All of us are prone to making mistakes with our minds. That comes with being human. Nobody sees reality as it is, because there's no way to tell what as it is means, since every conscious being views the world through their own set of perception filters.
But there's ways to come closer to the truth about reality.
Basically, we need to accept true things as being true. Like global warming, gravity, and the honking of geese.
And we need to to accept false things as being false. Like Donald Trump's claim that he didn't want the Ukraine president to announce an investigation into a political rival in exchange for getting military aid and a White House visit.
In between the poles of true and false there's something else: don't know.
I love those two words. I wish everybody on Earth adored them also. If they did, the world would be filled with much less dogmatism, holier-than-thou self-righteousness, and rigidity.
Don't know is ubiquitous, because few things (maybe zero things) can be known with 100% certainty. This is the way of science, and of wise everyday life.
We can be highly confident that something is true or false, but there's always at least a tiny bit of don't know lurking in the shadows. Facts might pop up that would change our point of view, where "our" encompasses both an individual's ideas and an entire culture's way of looking at the world.
Today I listened to a guided meditation by Jeff Warren on my Calm iPhone app that focused on the benefits of embracing don't know.
It's a great thing to keep in mind during a meditation session, because those words lead us toward a sense of openness, or beginner's mind.
Of course, most religious people hate don't know, because they wrongly believe that they know. About God. About heaven. About life after death. About divine messengers.
They do their best to cover up their truthful lack of knowing with false certainty in a holy book or holy person. Not surprisingly, this leaves them less likely to actually know, since a feeling of don't know is what impels us to learn, explore, try new things.
Don't know also is an aid to peace of mind.
After all, most of us find ourselves worrying about unwelcome possibilities that often don't come to pass, or if they do, aren't as bad as we thought they'd be. So telling ourselves, don't know, can be comforting. Rather than being sure a dental appointment, for example, will be dreadful, we can truthfully say, don't know.
Which doesn't mean that things will turn out fine. Often, they don't. But it's better to be disturbed by a nasty present-moment reality, than by worries that precede that reality by hours, days, weeks, months, or even years.
And usually we don't know how long a bad situation will last, even though our anxious mind may be thinking, it will never end.
If you want to know more about how Jeff Warren looks upon don't know, there's a 41-minute talk on this subject on his web site. I just came across it, so haven't listened to the talk yet. I'm confident that the talk contains a lot of wisdom.
But I don't know for sure.