PDA

View Full Version : Belief & Belief Systems



Andro
01-21-2012, 01:49 PM
One of the BEST essays on Belief and Belief Systems I have EVER come across.

Here are two quotes:


"There is nothing men more readily give themselves to than pushing their own beliefs.
When ordinary means fail, they add commandment, violence, fire and sword."

(Michael Eyquem De Montaigne - French Philosopher 1533-1592)


"Belief drives behavior, but often belief is not based on experience and so does not reach or reflect the intimately lived dimension of human existence.
Indeed, the very nature of belief precludes the necessity of experience.
Belief does not merely dispense with the evidence of experience, it can go further and deny the evidence of experience.
And it often does. Therein lies the power of belief.

Belief is motivation by reliance on an assigned version of reality or an assigned version of what might be imagined.
Ultimately, the problem introduced by belief is not a matter of believing versus non-believing, because annulment of the will to believe is not possible.

The true conflict here is between believing and learning. "The unexamined belief is not worth holding."
True enough, but the examined belief may not be worth holding, either.

A great many beliefs, once they are examined, may prove to be worthless as indicators of truth or guides to experience, although they may serve to define identity and confer a sense of belonging."

The entire essay can be read HERE (http://www.trufax.org/general/beliefsystems.html).

Nibiru
01-21-2012, 07:06 PM
Hello, Androgynus :)

I agree that beliefs should not be pushed or forced onto others. Blind faith or belief is also a major cause of problems.

On the other hand, I do feel that belief in ones own abilities or dreams is important. I feel that a major problem is also the lack of belief we have in our selves and outside-of-the-box potential. We have been programmed through school and society to disregard these beliefs as well as any other possibilities that exist outside of the social norm. I had so many dreams as a child and a belief that someday I could achieve them, but then my "teachers" were always there to "prove" to me that my "fantasies" were not possible. My beliefs were wrong in there opinion, which over time has become my self-limiting opinion as well. This in-turn had left little room for my imagination..

Andro
01-27-2012, 06:28 PM
Beliefs may sometimes serve as precursors to KNOWING - but NOT as substitutes.

http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/ab172/androgynus_album/Wombelief.jpg

Ghislain
01-27-2012, 10:16 PM
Belief: ( http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/belief)

something believed; an opinion or conviction e.g. a belief that the earth is flat.

I do not believe that the earth is flat, but I can understand how one might assume this without the
information to think otherwise.

Belief is merely a word and like many other words it leaves a lot to interpretation.


Belief: ( http://thesaurus.com/browse/belief)
acceptance, admission, assent, assumption, assurance, avowal, axiom, certainty, conclusion,
confidence, conjecture, conviction, credence, credit, deduction, divination, expectation, faith, fancy,
feeling, guess, hope, hypothesis, idea, impression, intuition, judgment, knowledge, mind, mindset,
notion, opinion, persuasion, position, postulation, presumption, presupposition, profession, reliance,
supposition, surmise, suspicion, theorem, theory, thesis, thinking, trust, understanding, view.



A belief is something we all have, if you say you don’t have beliefs I don’t believe you :)

Even to say you have no beliefs is an oxymoron for then you believe you have no beliefs, which is a belief in
itself.


The true conflict here is between believing and learning. "The unexamined belief is not worth holding."
True enough, but the examined belief may not be worth holding, either.

Some things may take longer than a lifetime to research therefore one may have to hold a belief.

Is the moon made out of green cheese?

Isn't it true that most scientific knowledge is only theory?

What if the absolute truth, without a single error, is your belief through intuition? It is unexamined so would it still not be worth holding?

Is there anything wrong with a fixed coherent set of beliefs within in a community or society if it
helps that community or society to function better?

I think the same pondering could be made upon any word...

If I say something looks ‘beautiful’ I am sure we could have a very similar argument. It may just be
my ‘belief’ that the object is ‘beautiful’. :)

I used to play the child game of ‘why’. You get someone to answer a question and then continuously
ask ‘why’

My belief is that you should not look too deeply into belief. Why is that?

