On Beliefs And The Nature of Reality
Beliefs form your experience. The world is what you think it is. Not in some metaphysical, metaphorical way, but in very real terms.
What follows is an ongoing exploration of how beliefs shape your life and more importantly how you can change and use them to create more of the life you desire.
Over the following weeks, perhaps years I will be adding to this work, making it more complete. I will start today, despite my urge for perfection. If you have anything to add, please do.
The Structure of Beliefs
Beliefs exist on different levels of intensity. At the core is the belief itself, around it you have:
- Assumptions. These are the things that you have no doubt about.
- Attitudes. These are habitual, but there is room for doubt.
- Opinions. These are easily changed.
I see it as an onion. The onion itself is a belief. On the outer edge you have opinions that are easily peeled off. The next couple of layers are attitudes. Assumptions are at the core.
Certain opinions, attitudes and assumptions belong to certain core beliefs. If you peal the layers away you will get to the core and discover which beliefs give you which experiences in life.
How To Change Your Beliefs
In the most simplistic terms, if you change your beliefs, your experience of life will change.
If you take the time to discover what beliefs you hold, you will understand more about your life and why things go the way they do in yours.
How to change beliefs effectively is still something I am exploring. However, the first step in any case is to be aware of them. I have included a simple exercise in this article, to get started with exploring your beliefs.
There must be a way to get directly to the core, without peeling. If you know a technique feel free to share this.
Answer the questions below. Keep writing until there is nothing more to add. It usually takes me a couple of days before most of it is out.
- The world is…
- I am…
- Love is…
- Money is…
- People are…
- I think…
Once you have as much on paper as you can it’s time to reflect on it.
Look at it as if u were looking at someone elses beliefs and examine them. Even better is to ask someone to look at them with u.
You will see patterns emerge and will be able to group some assumptions, attitudes and opinions with the same core belief. You will see that they originate from the same core belief and how a lot of your thoughts stem from it.
For example, a core belief we generally hold in the Western world is that we are human. A machine made out of flesh. An assumption attached to it is that your body deteriorates as you become older. An attitude is that you will behave differently as you grow older. An opinion linked to is that certain foods are bad for your body.
Ultimately “being human” is a very strong belief. One that your entire life is built upon. What if that belief is wrong? What if we are something else?
Why Change Beliefs?
I am not saying that belief is right or wrong. I am saying that a big part – if not all – of your daily life unfolds thanks to that belief. Some beliefs will help you in life, some will cause you stress.
Generally, strong held beliefs are what you call truth.
When you explore your beliefs you can discover which ones are helping you and which ones are not. Then you can change the ones that you want. Any belief you hold can be changed.
This is a mixed list of commonly held beliefs:
- People are inherently good
- People are inherently bad
- I am a failure
- I am lucky
- I am human
- The world is a scary place
- I am not good enough
- Everything happens for a reason
The list could go on forever.
By exploring your beliefs, you gain insight why your life unfolds the way it does.
Over the next few months I will dive deeper into the matter and will explore any questions you have. Topics I plan to explore:
- How beliefs shape your world/reality
- What are beliefs
- How are beliefs structured
- How belief affects your behaviour
- How you can change your beliefs
- The role of emotions and thinking
- How belief can cause illness
- How beliefs are formed
That’s all for now.