The mere mentioning of the word belief often conjures thoughts of religion and spirituality. Everyone has there own beliefs about many things but the most guarded and strongly held beliefs surround the topic of the spiritual.
Throughout history mankind has fought, killed, and decimated whole nations and ethnic tribe’s over this single topic! Yet throughout spiritual teachings we find a running theme. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” Even those who deny spiritual beliefs agree on this creed! Yet we continue not to live by it! WHY!?
While I don’t make any claim to a definitive answer, I hope that through correct examination of what belief is; we will!
If more people involve themselves in this examination and experiment; I “believe” the answer will come much sooner.
Let’s look at the a definition of Belief. The purpose being; to clearly define and agree on what we are talking about. Once we agree to a meaning, communication and examination of that meaning becomes easier.
1 : a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
2 : something believed; especially : a tenet or body of tenets held by a group
3 : conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence
Examples There is growing belief that these policies will not succeed. He gets angry if anyone challenges his religious beliefs. We challenged his beliefs about religion.
Origin: Middle English beleave, probably alteration of Old English gelēafa, from ge-, associative prefix + lēafa; akin to Old English lȳfan — more at believe. First use: 12th century Synonyms: credence, credit, faith, article of faith Antonyms: disbelief, discredit, doubt, nonbelief, unbelief Synonym discussion: belief faith credence credit mean assent to the truth of something offered for acceptance. belief may or may not imply certitude in the believer . faith almost always implies certitude even where there is no evidence or proof . credence suggests intellectual assent without implying anything about grounds for assent . credit may imply assent on grounds other than direct proof .”
A confidence in a person or thing. We often speak about belief in this way, saying I believe in Joe. But the statement almost never ends there. Inevitably we also state why we believe! How often have you believed something; only later to be disappointed that that belief had no grounds?
As a child we ran into this dilemma head on! About many things; such as Santa Claus, The Easter bunny, The Tooth Fairy and the Boogie man are all things most of us believed in.
Where did these beliefs come from? Our parents for the most part right? Once we got older we began to do some research. (Though we didn’t call it that.) With some detective work, such as staying up to catch Santa at work, Mom and Dad got busted! The truth was known and our view of the world was changed forever. The fantasy was gone.
But what took the place of that fantasy world? Hopefully, Knowledge, Wisdom and Maturity! But the possibility of us creating our own fantasy world is beyond measure! We ALL do it to some degree! It’s human nature. Which we will discuss at great length throughout this book.
Something else snuck in there to fill the gap of lost belief and fantasy as well though, didn’t it? Things like doubt, distrust, and fear. Fear of being lied to again. Of being made a fool. Doubts about our intelligence and distrust in the honesty of others.
New beliefs were formed based on these findings. Perhaps that new believe was “I’m stupid”, or “I can’t trust anyone ” or a host of other possibilities.
Your beliefs have a huge impact on how you view the world!
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF BELIEF
We often fail to give much thought as to the relationship our environment has on belief systems. But if we take the time to just notice, we find the impact is HUGE!
Since we also call environment “culture” , we notice that mankind’s diversity of culture is quite staggering. From world culture down to family culture. With many subcultures within each; and still branches off of those! Each one holding it’s own belief systems and traditions handed down to each new member. Often these belief systems come with rules for maintenance of the belief. Breaking these rules often comes with severe consequences! Including death!
Have you ever watched National Geographic’s show “TABOO” ? I’ve often had to change the channel, because the customs of some cultural traditions were just too painful and bloody; or just nasty for me to stomach! Yet it’s normal for those people! They think nothing of it!
What about your beliefs? Have you ever stepped back and asked objectively where they come from?
Notice the statement in part 3 of the definition where it says: “Based on evidence ” What evidence do you REALLY have for your beliefs? At one time it was believed that the earth was flat. The evidence seemed obvious! It looks flat so it must be! We laugh now, but consider that notion.
Appearance and fact are rarely equal. Only When someone examined closely, did we learn the true shape of our earth.
Once that examination was complete and truth was discovered; Belief became unnecessary! We knew!! The voice of belief was forever banished by the undisputed truth! So time is also an environmental factor on our beliefs.
