The Power of our Beliefs2.2 Reality-bending Faith
“I don’t know how to explain it, but I know it’s true. It’s what I believe deep down to be the nature behind the reality of things, it simply vibrates with me on a level I can’t explain”…
Where does your mind go when someone asks, “what do you believe”?
Do you think about your religion? Political ideals? Your views on the patriarchy?Beliefs tend to be so encompassing they paint a filter onto everything else you understand in the world.
If I believe that people are born with differences, but ultimately everyone tries their best, then I might be characterized religiously as a humanist, politically as a liberal, and be more fluid on my interpretation of gender roles. Whereas if I believed that willpower is something sacred, and only those who overcome their disadvantages should be exalted in society then I am more black and white in my interpretation along these lines.
Beliefs are like bass notes from which the rest of our world view harmonizes with.
We can look along this harmonic spectrum and recognize views that feel more right to us than others, values that resonate deep within us and bring clarity in many areas of life. These beliefs are so deep rooted that it feels like every detail of daily living can relate back to them, they become the grass roots from which our entire understanding of the world grows.
Some people’s beliefs harmonize with our own more than others
We can’t really explain our beliefs to someone else, we can only describe the symptoms of them. We catch scent of them in everyday conversations revolving around religion, politics or other “big” topics. Beliefs are experiences and can’t easily be translated from one to another. When we suddenly have a new belief come into realization, an epiphany of sorts, it’s the feeling like we are becoming aware of something that was acting behind the scenes all along.
Belief systems help us process the world with a more colorful understanding of these patterns of harmony and dissonance
Religion is a system of beliefs. A system meaning one belief leads to the next in a self-reinforcing chain of truths that outline your entire world view. All religions generally point to the same thing but highlight different aspects of living it out. Things like ‘don’t lie’ ‘don’t gossip’ ‘don’t boast’ are guidelines for living out this harmony in daily life. But they themselves are not the beliefs, they are not fundamental truths. They are examples of that truth applicable to daily life – helping us make decisions in alignment with that truth.
Decisions are never black and white, there are shades of good and bad behind every choice.
Our belief systems help us sift through these shades of grey to see the principles lurking behind choices. Our beliefs are the highest form of these principles and allow us to “feel” right and wrong. Belief systems give more structure to distinguish right-ness or wrong-ness in every day choices.
Choices are guided by our beliefs, but refined by our wisdom
When a homeless person asks us for money, we have a difficult choice. Do we respond with compassion for a brother in need? Or do we reject the opportunity to feed them a fish in the moment in hope that they will learn to fish for themselves for a lifetime?
We’re torn between two values: compassion vs tough love. If I’m stuck trying to “calculate”, I’m never going to reach a decision. This is the difference between thinking and feeling – Feeling which of our beliefs is more relevant to the situation for an immediate response (this homeless person just needs some love and compassion) and then thinking about how to give that response that respects boundaries and the need to balance both of these values (I’ll buy them a hot meal but not give them cash money).
If we don’t honor this process, and try to answer things with our logic instead of the guiding principles vibrating from deep within us, we’re like a politician repeating stale platitudes without being grounded to a meaningful message.
Beliefs must be tested to produce Intuition
Beliefs help us recognize the sacred in all that we do, they are our internal compass pointing us towards people and ideas that resonate with us on a deeper level. When we work to understand our beliefs and refine our perception to see how daily actions vibrate in accordance with them, we can make decisions much faster with greater trust in our gut instinct. Study your beliefs, see how they expand into your greater belief system and test it to make them blossom into wise intution.
Pursuing Perspective – Manifest
- Chapter I – Purpose
- Chapter II – Wisdom
- Chapter III – Clarity