Monday, October 27, 2014

Between Disbelief and Belief

redwood tree, spiritual tree, spirituality, spiritual photography
As you melt more into your awakened consciousness, the need for beliefs goes away. This seems counterintuitive to everything people have been taught from day one, but beliefs aren't that necessary for our survival. They are tools that are occasionally useful, but then you put them down. You sit on a bench, and you watch the birds swimming around at the lake in the park. You are not believing in the birds or the lake. You are witnessing them. You don't need to believe in lower back pain to naturally make an adjustment to how you are sitting. The experience of being in the moment requires no belief. You are already here.

For people who have spent so much time believing this or that, this phase of clarity that comes to our minds is deeply unsettling. For those without as much attention to the mental sphere, it really isn't much of a surprise. As such, the latter will find more ease melting into this space where you don't have to believe or not believe in things. You simply engage with whatever is coming to you in any given moment.

But like any good tool, the mind takes sharpening from time to time. We can learn and use ideas to create other beliefs that are useful. We can believe in creating clean energy systems and better water management. We can do this for a couple of hours, but then we put it down. During the course of a day, we don't really consciously and constantly believe in these concepts though. We are in meetings, on phone calls, with clients, etc., etc. As such, we stay agile to the changing present moment, and when things don't go the way we would have wanted them to go (which comes from a hidden belief about how they should have gone), then we adjust to the new situation. As always, the awakened space is an extremely agile and dynamic space, which is the truth of life.

The Problems of the Believing and Disbelieving Mind

In no other place have the problems of belief and disbelief been more pronounced than with religion. Many of you have gone searching online for new beliefs and ideas as refugees of religion. It's unfortunate that many in established spiritual traditions (aka, religion) think that the spiritual path is about belief. It's not. The more out of balance a religion is with the Truth, the more it tries to make people believe and behave in specific ways. Now, be mindful that a lot of these religions do still serve very important functions because many civilizations in humanity still need strict structure to maintain a certain level of peace and order. Most the major religions come out of ancient times when a lot of codification of rules and laws was needed to maintain order in societies that didn't have much structure beyond that of the tribal way of life. I won't say if that is bad or not, but religions have been incredibly effective in informing people about successful ways to love thy neighbor, not kill others, be honest. and so forth. And since secular law did not exist for most of human existence, this was highly necessary.

And religion still serves a vital function with so much upheaval and chaos going on in so many places. However, where they get into believing that their way is the right way compared to other belief systems and religions, they've gone too far . This is how crusades and holy wars get started. It starts when religions forget part of what they are doing, which is serving their current community to live a peaceful and prosperous life.

As time has gone on, the structure of religion gained more value over the cultivation of the spirit. Thus, the whole belief system needed to be defended, and people have been scared into following the prescribed set of belief and order. But the truth doesn't need defense. It is as it is. Whenever an idea needs defending, we should be mindful about what is real and what is not. Plenty of ideas try to act like the Truth because of the highly intellectualized nature of Western society, but the Truth is more than a paltry synaptic firing in our heads that create thought and words.

The Illusion of Intellectual Power

The rise of the intellectual in secular Western Society has further added to the belief that beliefs are necessary. People look for ideas when they should be seeking the Truth. However, intellectuals have done a wonderful job of intertwining the concept of belief with Truth, and so people are quite confused about the topic. It's why so often when someone feels the Truth arise from within them about a situation that they feel so torn. For instance, a woman intellectually thinks that they're in a good life situation. She has a good job, spouse, and home. But the Truth coming forth is that she is miserable, and she needs to change. Her current ideas and beliefs intellectually don't conform to this Truth, and more often than not, a person will try to sacrifice the Truth for their beliefs believing this offers a better path to happiness or safety. Instead, their reward is familiar misery that tends to deepen over time.

When we make a commitment to the Truth, we find that we are constantly living in the space of the unknown. The ideas and beliefs we have are attempts to predict the future and keep us safe based on what has gone on in the past. Scientists who are humble will tell you that what science tells us is what has happened in the past. A scientific law or idea is created based off of past experiences to predict what will happen in the future. But we don't know the future, and while some principles seem relatively certain (such as gravity on earth), many others don't work fully as you dig more deeply into them. The best way to engage with life is to be here and now, not to try and predict it with intellectual beliefs.

