The Content of Belief comes in many forms - religion, politics, health, diet, parenting and more. However, the Process of belief is always the same - We “buy in”, identify and then protect that belief as “Right”, since it becomes part of what we think of as “I”.
The Process of Belief is powerful and is greatly enhanced when shared with others, apparent in our age of “likes”, “followers” and “friends”. However, Quantity is not Quality, in the sense of Right or True. You can dig a hole deeper and wider, but it may be in the wrong place! As Yin-Yang theory pointed out 3000 years ago, Right cannot exist without Wrong, Beauty without Ugliness. The more rigid and righteous you are in your Belief, the more Non-believers/ Enemies you create! Yin-yang theory also explained that the “apparent opposites” are actually inter-related and give rise to each other. You and your Enemy are inseparable.
Can we live without belief? The Buddha taught that we suffer because we are attached; we grab on and then find it hard to let go. This applies not only to “external” objects, people and ideas, but also to “internal” compulsions and beliefs. If we begin to recognize and let go of our internal compulsions (not easy!), we create the space for more compassion and Insightful Wisdom in our lives. Simultaneously, we begin to understand others, because we can listen and observe more keenly, objectively and profoundly. The Daodejing observes, “Without going out the door, One can know the whole world. Without peeping out the window, one can see the Dao of Heaven”. This is not the same as self-assured bigotry, as self-inquiry is ever present and primarary.
I increasingly hear, “All politicians are the same, so why bother?”. No, all politicians are not the same; all political parties and systems are not the same. Not all outcomes are the same. Choice, whether political or otherwise, does have consequence - Karma if you will. The Truth regarding a matter or person becomes obvious if you pay objective attention (inner and outer) over a period of time. For example, there is no such thing as an “alternative fact”, unless you accept that possibility into your heart and mind. However, there is a factual track record concerning those trying to promote the notion of “alternative facts”!
Living mindfully without Belief also brings you more into the Present Moment/ Now, which is the only time we act actually act. We spend most of our mental energy thinking about the Past and Future, but only the Now ever is. Transformation is Now; Enlightenment is Now. However, it’s not as easy as an Affirmation.
In Dharma, AJ
NB Our next meditation retreat at Harmony Dawn is April 28-30, 2017 with the possibility of staying extra days. Please let us know asap if you would like to attend.