Ghislain

solomon levi
01-31-2012, 05:10 AM
In short, a belief is admittedly not-knowing.
Why settle for a belief if you can know?
If you can't know, why not just allow that?

Belief is psychological. It necessarily separates one from the actual world and others.
Living in one's imagination/belief is what we've trained ourselves to do to
avoid 'what is'. A belief necessarily fragments one's self and one's awareness/attention and power.
How will people ever communicate, ever contact eachother through belief? Believing you've
communicated is not the same as communicating.

Personally I don't see a good or energetic reason to believe except that it may keep one sane for a spell.
To agree to common views or rules for the sake of society is nothing to do with belief.
One agrees because they see what is, not because they believe. One sees that agreement helps
society get along. I agree to drive the speed limit or risk getting a ticket - I don't believe in the speed limit.

Finally, one can't practice a belief. If it's not practical, what use is it? Just a psychological crutch/addiction.

Ghislain
01-31-2012, 02:48 PM
Why settle for a belief if you can know?

Do you believe you can know Sol?


If you can't know, why not just allow that?

I think we could all agree that not all people know. As an interim measure to allow us to temporarily
function we work with what we believe to be true for now. Some people's beliefs could be correct and
other's not so accurate, isn't that part and parcel of life and what makes it exciting?

What would the world be like if we all knew and thunk the same? ;)

My belief is that the purpose of this wonderful world is to create a place where we don't all think the same.

Ghislain

Edit:


I agree to drive the speed limit or risk getting a ticket - I don't believe in the speed limit.

Sol, as a speed freak driver it is only by believing in the speed limit that I have managed to keep my licence.

I believe that if I keep breaking the limit I will get caught...again :( one more pull and I'm out.
My belief is pretty strong now, it seemed to get stronger the more points I accumulated.

Not proud of the above I just have a heavy foot.

solomon levi
01-31-2012, 05:07 PM
Do I believe I can know?
No, I know I can know.
I don't understand - you speak as if belief is all we are capable of.
Do you believe in God? Have you never known what you may call 'God'?
Do you believe what chocolate pudding tastes like, or do you have first-hand experience?

Is belief what makes life exciting - part and parcel...?
You could say that. Not knowing also makes it exciting.
Knowing that you don't know makes it very exciting and alive.
Believing can actually make one like the dead whereas knowing one doesn't know doesn't produce that effect.
You could say believing in Jesus Christ and the Catholic church as the one truth made things
exciting for witches, Cathars and alchemists. :) I call this ignorance - not the source of excitement.
Part and parcel - yes, like diapers - a stage one passes through. A necessary not-knowing of self.

Knew and thunk the same? Knowing actually compels thinking to stop or at least become background as opposed
to foreground. Without mind as a mediator, we experience whatever we experience directly. It is the same in general
but still unique individually. It is the now of infinite potential. Belief kills potential. Belief determines the otherwise
unconditioned mercury.
If you believe your wife is cheating, does it matter anymore if she really is? You are now different towards
her regardless of the actual truth because of the images in your mind. Is this 'excitement' preferable to justice and peace?
If desire is the cause of suffering, certainly believing is the cause of disappointment. No one is disappointed by not knowing.
I know there is an option to working with what we believe for now. Having options is preferred to not having options.
We are not stuck with what we believe until we know. Not knowing is the magnet to knowing. Believing resists knowing and
makes us appear stuck until we explore the option of dismantling our beliefs.

So it isn't only belief vs knowing. Not knowing is a third option which I prefer as an interim to knowing instead of believing something.
So the question what would the world be like... that is not the outcome of dropping beliefs. What would it be like? It would be like
people experiencing each other as they are without falsely mistaking them for images in our minds. It would be real and exciting and free
and intimate. Your belief allows you not to know me - to assume I am like you or like this person you knew who said something similar, etc...
Our beliefs keep us from looking other human beings in the eyes without fear or discomfort. Our beliefs keep us protected, but the price for
that protection is not experiencing the world as it is. If we can't take off the rubber of beliefs, we can't make babies/bear fruit. The seed falling
on good fertile earth is certainly not earth filled with preconceived beliefs. Beliefs are rocks and weeds.
Anyway, the world would be, and is, amazing beyond words!
Dismantling beliefs does not equate thinking the same. It presents the opportunity to think for the first time. Beliefs tend towards mechanical
reactions, not thinking. A person with beliefs is predictable, an easy prey, because of these programs.

