What I Have Learned….About Beliefs

I used to toss the word beliefs around like it was so many Jelly Bellies. “No big thing,” I thought. That’s because I didn’t know an alternate for a belief. Now I do, and now, I see beliefs as a ’less than’ idea.

I’m sure the majority of you remember the story of The Little Engine That Could. This brave machine was faced with a rather challenging uphill climb, and he doubted that he could do it (ran out of coal.) But subsequently another engine came along to help out and – having been cheered on by bystanders “We think you can!” he pickup up on the idea and he thought he could as well, and he succeeded.

Here’s a quote from a man who understood beliefs. “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you are right.” ~ Henry Ford

I learned that my life was filled with beliefs. I believed that my parents were the be-all, end-all, do all. I believed that their way was the only way.  I believed that the Catholic Church was a good thing. I believed that working hard was the only way to achieve anything. I believed that food made me fat, that doctors healed diseases, that only being in school could provide an education, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

My life was filled with hundreds and thousands of beliefs. I later came to think of them as erring human beliefs, introduced by well-meaning teachers, parents, friends, priests, relatives and co-workers. We spent hours swapping our beliefs in conversations. “Whiskey and hot lemonade cure sore throats” was one of them. Did that one hit your life? At least it tastes good.

What is a belief? In his 1828 Dictionary, Noah Webster defines belief as A persuasion of the truth, or an assent of mind to the truth of a declaration, proposition or alleged fact, on the ground of evidence, distinct from personal knowledge.  So basically then, you and I are persuaded to think a thing is true whether it is true or not. Now I am not one to swallow anything whole without a dissection and magnified examination these days, but prior days? Yes, I swallowed lots of beliefs whole.

In the late 60s, I began to ask myself questions along these lines:

  • How should I approach the ideas of others?
  • What else is there if belief might not always be believed?
  • What is this “understanding” thing?
  • How can I get from belief to understanding?
  • What’s the benefit to doing that?

I love questions. Can you tell? I read and studied and asked friends questions to find an answer to those questions above and other like them so that my mind could find peace.

I think it would serve anybody well to ask themselves a series of questions about things they  believe in to see if it’s just a belief or if it contains anything of real understanding. And since I’ve gone through this process many times, I’ll share some of my questions with you:

  • Who told me this first? What makes them credible?
  • Do they really know what they’re talking about or are they just repeating beliefs they’ve been told?
  • If this idea is a belief, how can I get to the other side of it and discover the understanding side of the idea?
  • What is there inside me that allows me to sort through ideas like this?
  • How can I sharpen that ability and get both quicker and more adroit at it?

Tell the law it explains   I learned that there is an enormous gap between erring human belief and the understanding that is on the other side of it. I learned that there is a Law of Life that is governing us, and its common parlance is What I think is what I get. If I have swallowed whole a belief, I get to live with the outcome my very own mind creates for me. Let me share an example from my own life.

I was an adorable baby. Truth! And because I was so cute and chubby, my parents called me Patty Fatty. I was an average sized child, but because I believed that Patty Fatty, I created an obsession around bodily size that has been a nightmare to eliminate. It had so many tentacles!

I have worked through a large majority of them and have brought relief and release to myself (and my body) by unfolding the Truths behind the innocent erring human belief that I was unable to see at an early age. It was just a loving, teasing endearment from my parents. Regardless of how I sensed their words, there was no malice in them.

Importance of application – standard paragraph Beliefs can limit you. I’d love to think that we’re alike in that we don’t like or approve of limitation. Scrubbing out beliefs can be a lifetime of assiduous and hard work. Clearing out beliefs is not a sissy task, nor is it for the weak. It is a high calling and one of the most worthwhile efforts ever!

What I learned is that Emptying Out Beliefs is an effort that makes this life better, and opens the way to an even greater understanding of life and its health, wealth, and happiness because Mind, and its right thinking is what produces it. Beliefs serve as limiters, and who the heck wants to be limited? Not me!

Here are another set of questions to help you along should you chose to empty out your erring human beliefs:

  • Am I willing to set forth in a healing journey?
  • Can I honestly examine my cherished beliefs?
  • Can I generously forgive whoever brought said belief to me?
  • Is it in me to let go of cherished beliefs and replace them with something better, something more of Truth, something that is changeless and does not sway in the wind?
  • What are the beliefs that I embrace that I know are blocking me?
  • Can I see my self-sabotaging behavior before it kicks into gear?
  • Can I forgive myself for swallowing ideas whole without examination?

I have learned that since Nature abhors a vacuum, this Emptying Out Beliefs Process does create a vacuum, and what moves into the place the erring human belief occupies is one step higher in the chain of Understanding. It’s automatic, invisible, genuine, and truly and totally wonderful.  The reward is so magnificent! That’s what I’ve learned and I highly recommend it.

I’m already thinking about May’s topic Self-Sufficiency. I want to show you (as I showed me) just how powerfully self-sufficient each of us is. Till then!

Pat Matson

I’ve retired from my copywriting business. I’m still teaching metaphysics. If you would like to know what is behind the way I think, pat.matson@gmail.com is the best way to reach me. I want to make hundreds more new friends and share what I’ve learned before it’s time to go toes up. BTW, I’ve always thought living to be 126 was a great idea. I’m working on it.

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