The Art of Distraction from Truth


“As long as we treat the effect like it was the cause we will never see the change.”

Life at times seems like one big coping mechanism. Anything we can do to keep us from facing head-on the reality that awaits us seems to be the road most traveled. Frankly, its this very road that distracts us from what I believe is the ultimate path towards any semblance of peace.

Can you imagine what life would be like in another culture without so many things to distract us? Oh, I’m sure we’d find something. But frankly, I am not sure what.

It seems like for every coping mechanism we put to rest, there are 3 or 4 more lined up to take their place. Same song, different verse.

And so life goes on in the fast lane of recidivism.

It is my belief that until we understand that anything we apply to our reality that is built upon faulty infrastructure is not sustainable. With this, a life of one coping mechanism after another will be the only life we’ll ever know.

Too often, we’re told that if we could just do this or that when we face this or that that it will help you out of this or that. What this is doing is merely attacking the effect of the cause with application techniques. If we do this enough, surely we’ll change. If we distract ourselves enough from the core problem, we’ll never have to face the real problem.

Quite frankly, it is this approach, in my honest opinion, that is the biggest coping mechanism of all. It doesn’t really do anything but feed the machine of recidivism. And it is because of this that I would label this approach as a distraction with a false sense of solving something.

In The Ascent of Truth, author Thomas Merton shares this quote from Blaise Pascal and then opines regarding distraction.

“Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries and yet it is, itself, the greatest of our miseries.” Why? Because it “diverts” us, turns us aside from the one thing that can help us to begin our ascent to truth. That one thing is the sense of our own emptiness, our poverty, our limitations, and of the inability of created things to satisfy our profound need for reality and for truth.

When will we realize that the real problem isn’t found in the effect of our actions but rather the root of our causes? Yet, we treat the effect as if it were the cause.

What happens when we find ourselves distracted by a false sense of solving something? What happens when that itself, is the distraction?

A distraction that is a distraction from the truth all the while thinking we are addressing the truth. And then we wonder why nothing we are doing ever takes hold.

The only traction this will lead to is something I call the merry-go-round effect. It doesn’t lead to anywhere, it just goes round and round.

Who’s ready for some traction? Who’s ready for some breakthrough? I know I am.


When will we realize that the real problem isn’t found in the effect of our actions but rather the root of our causes? Yet, we treat the effect as if it were the cause.



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