If you believed in the speed limit, you would not have been able to break it. You simply agree that it exists as a subjective measure of man,
not as an objective being. Agreement does not = belief; only sometimes are they the same. If you believed in the speed limit, you would
have a subjective rationalisation as to why it is 55mph (for example) and not 54 or 56 or 73. Most likely, you know it is 55 because a group
of people who were given some authoritative power agreed on this number among many options.
I don't believe that you believe in man-made laws as anything other than man-made laws (agreements), which is to say, you know they are
man-made laws/agreements, not objective entities.
The dictionary may not say so, but if you are observant, you may discern that beliefs are treated as objective entities when knowing shows us they are not.

I do understand and am sympathetic to your arguments.
Beliefs have a place. I would only encourage you, at first, to differentiate between
beliefs that make life more harmonious and those that are purely psychological
and confusing. After dealing with the mental baggage, then we can better talk about the existential.
But it seems you are lumping all belief together as one.

To hold beliefs/opinions about people and places we never met is fairly useless. It only serves the
psychological ego. Just dropping these will make available a lot of energy to do more work.
Mainly, learn to distinguish the psychological from the actual. Truly if we don't achieve this,
our lives have been a sleepwalking, a slightest fraction of what we are capable of perceiving.

Ghislain
02-01-2012, 04:41 AM
If you believed in the speed limit, you would not have been able to break it.

I believe jumping from great heights can cause you damage, but I still Bungee Jumped. The
excitement is in challenging beliefs.

Beliefs that are set in stone may be a problem, but when one’s beliefs are transient, a temporary
substitute for knowing then they have a good purpose, especially if one doesn’t know. I have flashes
of knowing, but on the whole I have to say I don’t know.


learn to distinguish the psychological from the actual. Truly if we don't achieve this, our lives have
been a sleepwalking, a slightest fraction of what we are capable of perceiving.

Isn’t that the fun?

Recently I lapsed back into smoking... I got some nicotine patches and found something amazing...I
remember my dreams every night and even in my cat naps; it’s like going to the movies. Some are
scary some are funny others are emotional, but all are not the reality I experience in the waking
state. As one of my desires is to lucid dream I thought this would really come in handy. It hasn’t so
far as no matter how weird the dream may be it appears to be my reality at the time. I had one
encounter where things were getting so weird I actually said in my dream, “is this a dream?”, but
only using that as a statement to indicate how weird the state of affairs were at the time, as one
would in the awake state.

I asked myself the other day, “How do I know I am not dreaming now?” and felt a knowing that I
wasn’t...why is that? Or am I dreaming now lol. AAAAAAAGH!

Bear with me I seem to have verbal diarrhea at the mo.

Many things indicated that I was dreaming:

• I drove a truck between two other trucks without damage and the gap between must have been
about two feet, But I rationalized it by saying perhaps they were curtain sided, the gap looked
smaller than it was and what a good driver I must be.
• I drove miles from home and lost my vehicle, so I walked home, which was just around the
corner.
• I was visiting my parent’s house and thought what a nice gesture it would be to buy them some
new furniture, to wake at that point to remember they passed away years ago.
• Working with my present colleagues in totally unrelated jobs.

The list goes on and on...

Life is transient and I have to say I believe it is transient for a reason; it's to experience that which
one would be unable to experience should one already know. The spice in life is the
unpredictability; you could relate it to opening a Christmas present; just like a child not knowing what
the present will be gets excited, but the excitement can become disappointment once the package is
opened.

