What is belief ? Dictionaries like one on Google define belief as an ‘acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.’ Or another definition is ‘trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.’ The way words are used tells the tale. Now this may disturb some who have never given any critical thought to the differences that might exist between the words, the ideas – belief, truth and faith. It starts getting into the weeds of how we as human beings use language and think. This brings up a question like whether or not the sky is blue, or whether the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Generally, we ‘believe’ these things are true because our senses seem to say so, but science informs us that these perceptions are not true.
There are lots of uses of language that confuse truth and belief and I am reminded of one example from ancient times. It goes like this: “I just spoke with the son of a barren woman as he was drying off after stepping out of the waters of a mirage.” The words in the sentence establish clear images in our mind, images that make sense on every level. There is a man, who has bathed or gone swimming, but the man doesn’t exist because his mother could not conceive, and the water of the mirage is an illusion. The ancients called this type of erroneous thinking imaginary cognition. How many of our beliefs are based in such imaginary cognition; imaginary cognition that we think has some substance, some truth about it? And, more interestingly, how much of our lives are based on this type of thing.
We need to think critically about this word belief so that we can act wisely and live in good health in the world. One of the most important things about what we consider true or what we believe is that when we meet additional information that forces an alteration in that truth or belief, we are strong enough mentally and emotionally to add this additional information to our existing worldview, expand it and change. This takes courage.
When we use the premiere tool of self-awareness, meditation, or adjuncts like EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) or Hypnosis we are using tools that can help us become more aware of ways that we are sabotaging ourselves. So it’s very important that we understand our beliefs and whether those beliefs are imaginary cognition or whether they are based on the truth, not blind acceptance or blind faith. Because just like the son of a barren woman we can get no place in life if we don’t observe our own mind and it’s workings and begin to clear up beliefs that are hindering us from living the abundant life we so richly deserve.