1.  The "believing human brain" makes stuff up (there's an evolutionary reason why it does)
2.  And then we believe it as truth (also for an evolutionary reason).
3.  And then it "skips steps", to take shortcuts (also for an evolutionary reason).

Yes, in certain things, this way of processing (in a "non-thinking" way)  works to our benefit, BUT...


...BUT often it works to our detriment - where it really matters!

For important stuff in life that doesn't fit caveman days, we must however not believe what is made up nor skip the steps to arrive at what to believe in and how to utilize it in our lives.

We cannot make good decisions nor manage our lives well based on bad facts and "non-thinking" (defaulting to primitive brain automaticity).

Don't fall into these traps!  Recognize them.  Then correct the key beliefs (facts) that matter to what is true, using the higher brain in the process.  Then use reasoning to decide what to do and how to use the corrected means to what you want in life. 

Then turn many of those over to the automatic system that is effortless, but always using the higher brain as needed.  (Your freed up attention units will allow you to do that effectively!) 

Believing in ghosts, mysterious powers, magic, and false threats will disappear from your life - and your life will become much, much richer and much, much happier (without all that crap mucking up the works!).

For a quick look deeper link into:  The Believing Brain - One Sentence Summary Of Key Points - Covers all the main points, but with one sentence for each.

Then come back to this page to read more and follow the sequence.

(See the learning/implementation program, in the text below.)


Well, we, fortunately evolved to have a higher brain, called a cortex, to note what seemed to produce undesirable outcomes and then go in to correct the situation.

The problem is that we fail to use the evolutionary addition, so we don't note that there is a problem and then find what is causing the problem and then devise the solution. 

Now, is that dumb or is that dumb?   not produce the results we wants which often mislead us in life and get in the way of our happiness and effectiveness.

The bottomline is:  If we don't intervene, we'll be operating on "stupid" mode.

Your choice. 


It's not "hard" to use your higher brain, though many of us have "made up" a story that it is

We simply devise (or find one) a procedure to detect "thinking errors" and then we insert what is actually true and not "made up" - we eliminate what doesn't work to produce the results and feelings we want in life.  We use logic.  We gather facts, that we verify.  This is one of the key basic skills that make life work better - called Critical Thinking

It's your choice.  Develop this and use it ...or let "undesired outcomes" and "bad feelings" continue, needlessly.  (We CAN solve these, but if we don't take responsibility for doing so, we are left with being a victim of the erroneous thinking - yikes!  The hard truth about this is that we all do this to some extent!   It shows up in being overweight, having high blood pressure, poor blood sugar regulation, being unhealthy, being stressed, and/or being unhappy.   Not good!  I recommend using your higher brain instead!)


(This is a preview.  The actual page will be updated and have all the links:  The Learning Implementation Believing Brain Program.)

Learn about the believing brain and how it works and doesn't work.  Read the One Sentence Summary Of Key Points get more of a view of all key points and/or read the complete piece (the latter is most recommended):  The Believing Brain More In Depth - About 15 pages or so, for a greater understanding.

Learn the initial overview summary of how the whole mechanical body/brain system works.  (Later, we'll return to do it in more depth, but for now go on to the next step.)

Learn what thinking errors are and how to correct them.  (So simple, but most people put it off or don't do it right!)
Learn what stupid solutions are and what smart solutions to use instead!!!  (The solution to living a better life, d'ya think!?!)
Continuing...see program link, below.

Use the complete list, continuing this also, Believing Brain Learning And Implementation Program.     _____________________________________________________________

Read this quick summary, although it may be a bit of a "review" of what you've already read, then follow the "what's next" steps at the end.


1.  We seek to explain everything, seeking certainty, so we "invent" explanations,
even gods or mysterious forces.

2.  These are "made-up", prone to being wrong, yet we believe they are "the truth".

3.  When we get undesired results, we fail to question and correct these "thinking errors" - and then we keep operating based on them. 

4.  We conclude first, then we selectively seek evidence to support the conclusion and reject or don't even see and/or discount anything contradictory.

5.  Our mind identifies patterns, trying to predict (to protect us).  It does
so primitively and is often wrong.  (Intuition, for example, is often wrong, but many erroneously believe that it is always correct.)

6.  We give "agency" to inanimate or imaginary things - where we think they have
a will and intentions ('the universe wants me to succeed', my "inner child"...).

    A.  A major mistake is to give agency, attributed will and intention, to the
         mechanical mind!!!!  The mechanical mind is strictly mechanical, yet we
         assume it has alot more powers and intelligence than it does - it is relatively
         dumb compared to the higher brain. 

Going along with the primitive believing brain, and not intervening, can and will be harmful, as in any case where we are operating on an erroneous basis.

You must understand how this works if you want to live a better life.

A few comments and emphases

Our erroneous beliefs result from thinking errors, where we overgeneralize or we make conclusions that are totally irrational and non-factual.  We fail to use our "critical thinking" (i.e., just plain logic).

We even come up with a false sense of control, to make ourselves "safer", though it does the opposite. We waste much of our life imposing fictional control on what is not controllable.  (Major essential to know:  Control - Its Proper Use: Stop The Waste, Increase Power.)

We even "make up" beings (gods, personas, mysterious forces) that we talk to and believe have "agency" (will and thinking and intention on their own), whereas they actually do not.  (We often give "human" qualities and thinking ability to inanimate objects, such as the universe, or made up objects, such as our "inner child" or "dark shadow" or even "our ego", which are all strictly fiction!!!!)

