much as we have.
All of such achievement has been man-made. When you realize that you alone are the beacon of hope in the universe, you can take responsibility for that power and help others.
Anyone who looks at the world as it really is can see that it’s characterized by suffering in far greater measure than it is by happiness and prosperity. This is one of the brutal truths about life many people tend to neglect.
When you become aware that this is not by design, you see that it was merely a matter of chance that you were born into fortunate circumstances. You’ll see that the only reward for doing good is the goodness it can bring into the lives of others, and start to make genuinely moral decisions.
2: Beautiful moments are fleeting
Once you come to terms with the idea that happiness is not a final and stable state of existence, but passing moments in time, it makes you more able to realistically look upon what can be expected of life.
This will make you more stoical in your attitude to difficult situations and your attitude to your relationships will improve.
3: You will die
This is perhaps one of the biggest brutal truths to really come to terms with. Everybody knows on the surface of things that they are going to die, but people often only come to this realization truly when they are older.
If you can live with this realization, it will genuinely affect your attitude to life. It will make you appreciate the time you have more, and you’ll play a more active role in your life.
4: You will have regrets
Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has regrets. The important thing is to be able to face our regrets and incorporate them into our personal development. It’s very painful to look back on past experiences where you know you’ve behaved badly.
You have to forgive yourself for the things you did when you didn’t know any better. But it’s only when you look at those actions and admit your mistake that you can consciously make the decision to correct yourself for the future.
5: You are a primate
It is evident from our biology that: we share 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees, we grow fur and a tail in the womb. It’s also obvious from an honest analysis of human behavior that human beings are primates.
We have some savage characteristics, but also a capacity for reasoning and feeling empathy with our fellow living creatures.
“Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
―Charles Darwin,The Origin of Species
6: There’s never enough evidence to be absolutely sure of anything
All truth, if not logical or mathematical, is empirical.
That is, scientific or philosophical claims must have their source of experience, in the world we perceive. But this world, consisting of objects, is fundamentally mysterious because we can never know if our descriptions and claims about objects correspond to the objects themselves (meaning outside our perception).
For example, you can say the bowl is red, but that’s not to say that the atoms that make up the bowl have color. Even the laws we ascribe to nature are not necessarily true for all time, for we are bound by the limits of our mind and the duration of our existence. This is another one of the brutal truths most people are unaware of.
7: There is only now
The past is gone. The future is yet to come. Our minds traverse both realms so intimately that it almost seems as if we are there. Yet this world of our minds is only that: the realm of imagination. Focus on anything around you.
Feel what it is like to exist in a body. Be still. The past and the future are mere ideas. The present is all that is.
Live in it, or be as nothing.