I believe all of us already know and while we can block out that knowing we can enjoy the
excitement; it’s all good :)

As we get older we get wiser...wisdom is knowing...this goes against the grain of what life is all
about and so we start again. Have you ever heard a child make a completely misconstrued statement
to smile and wonder at their beautiful ignorance?


Believing resists knowing

Perhaps that is its purpose.


Dismantling beliefs does not equate thinking the same. It presents the opportunity to think for the
first time.

How often have you had an aha! moment and how good did that feel; would one get that feeling if
you already knew everything?

If we all know then does not logic propose that we would all think the same?

Would it really be a first time opportunity for thinking or just one of many?


So the question what would the world be like... that is not the outcome of dropping beliefs. What would it be like? It would be like people experiencing each other as they are without falsely
mistaking them for images in our minds. It would be real and exciting and free and intimate.

With the possibility of boredom. With anything repetitive one tends to get desensitized. All the
above may be great once, but after a while of the same, what then?

I cast the I-Ching every day...when it says something favorable I could just stop and live that last
reading forever, but I don’t because life, as it is perceived, is always changing; that is something you
can believe; if the changes ever stopped what would life be like then?


Not knowing is a third option which I prefer as an interim to knowing instead of believing something.

I have to agree with you about not knowing...I get the greatest feeling when I admit to myself that I
don’t know and accept that as OK.

There is more fun in the journey than there is in reaching the destination; take the journey as it comes. That is my belief.

I am sure that knowing has a time and a place, but I have to admit here that I do hold a certain fear of
knowing, for what if there is no going back once one knows? Like someone telling you how the film ends. The
difference between consuming the white stone or the red.

Maybe we all actually know that we know, but choose not to and create beliefs to facilitate the not knowing.

Maybe it is your time to know Sol.

Brings to mind the virtual holidays in "Total Recall", I'm going to be a secret agent next time :)

Is ignorance bliss?

Ghislain

Nibiru
02-01-2012, 07:09 AM
Beliefs may sometimes serve as precursors to KNOWING - but NOT as substitutes.

http://i861.photobucket.com/albums/ab172/androgynus_album/Wombelief.jpg
I believe this sums it up my friend :)




Belief is merely a word and like many other words it leaves a lot to interpretation. Agreed :) I believe the problem we've been having with this discussion may be our individual interpretations/beliefs of the meaning of the word "Belief".




Belief:
acceptance, admission, assent, assumption, assurance, avowal, axiom, certainty(aka/knowing), conclusion,
confidence, conjecture, conviction, credence, credit, deduction, divination, expectation, faith(when used as a positive motivator), fancy,
feeling, guess, hope, hypothesis, idea, impression, intuition, judgment, knowledge, mind, mindset(when positive),
notion, opinion, persuasion, position, postulation, presumption, presupposition, profession, reliance,
supposition, surmise, suspicion, theorem, theory, thesis, thinking, trust, understanding, view. The forms of "belief" that I have found somtimes useful in my life, I have highlighted in bold above ^^




Belief:
acceptance, admission, assent, assumption, assurance, avowal, axiom, certainty(when unsubstantiated), conclusion,
confidence, conjecture, conviction, credence, credit, deduction, divination, expectation, faith(when "blind"), fancy,
feeling, guess, hope, hypothesis, idea, impression, intuition, judgment, knowledge, mind, mindset,
notion, opinion, persuasion, position, postulation, presumption, presupposition, profession, reliance,
supposition, surmise, suspicion, theorem, theory, thesis, thinking, trust, understanding, view.

While the ones shown in bold from the final quote I would consider detrimental to our work, as Solomon has stated..

To lighten things up a bit, here's a music video that I feel tells one of the better poetic stories of living your dream/life. I understand that a person's "dreams" and "beliefs" aren't necessarily synonymous, but in my case sometimes they are :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sClhmDN5Fcs

-The video displays the lyrics in real-time along with the music, so it's easy to follow. Enjoy :)

Awani
05-04-2012, 01:53 PM
Recently we have had some heated debates that really come from peoples beliefs. I personally don't like the word belief even though I know I use it sometimes. I should rather write I think. Perhaps this is because of my Swedish heritage. I was thinking about this today.

