Belief

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Belief

Postby snowheight » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:20 am

From 3/4 of the way down page 11 of this thread:

Ralph wrote:" The illusion is the mirror image attaching to a belief. The illusion is the ego thinking that it’s separate. It’s not ".

~ Byron Katie


Beautiful and powerful pointer.

The oppression of belief in the medieval West gave rise to it's opposite, a system based on the skeptical questioning and testing of each and every belief, Science.

In a perfect example of the dynamic nature of Yin and Yang, the cycle of rigorous destruction and refinement has resulted in a set of ideas which pour out of the crucible of skepticism into the mould of a new set of beliefs, and these battle-tested in an arena in which only the strongest survive.

But if that skepticism is doggedly maintained and applied even to the most sacred of cows it eventually flips and shifts into a soft acceptance that in turn gives rise to one paradox after another. Capra writes of this in the "Tao of Physics" in which he likens the experiments of particle physicists to Zen koans.

This can be a path to realization if the paradoxes are not either resisted or accepted but simply recognized as the boundaries of dualistic truth. From there the mind stops and the real fun begins.

Does anyone else have a tale of dropping their beliefs along the way?
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Re: Belief

Postby rachMiel » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:32 pm

Hi snowheight. Nice posting.

For me, loss of beliefs began (full force) with my decade-long study of Krishnamurti's writings, which if taken to heart, burn away beliefs with uncompromising fierceness.

But after that decade I discovered I'd managed to adopt a big fat set of Krishnamurti-centered beliefs! And so it has gone for me, a slow general attrition of beliefs, broken by the occasional spike of believing in whatever has helped me take the next step towards non-belief: Seth, Buddhism, Tolle, etc.

The most effective belief breaker I've ever experienced is reaching a point of deep personal despair a few years back. More than anything else I've ever been through, it burned the rachMiel slate clean and most of my deepest/subtlest-held beliefs along with it. And, unlike other belief breakers, it was spikeless.
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Re: Belief

Postby Ralph » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:03 pm

Snowheight, I’m glad you started this thread on Belief . In my opinion, 'beliefs' is the glue that keeps us stuck in seeing ourselves as separate entities.
Now, if you break it down, what are beliefs anyway ? …are they not just thoughts believed ?

“We are really alive when we live in non-belief —open, waiting, trusting, and loving to do what appears in front of us now”.

Byron Katie


So, how does one live in non-belief if what we do on a constant basis is walk around with our beliefs dictating the way. Should we then not investigate them ?

In my opinion , one of the biggest belief we have, is the belief that we are a separate person. So why not find out if this is true. Chogyam Trungpa suggests doing just that in this quote.

“ We have a fear of facing ourselves. That is the obstacle. Experiencing the innermost core of our existence is very embarrassing to a lot of people. A lot of people turn to something that they hope will liberate them without their having to face themselves. That is impossible. We can't do that. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our excrement, our most undesirable parts. We have to see them. That is the foundation of warriorship, basically speaking. Whatever is there, we have to face it, we have to look at it, study it, work with it and practice meditation with it ”.

Chogyam Trungpa


This is where you will find the freedom and peace that you have been longing for all of your life but it does take tremendous courage and complete honesty with oneself.

Look within, this is where your beliefs are, .... perhaps the only way out is thru them and seen for what they truly are, 'just thoughts believed'.

Question them simply because they are running your so-called life.
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Re: Belief

Postby Sighclone » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:02 am

Many of our threads touch on this issue of "little me-ness" in one way or another. The phantom of the 'separate self.'

When you wake up tomorrow, you will not wake up into some random body. It's gonna be that same old body you've recognized for years. With the same old history, habits, preferences, styles, etc. But the belief that "you" who answers to your name, end at the perimeter of your skin, is the ultimate question of nonduality. If you believe that "person" is the full limit of who you are, then, it is so often maintained here, you are wrong.

There is a huge difference between believing that if you drop a brick on your foot it will hurt and believing in a loving God in Heaven with angels and archangels surrounding Him/Her and that baddy Satan down in Hell.

In general, nondual writers urge you to base your beliefs on your own personal experience -- enter Maharishi about 40 years ago with his Transendental Meditation, which, if practiced carefully, could actually still the mind for brief periods. The flotsam of siddhis and retreats and so forth did little to foster the next step, which is to set down all the crutches, etc.

But believing you are more than your body/mind/personality can also be based on as convincing an experience as the brick-dropping. Which is what all the books we like are about. There is something in at least one of them for everyone to provide an incontrovertable personal experiences of Self, however brief.

Andy
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Re: Belief

Postby snowheight » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:18 pm

If I were to list the beliefs that I currently hold, and even limit it to those relevant to non-duality, it would truly be quite embarrassing. I can only engage in another pitfall, that of hope, in that I follow Ralph's maxim to constantly question them and learn from rachMiel's experience and not try to rely on those beliefs in times of stress ... my guess is that this will work out as it will.

Perhaps trading fixed, crystallized maxims for fluid, dynamic and ever-shifting ground is a step in the right direction. Perhaps instead it is a lack of integrity -- but I'll take my chances on that one. I can at the very least pause the wheel of recursive paradox referenced by enigma to appreciate what Byron has pointed out.

Sighclone wrote:There is a huge difference between believing that if you drop a brick on your foot it will hurt and believing in a loving God in Heaven with angels and archangels surrounding Him/Her and that baddy Satan down in Hell.


Andy from the perspective of this American internet psuedo-seeker wandering around on a sometimes aimless non-path I do appreciate that to you mountains are once again mountains and share your observation that bricks on toes hurt like hell. So am I correct in taking your quote as drawing a distinction here between beliefs that are either harmless or even necessary for functioning in a complex, fast-moving landscape and those beliefs which might promote mistaken identification with form?
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Re: Belief

Postby smiileyjen101 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:51 am

Look within, this is where your beliefs are, .... perhaps the only way out is thru them and seen for what they truly are, 'just thoughts believed'.

