The ability to honestly assess something—casting aside ideology and viewing phenomena through the clear glass of evidence/experimentation—is essential in propagating personal development, a sound democracy, and critical thinking. Unfortunately this is a painful thing if one has muddied their perception by lying to themselves—choosing empty platitudes instead of sussing through unpleasant causalities. But once refined, this ability is used in every endeavor and every arena…from building complex structures to understanding the difference between what’s humorous and what’s not. It keeps problems small and manageable, rather than allowing them to mutate into giant beasts. It enables one to adjust for context and harmonize with the environment, and it also builds consensus—for evidence-based truth can slice apart pretty-sounding crap and invoke widespread function. When our baser nature cries for the seductive comfort of self-deception, being honest with oneself can be an act of heroism; it adds another clear mind into the whirlpool of falsity that many drown in. Sure, there are personal benefits, but being willing to sacrifice obsolete views and seductive self-deceptions is, I believe, the very key to unlocking harmony. The implication that one must sacrifice or kill their useless aspects can be extrapolated from a plethora of belief systems from both the East and the West.
Nested in many of those implications is the idea that when an individual decides to fix him/herself, it is a heroic endeavor, and has the potential to fix the world. I happen to agree with that.