Beliefs I Know for Sure
by Jonathan Parker
Have you ever thought about your beliefs? What exactly it is you believe, and how do your beliefs have an effect on your life? I love to think about this kind of stuff. We all have beliefs. Right? In fact, you really can’t function without beliefs, but there is something curious about beliefs. They are constantly changing. When I was much younger than I am today I knew a lot of things for sure. I was convicted and assured of what I considered “provable facts.” There were a lot of things I would say I was certain of, but as the years have gone by I have looked at just about everything I have ever believed, and have often come to different conclusions and therefore changed my beliefs.
One thing I have noticed is that whatever a person’s beliefs are, he or she is quite certain the beliefs are factual and true, or they wouldn’t believe them. The fact is that people base every aspect of their lives on their beliefs. Some people are so certain that what they believe is true, they say, “I would bet my life on it.” Although, I doubt they actually would, but they say that to be emphatic.
The areas of beliefs that seem to have the highest charge are religion and politics. When it comes to scientific beliefs people like to think they are more open-minded and objective, although many find that going against the tide of accepted beliefs, and not thought well of by others, and in some cases it may put their job and credibility on the line, so they say what they think they are supposed to say.
I’ll let you know what I believe and know for sure…
1. The First Thing I Know for Sure
I was watching one of Oprah Winfrey’s shows awhile back where she was interviewing a well known spiritual teacher, and she asked him what he knew for sure, and true to form, he gave the answer many spiritual teachers do that they don’t know anything for certain. What do you think?
Is there anything you know for sure? Here’s the way I’ve answered that question:
“Everything I think I know may or may not be wrong.” Some things seem to be pretty sure things, but you never know what might come along to change that view. The fact is that even though I may be basing certain decisions in my life on some beliefs, I am ready and willing to change those beliefs if new information is presented that I find credible. Moreover, I think this approach is true for most people, although I have heard a few people say they have not changed any of their beliefs in their entire life. I suspect they actually have, but they just don’t remember exactly what it was that they believed in their younger days.
I think it is a worthwhile question to ask yourself if what you believe today is exactly the same as what you believed 10 years ago, and I think if you are clear and honest you will recognize there are some things that you have changed your position on. Of course, there are likely a lot of things you are still firmly attached to, and if they work for you, then you should continue to operate your life based on them; however, a safer and more enlightened approach would be to say that you are open to finding things some day that may change your opinions and beliefs because that is how you grow and evolve.
The Second Thing I Know for Sure
2. The second thing I know for sure is that everything is a perception. In other words, all my conclusions, beliefs, and points of view are really just my opinions. That also goes for everything else that anyone says to you. Opinions are good things. I don’t think you can operate without them. We need certain agreed upon assumptions about the way life and society works in order to function. That being the case, we don’t want to throw the proverbial “baby out with the bath water” and jettison all foundations on which we live day-to-day.
The problem comes when a person is stubbornly locked into opinions and beliefs. This approach is often rooted in the perception that the status quo is more safe and certain than change, and if there is one thing the mind doesn’t like it is change. Why? Because change means an unknown future which may have certain risks and threats. So, the status quo is really a fear-based philosophy to live by, and as a result this modality leads to a static life of little or no growth.
It may be useful to acknowledge where your opinions and beliefs came from. Your life is shaped by the way you grew up and the beliefs and conclusions you came to during your formative years. Beliefs and conclusions derive from observations and judgments about those observations. The judgments are colored by what you have been taught by others which you have come to accept or through your own experiences. You then tend to generalize your experiences and project them onto others as if what is true for one must be true for all, or what is good for some is good for all.
How Can You Know What Beliefs Are True?
One technique I’ve used over the years that I have found to be very helpful in determining how my mind relates to what it processes is to ask myself the question, “What if the opposite of what I now believe were true?” I have found that this question sometimes caused my mind to go into a tail spin of arguments and denials, only to emerge later with a realization that the question was worth asking.
Take for instance the justifiable reaction of anger and blame when someone does something audaciously that violates my space. I could feel satisfaction at being angry and verbally retaliating or demanding something of the person, or I could say to myself, “What if I moved into a place of accepting what is and blessing the person with gratitude for showing me a perspective I was not aware of?”
On one hand, if a person were out of place with his or her actions nearly everyone would say being upset is normal and natural. On the other hand, coming to a place of acceptance of what took place leads to internal peace. That is not to say the person would be let off the hook for what they did, for there may well be consequences to pay, but no matter what happens externally it is never worth the price of sacrificing one’s internal peace of mind and happiness because it seems justified to be upset or angry. In fact, having an emotional reaction is really giving a tremendous amount of power to the other person to control one’s inner space, and a more healthy philosophy would be to decide not to let anyone’s behavior ruin your day.
I challenge you to engage in this process for your most cherished beliefs; not to undermine them, but to clarify them. I am well aware that most people have very strong beliefs and convictions, but most have not explored the reasons for their beliefs and the other possible positions there likely are. This is not to make you a skeptic about everything. It is intended to make you more aware of how your mind operates.
Neither is this process intended to change your beliefs about anything, but rather to make you more conscious of why you believe what you do. Most people go through life only semi-conscious about who they are and why they believe and do the things they do. This experiment of turning your beliefs around can give you incredible clarity on what you choose to believe, and make you more conscious and awake about who you are.
Now I know that may not be an easy process for a lot of people, but the more you practice this approach the easier you will find it, and it can actually be quite a bit of fun.
The Third Thing I Know For Sure
3. The third thing I have come to know for sure is that everything in existence is composed of energy in one form or another. Science tells us some things about this. For instance, most are familiar with Einstein’s equation E = mc2 which tells us that energy is convertible to matter and vice versa. In many instances this is obvious, such as burning wood, coal, or oil which extracts energy from matter, but what is more important are the areas that are not so obvious.
For instance, there are subtle forces of energy all around us that we are usually not aware of. These are the forces that affect the direction of our lives, and are a factor in our health and circumstances in our life. I have come to recognize these effects through direct observation of subtle energies through heightened intuitive skills.
What I have found is we all live in bodies composed of obvious and subtle energies. The subtle energies carry programming and information that influence our beliefs, feelings, and reactions, which in turn have effects on what we experience. Knowing about these subtle energies is empowering because we can shift and even eliminate them through practical subtle-energy clearing techniques such as energy healing
The Fourth Thing I Know for Sure
4. Aligning with pure soul-centered love is a most powerful way to clear negative or disturbing feelings and conditions. This type of love is deeply unconditional and when we merge with it our relationship with all people and things changes and becomes sublime, enriched, and peaceful, plus it aligns us with the positive forces of creation to help bring us our goals and dreams.
Here is what I know for sure at this time:
1. Everything I think I know may be wrong.
2. That everything is a perception. In other words, a point of view or an opinion.
3. Everything is energy in one form or another.
4. Pure love that is unconditional changes one’s inner experiences for the better.
5. There is one more thing I know for sure and that is that I may never know all I don’t know.
So I’ll just stop my list here and continue surrendering into deeper discoveries, because one thing I have observed is that consciousness is continually evolving, and explorations in meditations are the best ways for expanding awareness and furthering self-discovery.
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