Beliefs’ power to establish our individual realities or at least influence their production with persuasive force is being challenged everyday in the news. Some of these pronouncements have completely uncoupled from the more shared perceptions of historical fact. Given the forest of fictions we are all enmeshed in today, I want to relate something closer to home: surgery to remove a very pesky and stone-laden gallbladder. 

When my wife rushed me to the hospital last June to have hospital staff explore why I was feeling so ill, I surrendered into a system that I felt had my well-being at heart. This was my belief. When a surgeon visited me after two days of tests, he announced, “Your gallbladder is enflamed, full of stones and is creating distressful conditions on your liver. We need to operate.”

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