Places we live also effect our beliefs as we’ve seen from observing cultures. Where you live impacts things such as educational quality, economic welfare and religion. If you were born in India, most likely you will be taught Hindu religious doctrines. If you were born in China, Japan or the far east, you would have a higher chance of being raised Buddhist or Taoist.
Given this, what if we were to examine religion? Not just one or two, but all of them! What new truth could be gained? What understanding could emerge from that study? What harm could come from it?(other than hurt pride!) Would it change who and what God is? Or would it instead change who and what we are as humans?
Are You brave enough to examine the possibility? After all we’ve been wrong as humans before! Everybody claims to be right and yet opinions range wildly! Why is it do you suppose that there are so many religious cultures subcultures and branches of subcultures ALL claiming (to the death!) that they have the cornerstone of truth? Does that seem funny to you? Or are you convinced everyone else us wrong? What evidence based on examination and FACTS do you have?
More Important are you angry right now at the words I’ve written?
Why? Examine that too!
I know I’ve probably stepped on a lot of toes here! But what have I said that could harm anyone? Does learning about another’s beliefs diminish your own? I think not! All I am suggesting is that your culture largely determines your faith.
So if we understand the background and history of these cultures, maybe we could stop fighting about it! MAYBE!!
What about the beliefs from your family or schools. Where do these come from? Do they come from your own study, or were they taught to you and you just accepted it? This question is very important! I’m sure the people of The Jamestown massacre and the Waco Tx incident were taught a lot of things without examining them for themselves!
Who’s voices are in your head!?
THE POWER OF BELIEF
Belief is one of the most powerful forces placed in the minds of men! Think about all mankind has done, or failed to do, both good and bad, that are based on some belief! The range is mind blowing! From suicide and murder to putting men on the moon! All are based on belief! A confidence in a person or thing.
So how confident are you? Obviously it depends on what you believe. What you believe depends largely on the environment or culture you inhabit.
Can those things change? Only if you want them to! How much they change depends on your willingness to be aware of things around you and the confidence in yourself to have an effect.
Does that mean you should run away from your problems hoping that a new environment will change your circumstances?
That also depends. Have you changed your beliefs enough that your environment is no longer fitting? Or; Are you attempting to escape from a situation so you don’t have to deal with it? Be honest with yourself or you will bring your problems with you! Even if your situation is dangerous! Obviously You should leave such a situation to avoid harm. But without changing the belief systems that created it in the first place, that situation will find you again.
Earlier we spoke about the contrast between a street bum and a C.E.O. of a company. How each made a decision based on knowledge or lack thereof. But belief also plays a role here.
Since confidence in a person or thing defines belief, it would make sense that a CEO would have better confidence in himself. It may also be concluded that he has had a better environmental background to foster the confidence to reach that position.
We also know that environments can be changed as well as beliefs. So can a street bum become a CEO? If his beliefs change enough to foster confidence in himself, he will eventually foster belief in him from others. As this happens, his environment changes in proportion to the belief systems he has. Each time his beliefs no longer match the environment he will also seek an environment that matches his new belief.
The reverse is also true. If a CEO loses his confidence, his belief will change and his environment will deteriorate accordingly.
But the CEO has an advantage still. He knows he can reach that position based on past experience. This makes it easier for him to climb again because he’s done it before. He KNOWS how to do it. Therefore, if he rekindles his confidence based on that experience his path will be easier.
Much like any journey or task, frequency breeds the confidence necessary for its completion.
IMPACT OF KNOWLEDGE ON BELIEF.
As we’ve seen so far belief has a huge impact on mankind as a whole, as well as individually.
From success to religion; our beliefs can make us or break us.
The making of us, depends on the knowledgeable way in which belief has its effect. By believing in a certain way we also act a certain way. Our hopes are determined by our beliefs. Our accomplishments and deeds are based on this single thing.
Perhaps this us what is truly meant by “walk by faith not by sight”. Is not our sight (The perception of our world) effected by our belief? A Course in Miracles talks about this extensively! The Whole point of A Course in Miracles is to replace Belief with Knowledge.
Can we begin to understand that sight depends on our Knowledge?
How does history make this point?
The knowledge and technology we have today far outstrips what we knew in the past. But we are also relearning ancient knowledge long forgotten or hidden. What impact will that have on daily life?
For more on this please watch this video by Dr. Bruce Lipton on the biology of belief.