In Swedish the word for belief is TRO.

Also in Swedish the word for MAYBE in certain cases is also TRO.

Example:

Are you coming to the party? I am not sure, maybe I will = Jag TROR det.

I believe in God = Jag TROR på Gud.

So in Swedish the word belief is strongly connected with a word that means something that is not certain. Very interesting no?

Also a common thing we say in Sweden if someone says that they are thinking about doing something, like the going to a party example often the other person counters with: TROR gör man i kyrkan = Believe is what you do in church. In other words when Swedish people are unsure about a decision we alway counter that uncertainty by saying that uncertainty is for the church.

:cool:

Nibiru
05-04-2012, 07:24 PM
.

In Swedish the word for belief is TRO.

Also in Swedish the word for MAYBE in certain cases is also TRO.

Example:

Are you coming to the party? I am not sure, maybe I will = Jag TROR det.

I believe in God = Jag TROR på Gud.

So in Swedish the word belief is strongly connected with a word that means something that is not certain. Very interesting no?


Nice Dev!! I'd have to say that is an excellent point for the belief discussion. Hard to argue with..
We need a new language that is universal, or maybe what we need is a lack of all language?

solomon levi
05-15-2012, 06:04 PM
In my observations, we use the word "belief" when we are uncertain, when we
do not know. "Do you believe in God?" If one has direct knowledge, they don't
say "I believe there is a God". They say, "I know it, experientially."

What is of utmost importance to me, what makes everything a world of difference,
is the difference between belief and direct experience. Another word which is
synonymous with belief is "concept" or "idea". Maybe not synonymous exactly,
but they cause the same effect, which is separation/distance. Each of the three words
reflect a mentalisation, an abstraction. So when we abstract God, for example, as a
concept, an idea, a belief, we can now debate it and argue and speculate and theorise,
because we placed it in the realm of mind, which is seperate, a seperator - there is
distance between you and your thoughts, ideas, concepts... This distance allows for
not knowing, for uncertainty, and thus theorising, etc.

The things is, we do this all the time. Time itself is an abstraction to us. How rarely do
we ever experience it directly. Consciousness is another word, concept, idea that if we
really look for the thing which that word identifies... one would never say the words
"my consciousness".

What I want to offer is the option, the awareness, to not abstract everything. Abstraction
is our default system, but we do have another way of being - a direct way of knowing.
One can be aware enough to notice when one is abstracting, conceptualising and when
one is direct, dealing with the actual present thing and not a mental projection of a thing.
These are two different worlds - the mental and the physical. People have become so
identified with their minds that we do not even recognise the great difference between
these two worlds anymore.
I often speak of the ego identity as an idea - the idea of the ego. I do this intentionally,
because I have seen that the ego is an idea, an abstraction - not something actual, but a
projection. It is a belief. No one has ever experienced the ego directly, actually... only
through memories, through mind, through the past. I say "who are you?" and you begin
abstracting immediately, you think of memories, associations, times past. We have distanced
ourselves from ourselves! We are dreaming. No wonder we don't make much difference -
changing the world or ourselves. How can we change what we are seperate from? We need
to remove the distance to actually directly interact with what we want to change. We can't
do it from an unconscious sleep/dream/trance state.

The idea of the ego is the belief system extraordinaire upon which all beliefs hinge.

I went through a stage where I didn't think anything needed to be done about the ego because
it wasn't real. But one must be vigilante that this itself does not become an abstraction.
Having seen (past tense) the illusory nature of the ego is not anything like seeing presently.
We turn important truths into concepts all the time this way. It requires incredible awareness
to escape the orbit of this closed loop.