And we explain the unexplainable or unknowable with "wrong cause" conclusions, which are often based on the magical or mystical, but very, very false!

We make up beliefs that are not true and then we believe they are true.  We make up that the "other side" is evil or bad (look at our last election!).  And then we stick to our beliefs, ignoring facts to the contrary ("selective evidence") - essentially making us "ignorant non-thinkers", i.e. "stupid", a failure to use one's brain.

If you want to live at the highest level in life, you've go to use your higher brain's ability to use logic and distinguish what is fact or not (or what should be checked out), always being aware that your belief or conclusion could be wrong.  

Ignore this caution at the risk of having a lower quality life and alot less happiness and life effectiveness.  What else can I say?  This is a mandatory fundamental for happiness!!!!!


Read the One Sentence Summary Of Key Points and consider reading the entire piece at The Believing Brain More In Depth.

Continue onward through The Believing Brain Learning And Implementation Program. This program will link to a following program that will finish off some other related aspects of happiness and peace of mind.  

Old notes before revision:

Almost everyone recognizes the idea that we see through "filters", but most people don't seem to apply that to themselves.  But, if you want to live a great life, you simply must learn to tell the difference between B.S. and facts, between altered or misbelieved "facts" and real facts.  The more you do this, the more sane you'll be.

Shermer, op. cit., refers to "confirmation bias, or the tendency to seek and find confirmatory evidence in support of already existing beliefs and ignore or reinterpret disconfirming evidence."

Read in Shermer's book about "self-justification bias", "attribution bias" (where we misassign cause to something largely coincidental or co-related), "sunk cost bias" (where we want to avoid recognizing losses by not selling a losing stock, while freely selling off winners), "status quo bias" (the tendency to opt for whatever it is we are used to), "endowment effect" (tendency to value more what we own more than what we do not own [or have]), "framing effects" (a positive frame focuses on gain, not loss), "anchoring bias" (when we lack an objective standard we pick what is at hand), "intentional blindness bias" (where our focus is intended at one objective, we will actually not even see a gorilla walk through the picture), and last but not least "not seeing our own tendency to have blind spots"


The basic idea here is not at all complex.  Use the scientific method to decide if something is true and to not believe in what you make up as if it were a fact instead of a "made-up".

Be sure you use critical thinking or you'll keep repeating your thinking and belief errors and keep on getting results you don't want. 


Very short summary:

The Believing Brain - One Sentence Summary Of Key Points - Covers all the main points, but with one sentence for each.


The Believing Brain More In Depth - About 15 pages or so, for a greater understanding.

Implement into life

The Believing Brain Learning And Implementation Program

See also, below, "Some False Entities"


Video (1:08:46)- Believing Brain, Shermer's presentation to the University Of Melbourne.


THE BELIEVING BRAIN: From Ghosts And Gods To Politics And Conspiracies - How We Construct Beliefs And Reinforce Them As Truths, by Michael Shermer.

While you're at it, read Thinking, Fast And Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, the psychiatrist who won the Noble Prize In Economics...


"Inner Child"
"Dark Shadow" or even "Our Ego"
Personality as self (such as Ego; learn Who I Am)


Mental Constructs, Mind Made-Ups, And Reality - The Effects Of Not Realizing They are Not Real - So incredibly essential to understand!

Critical thinking - Stop thinking errors and problems! 

   Evidence - Real Or

Emotional Reasoning - Huge thinking error, but we still swear by it!

Playing The God Games - And Leaving The Suffering, Unwinnable Games Behind - Avoiding the errors of the believing brain, we can gain freedom and set up winning games!

Habits - The very "doable" alternative way to gain habits and make life easy. 

Cognitive Dissonance - Great source of "stuckness"

Psychological Problem Solving - Only when we stop believing "wrong cause" and that emotions are real can we solve our problems effectively.

Certainty - A Quality Of Being - Develop certainty in a way that works better than the false way.


"Our ability to generalize and see patterns from incomplete information is a highly intelligent skill that has been difficult to develop in computers. Yet that same intelligence-producing skill is also responsible for faulty conclusions we've jumped to. Our brain is so predisposed to see patternsthat it sometimes sees a pattern that actually doesn't exist. The value of this book is that once you recognize the inherent weaknesses in your brain, you can compensate for them. In fact, the scientific method was developed to do exactly that: Compensate for our own tendency to misperceive reality and keep us from fooling ourselves."

Adam Khan, recommending Gilovich's book: Link

Get the point?  It is essential to use the "scientific method" (reason, logic, facts) to run a good life!!!!  See Critical Thinking.


Going along with the primitive believing brain, and not intervening, can and will be harmful, as in any case where we are operating on an erroneous basis.

It is essential that you understand how it works and then to master this so you operate based on what is true and workable.  If we do not do this, it is impossible to be truly happy.

To operate well in life, these truths are essential.  Without knowing these, one is left being at the mercy of them.  

This is essential knowledge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Read Your (Bio)Mechanical Brain/Body - Summary.  Consider following the learning   program in The Thinking Brain, Contents, Links


We "fill in the blanks", often erroneously, and then we believe they are the truth.

Our primitive brain functions by learning "patterns" to survive.  However, many of the patterns are wrong, plus patterns are seen where there is no pattern! 

We seek to "explain" everything, whether logical or not, whether based on facts and reality or not.  (Variously called a "made up", a "story" [where we have some facts but weave it all together with things we just make up], a "rationale", or "faith".)

So we make false conclusions, and we operate based on them, often producing undesirable results!!!!!

Oh, crap!  That doesn't sound so good! 

What should I do???