The defense mechanisms go up and resistance is strong and focused, blinding them to any truth be it theirs or the others, the ones outside the tribe/group/dojo. They pull into a circle of wagons to defend against the attackers. They say to themselves, "We know the truth and we will defend that till our dying breath!"
Unknowingly they will circle up and lash out ageist the naysayers. They will justify and argue even when it may sound ridiculously absurd. They will pull in and ignore the others and refuse to discuss it. They feel their nobility and will strive to make that belief stronger.
This is how some end up getting themselves into spots that when shown to be false leaves them embarrassed. It also can take some who start out with the noblest intentions and lead themselves into beliefs that in the beginning they would have refuted vehemently. Like the fellow who fooled himself and his followers into believing he could move objects with his ki or energy. He went on an old talk show where a naysayer set up a test that proved he was using tricks. Even on television and in front of millions the practitioner still tried to cover his tracks to protect his beliefs.
We who go this way have lost our way, we have failed to first confront the truth within ourselves. We failed to remove all those false beliefs, those illusions that come from stories we tell ourselves to justify something we want to do or believe. We fail to "see or hear" reality. We provide ourselves excuses, we equivocate, we delude and by this action we limit ourselves and if we teach we pass this along to our fellow practitioners.
One of the most important aspects of learning a fighting/martial art is that of removing our own limitations, both mental and physical. This is where various terms in Japanese promote such things as present moment awareness/mind. When we practice, we practice to overcome our ego's so that the ego does not subvert our actions and this does work in life stuff as well.
Sometimes accepting the truth hurts, it kills our belief in some things but in reality it should be looked upon as an opportunity to lean and grow. A hallmark of a good person is one who can see and accept faults and falsehoods. It is a person who remains open to all the possibilities regardless of personal beliefs.
The eyes must see all sides includes the sometimes foggy side of either truth or falsehood. The ears must listen in all directions includes allowing the direction that is not always easily discernible, literal and figurative. The body must change directions at any time is not always meant to be literal for we as good persons must allow ourselves to change directions to remain balanced and true to the way. Being hard or soft means when necessary be hard and remain steadfast but also allow for a soft view so that when change is necessary we adjust accordingly. Remember, all bottles are good, they all serve a purpose does also mean that everything said about a way is open to truth and acceptance regardless of our own viewpoint and beliefs.
The time to strike is when opportunity presents itself means that just because someone is outside the group does not diminish their view and beliefs for it is imperative that a person of the way should take such opportunities to strike for truth and acceptance when that opportunity presents itself and you should believe that it can come from anywhere, anytime and from anyone, regardless.