Oneness is the one thing that isn't two, and yet we abstract it into a concept all the time.
I don't mean to argue something when Moshe cannot defend himself anymore, but this
is such a perfect example. In our debate in the "trap" thread, he said:
"I understand the concept of the perfection of the Presence of Now."
The concept and the thing itself are worlds apart. No wonder we could not meet. NOW -
the thing that is always eternally all there is...reduced to a concept. We are doing this
all the time. None of us see the now before our eyes. We've had experiences. We know
it exists. But if we're not Now NOW, it's just a belief, an idea, an abstraction. We are not awake.
And this bothers no one. Because the abstractor has distanced itself from the reality.
What a clever devil.

Krisztian
05-21-2012, 12:30 AM
What a good philosophical discussion we have here!

Belief equals opinion. Believing is a state of yet-to-experience. Knowing equals felt-experience. Wisdom is the result of digestion of experience, like a good Italian wine that's been corked up for centuries.

Stupidity equals knowing-otherwise-yet-still-doing.

Awani
06-27-2013, 01:27 AM
Speaking to Andro earlier I thought of this...

Believing is being.

OR

Believe and you will see, and when you see you will believe.

Another way of saying we create our own reality or afterlife... food for thought...

:cool:

Andro
06-27-2013, 01:40 AM
Speaking to Andro earlier I thought of this...

Believing is being.

To which I replied (earlier) that if we stop belief altogether, it's the end of reality :)

And a corollary: 'It's not what it is, it's what we believe it is' :)

Awani
06-27-2013, 01:43 AM
Yes... a nirvana/zen state... perhaps the goal of it all? To stop believing things. To stop being opinionated.

:cool:

Andro
06-27-2013, 01:46 AM
Yes... a nirvana/zen state... perhaps the goal of it all? To stop believing things. To stop being opinionated.

NOW we're getting somewhere... errrrr... I mean nowhere :)

IF there is an 'ultimate goal', I can't imagine a better candidate than the above...

Awani
06-27-2013, 01:46 AM
I can't imagine a better candidate than the above...

So that is your opinion then on the matter?

;)

:cool:

Andro
06-27-2013, 01:57 AM
So that is your opinion then on the matter?

;)

Yes. Because I'm not nowhere yet :)

But my 'wishful thinking' location has been stuck to the upper right hand corner of all my posts for quite some time :)

Ghislain
06-27-2013, 10:09 AM
Things are what they are...you could say that the true definition of what they are has not been proposed as yet,
but they still are what they are.

For instance I could strongly believe an onion is an apple and with that belief I may even be able to eat and enjoy
it as an apple, but it is still an onion.

Ghislain

III
06-27-2013, 03:40 PM
I work with people who have damaged limbic systems, damaged form long term deficiencies. The limbic system is deeply involved with FFF (Flee Fight Fuck). Depending upon which parts are damaged, possibly by demyelination lesions, some more subtly, depends upon results. The beliefs a person has about what is going on with them are almost never useful or accurate and even serve to keep them stuck in the deficiency state because when the damaged areas are given the nutrients needed all hell can break loose for 36-48 hours. One of the beliefs is "Detox" with the characteristics of either low potassium and/or low folate. This same name is given to these symptoms from perhaps a dozen or more causes. Those who maintain a belief in "detox" do not generally recover because they start chasing their tails trying to get rid of heavy metals and so on that don't generally exist. There is a damaging and counter useful beliefs and actions based on the beliefs. Chasing the false beliefs fritters away the time window of possible recovery. Wrong beliefs can do a whole lot of damage. From my point of view the beliefs that lead to people being burned at the stake are quite wrong and damaging.

So what happens when the anxiety and fear from limbic damage dominate and control people's beliefs? You get the "Parkinson's personality" in several forms. When combined with some medications side effects given for anxiety one can also get OCD coupled with all the anxiety. People become completely fixated in their beliefs and can't change them. They appear to be lacking what might be called "free will". They can't make a choice outside of a very small box. These people often choose to believe the most fearful of the hypothesis of what's wrong and usually have everything so well justified that they CAN'T change their beliefs to ones that would work. They have themselves painted and epoxied into a corner.