“A belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses. It is an idea that possesses the mind.”
– Robert Oxton Bolt
Everyone has beliefs. Those beliefs are based on a person’s perception of reality which is, for the most part, limited to what their physical senses tell them the world is like. These physical senses give rise to logic, a reasoning process which is an intellectual exercise in taking the available information and then trying to determine the truth of the matter (e.g. what is reality?).
However, the best that we can do is come to some approximate understanding of what the physical world is like. That’s the best. Of course, we know that humans’ senses of hearing and seeing are very inadequate so our view of reality is also likely to be lacking.
Interestingly enough, quantum physics tells us that there is a reality beyond the observable universe. Our universe is not all that there is to creation!! Beyond our universe is a non-physical world where consciousness is all that is. As Max Planck, the father of modern physics, stated, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. We cannot get behind consciousness.” Yet from a scientific standpoint, scientists cannot prove (scientifically) what lies beyond our universe – because it is not observable. That’s the dilemma that John Horgan discussed in his book The End of Science.
So, where does this leave us? All that we have to try to understand life is our physical senses. Yet, our physical senses cannot grasp the physical universe let alone the quantum world that our reality arises from. Michael Talbot, in The Holographic Universe, explained just how our reality is shaped by unseen forces from beyond, as follows: “Our brains mathematically construct objective reality by interpreting frequencies that are ultimately projections from another dimension, a deeper order of existence that is beyond both space and time….” Carl Jung expressed a similar concept when he said that the psyche and reality are not limited to space and time.
Yet, people generally resist anything that they can’t see for themselves. Instead, they simply label things they can’t explain as “supernatural.” This is particularly true of atheists as they reject anything that smacks of the supernatural (which they equate with an admission that God exists).
However living, in my opinion, does require a leap of faith. By leap of faith, I’m not talking here about religion. Rather, I’m talking about having an open mind with regards to the unseen forces of Nature that shape our world. Unfortunately, though, if you’re looking for hard and fast answers you can forget it. There really aren’t any. The thing to remember, though, as Bernard Werber said is that, “The point is not to believe or not believe. What matters is to ask as many questions as possible.”
The human species has been taught to believe that it is a physical species. If so, then why do you not fall out of bed at night? Yes, the physical body is asleep but something keeps you from falling out of bed when you roll over at night. Further, what part of your body makes you human? If you lose a hand, arm or leg, do you stop being human? Of course not. Exactly what makes you human then?
So, why is man the only species that can ponder his own existence? The only one. What part of his physical body does man use to do that? His mind? Well, you should know that scientists have been unable to locate the “mind” in our physical body. However, they have determined that the “mind” makes decisions before you are even consciously aware of those decisions. So, where exactly do your beliefs come from? Better yet, who are you?
“The universe does not exist ‘out there,’ independent of us. We are inescapably involved in bringing about that which appears to be happening. We are not only observers. We are participators.” – John Wheeler, physicist
“At the core of all well-founded belief, lies belief that is unfounded.”
– Ludwig Wittgenstein
A certain holy book states that if you seek the truth, it will set you free. Why would a holy book that is “the truth”, according to some, tell you to go seek the truth? Perhaps, here’s why.
Our belief systems are what we believe to be the truth. That is, you believe you know, even when you don’t. Of course, belief systems change every generation or so. Therefore, what we believe is the truth is constantly changing. Even science has but one certainty – and that is that scientific theory is always changing. That’s why they refer to it as theory, as opposed to the term “scientific truth.”
Most of us are married to our beliefs, unable to see other perspectives. In fact, most people won’t even consider that they might be wrong. So, whether it’s politics, religion or simply where to get the best Polish sausage in Chicago, everyone has an opinion and they’re absolutely convinced that they are right. Just go ask Ashley Judd, for example. Stuart Chase put it this way, “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.”
Strangely enough, though, our beliefs are based on what other people have told us and their beliefs are based on what other people have told them…and so on. We are always living someone else’s beliefs. For most, we believe in what we believe because we want to fit in (in our culture, that is). Our culture dictates our beliefs.
However, to truly believe means that you must decide for yourselves. Try this little experiment. Start with a clean sheet of paper. This represents your mind, with no beliefs whatsoever. Then write down what you believe in, but only those things that you can honestly tell yourself that you absolutely know are true. When you’re finished, how many beliefs have you written down? It might surprise you to know that many of those beliefs are not true.
In the end, it’s not so much about what you believe in, but how it is that you have decided to believe. You have the power to choose. Life is always about choices. To truly choose, though, requires that you overcome fear – the fear of being rejected by others. That’s why so many people compromise and choose other people’s belief systems. They consider it “safer.” After all, why be an individual when you can be safe in the hive mind?
However, choices have consequences – frequently ones that are life-changing. If you live your life based on other peoples’ beliefs you will never become the person that you were meant to be. Rather, you’ll simply be a clone reiterating what you’ve been brainwashed to believe. As Kevin Michel said, “Every conscious thought you have, every moment you spend on an idea, is a commitment to be stuck with that idea and with aspects of that level of thinking, for the rest of your life.”
There are a few reasons why humans are unable to ascertain the truth. First of all, their physical senses are woefully limited; their most important sense, intuition, is rarely even used. Further, the virtual reality matrix that we exist in is designed in such a way as to obscure the truth. We have become a dumbed-down species which is often incapable of processing information, let alone determining if it is accurate or not. Accordingly, you need to consider if anything you have been taught to believe is really true.
“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” – David Bohm