There is absolutely and irrevocably nothing more likely to raise the hackles and turn a good conversation bad than to willingly or unwittingly call into question another person’s core belief system. Beyond this, and far outside (or is that inside?) the problematic orbits of political ideology, cultural convention and personal interpretations of the rich smorgasbord of human behaviour and experience that is human reality, far out on the periphery of liminal awareness is the core belief that, should you ever dare to question, is far more likely to end up in black eyes and bruises, insults and nasty aftertastes than any other personal affront.

But what is all this hyper-sensitivity, this endemic, aggressive and reflexive bristling and baring of teeth whenever core beliefs at challenged? What is the central pivot and focus around which this all orbits? What is the key factor and ineradicable axiom here? It is your Self, your interiority, the self-inflected expansiveness of emptiness and abstraction, the mischievously indefinable essence if (human) being and – fundamentally, foundationally and not in any sense to which your intuition is attached – it does not exist.

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