If that video didn’t raise the hair on your neck please check for a pulse!
Now do you think beliefs have an impact on you? Did that change your belief in any way? How did that happen!? New information was brought to your awareness! Now you have some choices based on this new knowledge. You can Ignore it, or you can act on it. If you act on it, how will you do so? If you chose to ignore it, the knowledge cannot be undone and will have an effect! Belief or not!
So far we’ve seen that belief impacts environment and knowledge impacts belief. Which in turn, also impacts environment.
Do you see a formula here? B = E (K=NB) NB+K= E squared.
In other words. Belief equals Environment. (Knowledge equals New Beliefs) New Beliefs plus Knowledge effects Environment exponentially!
But as an added bonus the new environment also effects the preceding two! So we get a wheel effect that moves us forward! I’d say that’s pretty exciting stuff!
But there’s a problem here! If that’s true, why are we not further along in creating the Utopian world we all hope for? Where Love and peace are all that’s known!
You don’t really expect that I have the answer do you?
But I think maybe; if we ALL work at examining ourselves and what we believe; adding knowledge along the way; that question will be answered at some point. I also think (OK, I confess! I believe! ) we are looking for the answers in the wrong places! But the evidence for that belief will be made clear as you read. Maybe you’ve already seen the “evidence” I’m pointing to!
That by looking outside ourselves for answers we will always come up empty!
That inner knowledge is of utmost importance and is the responsibility of each individual. My evidence being history and the human behavior examined thus far. Which to my eyes is substantial! Would you agree?
THE MOST DISTURBING BELIEF EVER!
If I were to ask thousands of people “What is the most disturbing belief to the welfare of mankind?” I’m sure to get several times as many answers!
But I’m just as sure that most of them would be a guess or another belief. Again I have no defined answer but perhaps we can look for some clues by asking three simple questions and examine the obvious answers.
The first question being:
What did we own when we were born?
Answer: Just the naked body we came with and nothing else! Even our name was given to us!
Second question: When the body that we were born with expires, What do we take with us?
Answer: Only the experience gained from that life.
Third question: Where or rather how do we spend most of the life force energy between the two previous events? (birth and death)
Answer: Attaining Material things such as money and what it can buy. Status usually being the main goal.
From those three questions alone, do you see the problem in where our lifetime focus is?
If you said money your partly in agreement with me. But I think another answer may be just under that surface. A much darker answer! If money is what we spend most of our energy on. We then have to ask why?
If we are born with nothing material and leave with the same. Why all of this expenditure on it’s attainment? You may say those things are needed for a quality life. Everyone needs food clothing and shelter!
True enough! But I suspect a great Lie was told! One we ALL “BUY” literally! Let me explain.
Every person is born in the exact same manner. Always was and always will be! But at some point, someone told us we needed money to get things we want or need. That trading would be easier using a standard, more convenient object.
It was decided by someone that a colored rock would do nicely for the purpose and the gold standard was established. But gold rocks could become heavy and awkward to carry! So lighter materials were stamped to represent an amount of gold called coins. Gold was stored in warehouses to hold the wealth of the people and a representative was appointed to exchange these coins for gold.
Soon paper replaced larger coin values. Again for “convenience”.
Then for more convenience loans were given to those with need for more money than they had but for a price, called “interest”. (pay attention to terminology here!)
But the interest was no longer in the common wealth of all but in the hands of “brokers” ( a fitting name isn’t it!?)
The “brokers interest” gained more in themselves (called greed) and the cost of loans grew. To pay the loans, the people now had to work for what was originally theirs!
So as all lies do; one was told to cover the other and another and another. Until a point was reached that this was a “normal” way to conduct business.
Belief in banking was well established! Bigger loans were made at an ever increasing price. Which we call inflation. The representational “paper gold” soon was no longer worth its original value! The banks loaned more paper gold than was actually stored!
Of course the people were never told this!
So a new lie was told.
This process is still repeated today! But our trusted President who is SUPPOSED to be run “for and by the people” REMOVED the standard of gold; thereby totally robbing the people of any and all true material wealth!
That President was RICHARD M. NIXON! (Mr. “I Am Not A Crook!”)
The story gets worse but our purpose here is to discuss belief.