Question them simply because they are running your so-called life.
Ralph


This is an interesting break out from the free will topic and for me carries much of the awareness and balance of response ability and letting go of ‘self’ in order to grow awareness even in little l life.

I’ve left deeply conditioned beliefs and even somewhat light-hearted ‘conclusions’ or ‘assumptions’ and throwaway ‘statements’ and opinions scattered along the paths and avenues traversed thus far even by questioning while not totally in awareness.

Because I’m an old fart now able to look back along those paths and avenues I’m able to recognise the point at which I did ‘question’ and the journey that brought clarity of a nature that I could not have possibly imagined when I asked the question.

Had I known what I was really asking to understand at times, I wonder if I would have had the courage had I been aware of what it would take to unravel it ; )

In fairness the journeying to the more enlightened ‘truth’ or unmasking of beliefs, depending on the quality of the questions maybe, may skin you to the bone.
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Re: Belief

Postby Sighclone » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:40 pm

So am I correct in taking your quote as drawing a distinction here between beliefs that are either harmless or even necessary for functioning in a complex, fast-moving landscape and those beliefs which might promote mistaken identification with form?


Yes. But I'm also saying that believing in untested concepts, within the illusion of form, within society, within relationships, and within oneself as an illusory "person/persona/little me/separate self" should be suspect. While we may, along with the Dalai Lama, blithely discard any interest in "self-image," many people have 'beliefs about who I am,' in form and egoic identity (where 95% of people live) which are untested. Ramana's "self-inquiry" instruction is the ultimate method to expose all beliefs about self-identity, but, well short of that, beliefs such as "I am just stupid, I am a prince, I can't ever find a girlfriend/boyfriend, people are dangerous, I should not ride busses....etc., etc., etc." are usually untested. Drop the brick and test them.

Andy
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There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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Re: Belief

Postby snowheight » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:28 pm

Sighclone wrote: Drop the brick and test them.


Thanks for that Andy. Very Very cool man.

Here is a judgment for you: precious is that which catalyzes the de-crystallization of the mind making it more likely that we drop the brick and wary should we be of that which does otherwise.
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Re: Belief

Postby smiileyjen101 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:45 am

This and the free will topic became a discussion with a friend who works with families 'at risk'. As a psych she shared that early childhood formations of beliefs about self and others (whether people are 'good' or 'bad', whether one is 'worthy' or not) stem from the building of neural pathways in the brain.

In early years the neural pathways strengthen or fail to form depending on having one's needs met. She said different methods of early parenting over the years affected generations (eg Dr Spock's 'controlled crying' method). With each affectionate response to distress or need for attention the baby's brain created a neural pathway saying 'I am worthy' and 'People are good'. Abuse or neglect at the other end of the spectrum creates lack of self worth and trust in others.

I was just fascinated.

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Re: Belief

Postby snowheight » Wed Apr 06, 2011 1:24 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:[
Had I known what I was really asking to understand at times, I wonder if I would have had the courage had I been aware of what it would take to unravel it ; )


Being acquainted with the trauma that must have been experienced during the events referred to there ... yeah ... LOTS of courage. I see that.

smiileyjen101 wrote:In fairness the journeying to the more enlightened ‘truth’ or unmasking of beliefs, depending on the quality of the questions maybe, may skin you to the bone.


I say, bring on the flailing devices and apply them without mercy.

smiileyjen101 wrote:Kindness to children can change the future. How simple is that?


That's when the human race gets the chance to tell the Universe what we are all about.
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Re: Belief

Postby Sighclone » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:36 am

I have to recommend "Buddha's Brain" by Hanson and Mendius here. They discuss the hardwired as well as conditioned pathways and function of the parts of the brain, and how we can 'reprogram' them. I also have put some thoughts on "self-awareness" here.

Andy
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Re: Belief

Postby snowheight » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:23 am

(originally from this thread)

walken wrote:Seems there's some miscommunication going on here. I was talking about faith in a pointer coming from a spiritual teaching (such as oneness or awareness). You seemed to be talking about faith in one's own personal beliefs which didn't make any sense to me.

Can you make the case for:
walken wrote:faith in a pointer coming from a spiritual teaching (such as oneness or awareness).

That is anything but:
walken wrote:faith in one's own personal beliefs


Every perspective is unique. We can communicate and seemingly agree about various concepts, perhaps they seem similar to us, but if they were the same, there would be no discussion whatsoever.

So the dartboard I present to you is the thesis that ANY faith in a spiritual pointer is a faith based in a personal belief.
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Re: Belief

Postby walken » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:05 am

I can't make a case because I don't know what you mean by faith in a belief. Does one have faith in a belief? Or does one just believe? I suspect this debate is going to turn into a play on words and I don't have enough interest in the subject to go back and forth clarifying definitions, nor do I think there will be anything to be gained out of this discussion.
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Re: Belief

Postby snowheight » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:43 am

walken wrote:I can't make a case because I don't know what you mean by faith in a belief. Does one have faith in a belief? Or does one just believe? I suspect this debate is going to turn into a play on words and I don't have enough interest in the subject to go back and forth clarifying definitions, nor do I think there will be anything to be gained out of this discussion.


Namaste
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Re: Belief

Postby snowheight » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:37 pm

My apologies to one and all for spamming my own thread but for selfish journalistic purposes I wanted to link this thread to two posts that express a letting go of a belief that I picked up along the way and that, ironically, opened me up initially to Tolle's work.

I'll still gladly board the Oneness boat when the situation calls for it though. :wink:

Special thanks to Andy, Natalie, hanss, heidi and Igor.
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