Saturday, September 11, 2010

Belief


"Belief is a state of mind in which trust or confidence is placed
in some person or thing"

I’ve always wondered, do we really live in the physical world we call reality, or do we live in a world we create ourselves, right inside our craniums? If we really live in the physical world, why don’t our actions reflect reality? I have observed that most of the actions we do are based on what we believe. Seeing is believing, but we rarely disbelieve things that we don’t see. Do you not believe in air?

A child, when told there’s a monster in the cupboard will start believing in it. All the child’s action will be based on that belief, no matter how mommy tells the child that monsters doesn’t exist. The child becomes scared, anxious and will have trouble sleeping. It is as if once the belief has been implanted inside the mind, it intensifies and sticks, almost impossible to eradicate. The reality is that there is no monster inside the cupboard, but the child’s action is not based on reality. It is based on what he believes. Only when one day the child has grown up to realize that monsters don’t exist, and stop believing that there are monsters in the cupboard. I call this ‘the awakening’. The awakening is a sudden moment when your belief shifts. It could be a change into a belief that reflects more of reality, but it could also be the opposite.


Let’s take it to a more grown-up context. What if there is someone you hated somebody so much you wanted to kill him. Then somebody told you, you don’t have to kill him, he’s already been diagnosed with a terminal cancer. Then he goes on to tell you that he was acting so annoying lately because of his cancer, he was distressed. Then you’re attitude towards the guy you hated changes. You believe you understand his sufferings. Your actions will be based on that belief. You will start treating him better, and probably forgive him for whatever annoying things he had done. But what if what your friend told you was a lie? The guy’s perfectly healthy, but in your mind he’s not. Without knowing the reality, your actions are based solely on what you believe. You treat him as if he’s dying. But isn’t it better and less stressful to feel compassion towards the guy anyway? Him having the disease or not?


Our brain is a goal-seeking organ. Once it believes in something, when a belief is deeply seated inside the mind, it will move our muscles, makes us tick, and we go towards the things that we seek. Things that we believe in. If we believe that we can, we can. People whose belief is firm and strong, when the world contradicts their belief, they seek not to change their belief. They seek to change the world