Monday, August 6, 2007

Does belief cripple the mind?

This post comes from a comment someone left for me about happiness and God. The comment said, 'And your happiness can only be experienced in heaven, not in this world.' So, first of all, God bless the one who left the comment, I mean no disrespect towards them or the fact that they shared their views. The comment just brought up something interesting for me and that is, does belief cripple the mind? Not certain beliefs, not negative beliefs, not just their beliefs, does ALL belief cripple the mind?

So, where to begin? Why not begin with the question, does belief cripple the mind? What do I mean when I use the word belief? In this post I am referring to belief as a thought repeated so often it becomes a habit that automatically responses from the background of mind, unseen. Now thought doesn't just refer to something you think about, a thought you think, thought refers to sentences in a book, words from another, views passed down through generations...all of it, and much more, encompasses what I refer to as thought. So, for example, you read a phrase in a book and it resonates with you. You've heard it before, you've thought about it, you read the phrase a few more times, you think about it some more, this sort of behavior is the machinery of belief. And you know it is a belief when it actually colors reality, it colors your very perception! You actually see it as 'being so' without being aware of any influence on your part to make it seem so...it just seems independently so. WOW! Have you got it, it pervades your perception of life! That's the power of belief and that's, from my viewpoint, the crippling effect of belief. When you believe in something it is as real as your automobile parked outside, it is part of the background that colors and perceives the world. That's powerful!!! (And a good, positive belief has the same nature as a bad, destructive belief, no difference in how it is created.) If you can go along with me a little further we can come to whether or not it is actually crippling the mind.

What is the mind? Tricky!!!!! Let us refrain from giving the mind a definition and just state a little bit about the nature of mind. For one thing, thought takes place, exists, in the mind...all thought, good thought, bad thought, old thought, new thought, all thought can be said to exist in the mind. That alone tells us a lot about the mind's nature, I mean I can think one thing when looking at a sunset and you can think something completely different, right? In fact, if the entire planet was to look up at the setting sun this evening we could, and most probably would, have completely different thoughts, feelings, experiences. That space is the mind. We can go a step further and probably say that it is a place of infinite possibility, and if not infinite, very, very close to infinite. So the mind is this space of possibility. And each of us knows that what is for us real one day can change the next, right? I can be a carnivore one day and become a vegetarian the next. The nature of the mind makes that possible, it bends, it adapts, it can transform and change...anything is possible.

So let us bring this back to belief. There is on the one hand belief, being that ingrained way, that habitual groove, that mechanical repetition of a certain thought producing a prescribed perception of reality as fixed, set in stone...IT JUST IS THIS WAY!!!! Like, 'And your happiness can only be experienced in heaven, not in this world.' And on the other hand there is the gigantic space of near infinite possibility which is the mind. Every belief ever believed, no matter how powerful, is but a tiny groove somewhere in the vast expanse of this mind, like a comet or planet in the vast expanse of the universe.
If that's all you pay attention to, it may seem to loom quite large, and that alone is just one aspect of the crippling effect of belief on the mind. So, that's my limited perspective on the question at hand, what's yours?