A Culture of Disbelief

Because people have felt so manipulated by so many people and situations, there's grown up a culture of disbelief. People don't really want to believe in lots of different things. They're sick of being sold on religious ideas, political ideas, merchandise, and other things. And while disbelieving is a kind of belief itself, this kind of uber-skepticism is also not useful. In part it is still built on a whole bunch of beliefs and assumptions. Part of the cynic and skeptic is a hidden idealist who is not getting life to play by his or her rules. But rather than admit to their own lofty ideals, they go the reverse way so that they won't feel the sting of being wrong. As such, they are always looking to prove their cynicism and skepticism.

"Yes, of course politicians are all crooks. Look at so-and so."

"Of course the oil industry doesn't care about the environment. Look at this or that."

This type of intellectual will invariably have some good points and some true data, but ultimately, they are defending a different set of beliefs through their disbelief. When something that they don't believe in happens, they are quick to discount it or disbelieve it. Disbelief causes so many problems because so often we end up not believing what is actually happened. This is an absurdity, and it happens a lot in my sessions. I'll talk about energy and how the energy of the sessions moves things for people, and even after stuff has moved for a student, they may still want to disbelieve their actual experience. How insane is that?

The Space Between Disbelief and Belief

The spiritual path is such a vast and spacious thing that we can find our greatest comfort in between disbelief and belief. Rather than believing that our lives should go this way or disbelieving that something is possible, we stay in the openness. We stay where we can clearly see life unfolding in us and in front of us. We do our best to not overly analyze it. When we watch the clouds in the sky, we aren't believing the clouds are clouds or that the sky is blue. We are looking through our current abilities of perception and seeing what is. We also make space for things beyond our perception. The human eye can only see a tiny, tiny fraction of light. The whole spectrum of light is really quite huge, so here you can appreciate some level of rationale and sanity about this space. We don't presume to know everything or think we can perceive everything. But what we do sense and perceive, we allow with as little filter as possible. That naturally elicits intuitive responses when action on our part is needed.

Because this is not a brainless space. We are not turning into vegetables with no way to interact with life. If a certain belief (such as helping to eliminate sexual abuse) feels deeply true to you, then you can act from it. But you also don't get lost in the belief. You don't deny that sexual abuse may continue to go on for centuries. You in no way create new beliefs or new attachments that take you from that space of deeper awareness. And when your work is done for the day, you put the belief done. Your mind doesn't have to be solely fixated on it, and your identity doesn't need to be built around it. In this way, you can melt back into the space of nobody as you continue to evolve and stay flexible to what is most true to you.

The Truth Shifts and Stays the Same

Here's one of the problems with beliefs. They tend to be static. People try to take a belief such as you should only eat a vegetarian-style diet, and then they try to apply it to everyone and every situation. But this is an absurdity. Because this doesn't make sense for everyone and every situation. For indigenous tribes in the arctic circle and other northern regions, meat has been the central and dominant food source for them. To apply this particular belief to these people would create a recipe for starvation. As such, the Truth of different situations in terms of survival can be a shifting thing. Trying to find a solid belief system for what is always right or always wrong is impossible.

Yet, in our deeper connection to ourselves, we pretty much know most of the time what is true for us and what is not. We know what is right for our bodies in different situations as they arise. In that inner grounding, the Truth is quite stable. It's always there. It's often quite clear. So you see the paradox which intellectualism can't fix, and it's why you can end up both believing and disbelieving an idea as situations change. The Truth of life requires us to change with it.

Finding Space Between the Ears

A lot of this may be difficult for you. You've been taught to believe in some things and not believe in others. You may want to hold on so tightly to your beliefs, but these false idols will not keep you safe. They will keep trapped and blind. The awakened space is a place of clear sight, but you don't believe everything you see and hear. You don't disbelieve it either. You stay soft, open, and engaged. The deeper Truth that is within you is your truest and clearest compass. All spiritual tools, guides, angels, teachers, teachings, and so on are meant to guide you to that compass. Sure, it's okay to lean on another for awhile as you're learning to walk, but you still have to start walking.

As you find that immense freedom of not having to think any particular way, you can meet each new situation in life with a freshness and a clarity that is not available to you when you are stuck in your beliefs. When friends, romantic partners, family members, and co-workers can all connect to you without having to act according to your beliefs, they will usually feel so much better. They don't have to be anyone to be accepted by you. When we are foisting our beliefs on others about how they should act, it makes everyone so miserable. Other people aren't beliefs. We aren't our beliefs. We simply are. So let me I invite you into this place where belief and disbelief dissolve, and you simply are.
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