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Trust: What is it?

I wanna say that Trust is the genetic and cultural conditioning that allows us to believe in the goodwill of others.

Early on in the history of modern Psychology, it was thought that humans had a natural capacity to trust strangers (like scientists and politicians we were not related to nor had ever met in person). It was later discovered that this was not so much a human psychological constant, but rather a weird psychological quirk of university undergraduates.

For most of the world and for most of human history, trust is only given to our parents and close family - truth (and power) is family/clan based.

The only reason I am aware of for why we in Northern Europe - and those that live as we do in “Western Educated Industrialised Rich Democratic” (WEIRD) societies - evolved this wider level of Trust, is due to the Church, in Medieval times, for some reason deciding that we should no longer marry family members (which had been the usual practise).

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You could make a case for trusting your dog and in some cases, even your cat…but a human, never.

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Do you really feel that way? It sounds so cynical! Please go into a bit.

Sounds clinical. Is trust merely an artifact of conditioning as you see it?

Do we trust each other here in the forum?

Why would you when you know that you can’t ‘trust’ yourself? The ‘self’ is not trustworthy. That’s not cynicism.

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

Rumi wrote this about trust:

Be thankful not for the friend’s kindness
but for his tyranny.
So the arrogant beauty in you
can become a lover that weeps.

The nature and nurture model has been amply demonstrated - if you have acces to some twins and a few years to spare, you can try some experiments yourself.
What we don’t know about Trust has yet to be demonstrated. Our ideas about Trust (actual and potential ideas/models) are of course not (and can never be) a complete reflection of reality, they are concepts.

I’d say this poem is about the mirror of relationship. We see our chains in the difficult moments.

PS - I trust my cat to steal my food off the plate when I’m not looking - the dog has yet to jump on to the dinner table (Allah be praised!)

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Dan: When knocked off our ‘perch’ (pedestal) there is a great flapping and flailing as we try to ‘get back’ to where the ‘comfort’ is, to get back to where ‘home’ is.

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Trust is tricky.

The word itself derives from PIE root deru - ‘be firm, solid, steadfast’ - which is also the same root for the words true, truth, and tree. Trees are clearly very trustworthy! - and truth the most trustworthy of all.

A couple of dictionary definitions (as they apply here):

if you trust someone, you believe that they are honest and sincere and will not deliberately do anything to harm you (Collins);

or, more generally:

a firm belief in the character, strength, or truth of someone (Merriam-Webster).

As macdougdoug says above, this kind of trust is most likely to be established between people who already know each other very well, such as close friends, intimate partners, and families. It is difficult to honestly extend this level of trust to complete strangers (as many of us are on this forum).

One straightforward but problematic way of establishing trust on this forum might be to create an in-group of participants who each believe themselves to be the special repository of K’s insight/mutation (don’t throw rocks at me for saying so!), and who encourage each other to indulge in this because it maintains each member in their self-belief.

So trust can be established among an in-group at the expense of the out-group. We see this kind of problematic cultivation of ‘trust’ occurring in closed Facebook groups, or even cults, which often leads to the uncritical acceptance of non-rational and conspiratorial views.

A reaction to this might be to create an alternative in-group of people who are cynical about K’s insights/mutation, but it is clear that this would be merely a reaction.

A third way of establishing trust might be to admit some kind of common ground that we all share - such as human consciousness (and its contents). K has indeed suggested this as a starting point that we can all stand on together. But this common ground will be rejected by those people who believe themselves to be the special repository of K’s insight/mutation, or who give extra importance to those sayings of K’s which speak of rejecting society, being an outsider to society.

Maybe those of us who feel we share a common human consciousness (with its contents) can make a start - climbing down from our pedestals and treating each other as equals - but if others feel that they stand apart from human consciousness and are only speaking from pure insight/ego-lessness etc, this approach will be unsustainable.

So we are at an impasse - it seems to me - so far as trust goes. What do you think might be the way through?

I think that K is saying the same thing here : https://forum.kinfonet.org/t/an-exercise-for-looking-at-each-of-our-lacking-contentments/1525

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Straightforward my A**!! :rofl: The main problem being that we crazy kooks have difficulty recognising other crazy kooks as our equals.
No obvious Special K in group here so far to my knowledge.

I do actually believe that you/we are human, and doing y/our best. And I do accept and understand that our best is often pretty poor.


What do you mean by ‘not trustworthy?’ What can’t the self be trusted to do?

Still sounds kind of clinical. Is it merely a matter of psychology/evolution for you? For me it’s more!

Love. (though it does desire and cherish - which could be argued is the opposite of love)

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Please state your case - unless you are just sharing your feelings.
Trust - as with all the other feelings we have, are productions of this body/mind (aka part of our psychology). What else would you like to add to the concept?

And important for a forum like this, I think.

But we are not complete strangers. We’ve all engaged with each other, often quite a bit for quite a while, here and in some cases in Zoom dialogues. We tend not to share personal information, but you can learn a lot about a person from what they say and how they say it.

Yes. Krishnamurti said trust comes with love, and nobody says love comes with a felt sense of shared being. That’s my pedestal and I ain’t comin’ down! :wink:

My feelings are ‘my case!’ To me trust is deep, important, and mysterious. I’m guessing that doesn’t resonate so strongly with you. Which provides us both with a delightful opportunity to get to know a smidgen more about each other by reading between the lines.

We can’t transact trade without trust. Even before we became civilized, we traded with other groups of hunter gatherers. It’s that simple. It’s just practical to be trustworthy.

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