My point is that people believe they have things that are really owned by the banking system! They believe they work for money but in truth it’s just paper! Worth nothing! They believe they are free but have been sold into slavery by the banking system! All for things that that have no lasting value to begin with!!! This belief in money is so engraved in the human mind that we have totally forgotten what original material wealth is or what it’s for!
We the people make things for other people to use while they inhabit the material plane. But the banks has us believe they own and distribute it!!
If the people create it. do they not own it already!!??
The sickest part is that this whole thing creates a distraction from spiritual study and experiences! Even to the point of enjoying each other! Nope! Gotta work & pay those bills!
This lie is the tangled web we’ve weaved! To find out how tangled I leave it to you dear reader to examine and research for yourselves!
We the people still own another web!
Cross examine your evidence with many sources and truth will become clearer than belief! Remember that belief requires TRUST! Trust in who, or what and why?
Blind faith is just that! BLIND!! Without sight or knowledge of seeing truth. Blind faith requires nothing but blind trust.
No examination of facts or truth is required. Rather convenient isn’t it?
Hopefully your thinking it’s stupid and lazy! Because it is!!
Take a look at our society. How many people take time to learn anything! Let alone research what they’ve learned to check facts and cement that learning in their mind?
Why is this? We are not taught to think! But rather repeat what is taught us and tested on how well we can repeat what was taught! Our school system is proof of my claim! The media further supports this!
Have you ever heard or said : “I don’t get paid to think!” I have to confess I have! But I also felt something was amiss here when I said it!
Are we getting paid to remain stupid?
Blind faith? Remember the nursery rhyme “three blind mice”? In case you forgot…
Three blind mice
See how they run,
See how they run!
They all ran after The farmer’s wife.
She cut off their tails With a carving knife!
Did you ever see Such a sight in your life!
As three blind mice?
These blind mice were chased around to exhaustion; caught, and had there tails cut off! So what! Right? They’re just mice after all, so what’s the point? It’s just a cute nursery rhyme!
Really? Let’s take a closer look shall we?
Why do animals have tails?
Animals have tails for assisting in balance and steering, propulsion, grasping, grooming (swatting bugs for example) and for display.
Hmm! See any parallel meanings here?
The farmers wife is representative of knowledge and sight.
The three blind mice represent ignorance!
Look what happened to to them!
- Their balance (of happiness and thought?) removed!
- Their means of propulsion or freedom of movement removed!
- The sense of direction (in life?) removed!
- The ability to grasp. ( concepts, success happiness etc) Gone!!
- The ability to display. (Your good hearted true nature. Your wisdom and knowledge) AMPUTATED!!
Perhaps you BELIEVED you were too old for nursery rhymes?
Has that belief changed?
The wisdom of these time honored stories is extremely rich and often missed!
Three blind mice? The blind, leading the blind? INDEED!!!
Pretty scary stuff isn’t it? No wonder they say knowledge is power!! (Or I’m just eccentric and crazy. You decide.)
Hopefully by now you would rather replace belief with knowledge! Because when the time and effort is put in; we soon see that belief is the most dangerous thing mankind has in his arsenal! (Arse meaning the anus! nal meaning canal!) hmmm interesting word -arsenal- don’t you think!?
So far we’ve discussed the negative aspects of beliefs based on ignorance. But If our goal is to dispel belief, what then can it’s purpose be? How can we make proper use of the gift of believing?
A belief is usually based on things we IMAGINE are true. How interesting! By imagination we create worlds! Was your world different when you believed in Santa? Sure it was! Was it “real” to you at the time?
Again; Sure it was!
How much better would the world we live in be, if we fueled imagination with knowledge! Now that’s something to believe in!!!
By mixing imagination with knowledge and a strong belief. What we imagine can be made real. New items get brought to market. A new life can be created for yourself or someone in need.
if you can imagine it, you have just taken the first step of creation.
Thought always creates! Trust that there is no exception to this! A belief is just a thought you keep repeating.
An Idea is a thought. So many people think that money or love is what makes the world go around.
But traced back, it all comes down to first cause. Which is the thought that created those things. When thoughts are chained in a series of other thoughts, it has an end effect!
Every thought makes an action. An effect that is seen or or unseen. Believed or not; an effect has occurred! That effect will show itself in due time. In your body or in the world, Your thoughts are the creative force!