This isn’t the first comment I’ve seen on the difficulty of seeing things as they are. I confess to be slowly reaching the conclusion that one of the great human failings is an ideological mindset – in the sense of one which squeezes or suppresses facts when they contradict ideological leanings, rather than modifying ideas in light of facts, however discomfiting. 

Particularly vulnerable to this may be those who need to follow someone, whether powerful, charismatic or simply famous.  But we’re all susceptible to the obfuscations of bias, fears and hopes. 

The hardest thing of all is to see what is really there. 

Heaven grant me clarity (at least when I need it).

Source: J.A. Baker, The Peregrine (1967), quoted in James Rebanks, English Pastoral: An inheritance (London: Penguin, 2021)

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