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Chapter 4: How to make all your dreams come true

Paradoxically, it’s only in a group environment where the individual has no control, that he gains the perception of perfect self-control.

The third component of having sustainable hope is a community. Religions are the basis of communal hope. There are three types of religion depending on the core value: spiritual (Christianity, Judaism, Islam), ideological (capitalism, liberalism, communism, fascism), and interpersonal (romantic love, children, sports heroes, political heroes, celebrities).

When you get enough people with the same values together, they behave in ways they never would when alone. The social validation of being part of the group hijacks the Thinking Brain and makes people do highly impulsive and irrational things.

Religion brings groups of people together to mutually validate one another, making them feel important. It puts the Uncomfortable Truth away, that you and I and everyone we know will die, and little to nothing of what we do will ever matter on a cosmic scale. Psychologically, this is hugely satisfying.

Religions can be built from scratch. There’s a six-step mechanism that aims for people’s value hierarchy and makes them adopt ideas that maintain the feeling of hope.

Principles to follow