Walking over an open grate is scary for most children and even some adults. Even though part of the brain understands that the grate is secure, part of the brain is reflexively scared by the vision of depth.
Likewise, swimming in deep water can be more scary than swimming shallow water for similar reasons — even if you can see the bottom. Part of the brain knows that you won’t “fall” to the deep bottom, but another part reflexively fears a fall. Depth is reflexively feared and respected and that “depth” can be perceived in terms of both quantity or complexity.
Astrology, Buddhism, Homeopathy, Biblical Studies, and Evolution all share something in common: depth. Volumes of material are written on these subjects. You could fill your walls with impressive book titles on these topics. These deep walls of information protect your beliefs. For if someone told you that your beliefs were nonsense, your mind would flash a picture of libraries of counter arguments — not the specific arguments, mind you, but just the image of a deep layers of books. This is one version of depth deception — depth of quantity. It is the illusion that if something you embrace has lots of fellow believers and writers, it must have believable substance. And depth illusion can also be caused by deep complexity.
Astrology is complicated — it has deep complexity. Sure, the average astrology fan only occasionally reads superficial daily horoscopes, but enthusiastic believers use complex computer programs to generate sophisticated charts showing the intricate alignment of planet positions and influences. Smart people write these programs. The different perspectives and calculations needed for making an accurate ‘scientific’ reading is mind-bogglingly deep. This is depth of complexity. It takes lots of time to learn this highly detailed material. In doing all this, the believer’s mind uses such depth in and of itself to support the believer’s confidence, even if Astrology is complete nonsense.
Believers are usually unaware that depth deception is strengthening their emotional resolve to protect their beliefs. We all do it.
Question to Readers: Have you ever wondered if your book collection itself offers you more support in your beliefs than they deserve?