On beliefs…

“Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.” – Henry David Thoreau

I will write more on this subject of beliefs as time goes on.  It has become a central curiosity in my life.

Well, to be more accurate, I am fascinated by how beliefs shape & run our lives.  They are kind of like the operating systems that our “life computer” uses to make sense of all the incoming data.

If you hang out with someone for just a few minutes, you can pretty easily get a sense for what kind of beliefs are at work in their life.

The trouble with BELIEFS is that they are merely that.  Often, they are ideas that we have accepted as our own without any inquiry or experiential knowledge of them.

So, Thoreau’s quote caught my eye this morning where he says, “LIVE your beliefs…”

Live them.  Yes.  That means to take your beliefs out of the box and get them outside.  Try them on and get them grubby with real-world contact.

I’m not just talking about religion or politics here.  Examine the really large number of beliefs that are right now running like computer programs in the background of your consciousness.

Imagine yourself in an entirely different setting.  Yes…in a foreign country where they don’t automatically accept your way of life as THE standard.  What happens to your beliefs then?  Do they still work?

Well, that’s the real question, isn’t it?

Do the beliefs by which you operate your life really work when you consciously live them?

Don’t answer “Yes!” so quickly.

Can you think of a time in the past when you passionately held a belief that has since faded or even been discarded?  I certainly can.

So, I’ll spend some more time on this topic.  There’s a lot here and this is not Sunday School where we all sort of agree on the basics so that order can be maintained.

Let’s discuss and banter.

Yes…call me a heretic or a fool.  Don’t worry, I’ll give you plenty of reasons for that here shortly!

Weekend thought assignment #1: Become conscious (aware) of the individual beliefs that run simultaneously in your life.  Do any of them conflict with some of the others?  Don’t judge this or worry about it.  Just become aware.


3 Responses

  1. I was *just* having a conversation about beliefs with a friend on IM when I saw your facebook status to come read this. Everything happens perfectly!

    Interestingly enough, “Everything happens perfectly” is a belief I hold dear to my heart, and yet when something horrific happens like 3 people dieing in a sweatlodge (one of which was my friend), this belief ran in contradiction to what I was thinking about this incident.

    Another belief…”we all have free will” yet at the same time I believe that I created my life and the lessons I would learn long before I manifested this physical being in THIS lifetime. So do I really have free will? I had free will when I created this life before I came here…so maybe my decisions are predesigned by me to just FEEL like free will :).

    We believe that our beliefs are true. Some believe theirs beliefs are THE truth. But if we are all different, then wouldn’t we all have different beliefs? And if we all have different beliefs how can they all be THE truth? So then they become “our” truths instead of THE truth, but some still hold to the belief that their belief is THE truth. No wonder there is so much war, anger, hatred in this world. And can’t we change our beliefs as we grow; I believe you mentioned that, Jacob (or something to that affect). So then what happened to THE truth?

    That brings to mind the belief that everything we see is just a reflection/manifestation of our thoughts…so when our thoughts change, so too does our world. We each have our own thoughts mixed in with the collective unconscious, so what then is truly OUR and what is our neighbors..or are they the same? And if they are the same, why then do we have so much anger, hatred and war? Are we then warring against ourselves?

    Okay…its only 8am..its much too early to be thinking this deeply :).

    • I couldn’t have hoped for a better way to get this conversation going, Martha! Thank you.


      this one is extremely personal for you, isn’t it?

      I’m going to (with your permission) use your comment back on Facebook and also in my next blog on the subject. You have touched some very deep issues here.


      • LOL.. Go ahead, Jacob.

        You caught me in an already very deep thinking moment :).


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