A highlight from #354: The Surprising Upsides of Self-Deception | Shankar Vedantam


From abc this is the ten percent happier. Podcast i'm dan harris. Hey guys anybody with a passing. Familiarity with buddhism will know that delusion is rarely if ever mentioned in a positive way in fact the buddha included delusion otherwise known as confusion about the way things really are on his list of the three poisons that was one of one of his many many lists the three poisons. The whole point of meditation for the buddha is to uproot delusion along with the other two poisons greed and hatred only then. Can you be enlightened. My guest today is here to valiantly make the case. That delusion or self-deception actually has an upside several websites while he concedes that self-deception can of course be massively harmful. He argues that it also plays a vital role our success and well being in that it holds together friendships marriages even nations understanding. This he says can make you happier more effective and crucially more empathetic with people with whom you disagree. Shankar bottom is the host of the incredibly popular and very very good podcast and radio show called hidden brain. His new book is called useful. Delusions the power and paradox of the self-deceiving brain. In this conversation. We talk about the many ways in which our brains filter and alter our perception of reality why we evolved for such a robust capacity to lie to ourselves and how his research on delusion has colored his view of the chaos and confusion of our modern world one important order of business before we dive in with trucker though it has to do with a very common human condition that you could argue is based in delusion anxiety. If you're anything like me you may know anxiety very well. We want to teach you how to build a healthier relationship with your anxiety in our brand new taming anxiety series a series of episodes that will kick off next week. Right here on the podcast. We'll bring you four brand new episodes that explorer the science of anxiety. The way it shows up in your life and what to do about it and we will be answering the many many questions that you sent us over the last couple of weeks. Thank you for doing that by the way and as more good news. Well-meant it to help you put everything you're gonna hear in this special podcast series into practice. We're also launching a free taming anxiety challenge in the ten percent happier app. What you may ask is a challenge. Here's how it works everyday. You'll get a short video featuring me and conversation with an anxiety expert and also a phenomenal meditation teacher. And then that video will slide directly into a ten minute guided meditation. If you are at all skeptical about the notion of doing meditation challenge. Check out this quote from a podcast listener. Who participated in our last challenge here it. I've literally listened to dan since this podcast began finally at the peak of frustration with the pandemic. How poorly i was managing stress work politics. I joined a challenge. I completed my twenty one day. Challenge had never meditated so consistently. Before i am more aware and i am not alone. Covert is still here uncertainty. Still here how. I choose to manage. All of it has changed so awesome to hear that.

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