Monday, July 16, 2012

Beliefs and Believing are they the same thing?

I was thinking about how I wanted to open up this discussion that I have been kicking around about Reality, but it dawned on me that as with all things reality is based on perception and beliefs.  So I decided that I needed to backtrack just a bit and discuss beliefs and believing, because most people think that they mean the same thing.  Most would be incorrect in that assumption though, because the human mind works in such a way that we can believe something differently then the belief in which is is founded. You might think that this is a play on words, but it is truly remarkable how the human mind has the ability to compartmentalize and evaluate different concepts and assign a value to them, which later become ingrained in our own belief system and structure.

See a belief is something that we have either learned or experienced, it is first hand knowledge of something that has happened or transpired.  Whereas, believing in something is an act of faith in some cases, and in others is just a reinforcement of a belief that has been experienced.  Taking religion as a basis for this discussion, I can show you the difference between a belief and believing in something.  There is however an inherent danger in beliefs and believing, because believing in something gives it strength and power.  It is also possible to manifest or create a believe and bring it into existence.  All of this I will try to demonstrate and explain.  It is upon this type of idea and abstraction that the current religion is based.  For the majority of people there are two primary and competing religions in the world.  Now, I said for the majority, I want to clarify that there are other religions out there and belief structures, and I am not trying to say one is better than the others, or any of them are right or wrong.  My personal beliefs are actually a culmination of several beliefs and structures, but that is for another time.  What I can say is that I was born into a Christian home, I was taught from the Bible and I have maintained that core in my own personal belief structure, though I have incorporated and utilize different portions of faiths and religions to build and customize my own way of thought and living.  I uses Buddist chanting and meditation techniques and I incorporate Wiccan ceremony and rituals into my own life.  I am not asking anyone to follow me in my pursuit because it is mine and mine alone.

Yet, I have come to realize that I can believe one thing and have a belief in another, and both can exist and be correct at the same time.  You might think that this is impossible but it is not.  I can also believe in something and have no discernible proof that it exists.  This bridging of fact and belief is called an intellectual synthesis.  Sir Thomas Aquinas created a synthesis that allowed science and religion to co-exist together.  He postulated that science was only furthering to prove the existence of the Divine and in such pursuits God Himself.  Because of this new found belief Reason was no longer thought to be the enemy of faith, but rather that reason would expand and explain faith.  It also brought about the renewed change in thought of the time that  philosophy was no longer the enemy of theology, but would also expand it and broaden it's reach. Though theology is often time a part of philosophy the depth and breadth of philosophy reaches far further.  For philosophy is reason personified and rational and irrational thought studied and followed to it's conclusion.

It is important for you to understand that you can have a belief while believing in something else entirely.  Just because you believe that God speaks to you through prayer, doesn't mean that you can't believe that he talks to someone else through meditation and divination.  It is elusive to describe in detail what I am trying to say because beliefs and believing in something are very personal and deeply ingrained in us, whether by, culture or denomination or even religious devotion. You might even liken a belief to a personal conviction.  By doing so you make it exclusively your's, and that conviction can be a part of a greater belief and it be right for you but only you.  However, by believing in something you are giving it energy and life. I am asking you to trust me that believing is different than having a belief but as I sit here trying to force my mind around it, I keep looping back.

I guess what I am trying to say is having a belief is personal where believing in something means you take part in it.  What comes to mind is that I believe there are ghost and spirits in this world that interact with us.  However, because I am a believing Christian, I am taught that there aren't.  The same aspect could be true.  I am a believing Christian, but there is no empirical evidence or proof that God or Heaven exists.  Where are the graves and markers of the Saints?  We are to believe without seeing which is called faith, but isn't faith another world for belief?  I think it is.  I also think that having a belief in something and believing in something are two separate things.  I also believe that this is made possible by the fact that our brain can think, rationalize, analyse and process information on several different levels that let us be able to accept incongruous things.

Therefore, it is possible for two people to have differing belief's yet believe in the same thing. Just look at church denominations.  The all believe in God, but they have different approaches and internal dogmas that make them separate.  Because I am a member of the Church it is said that I am a believer, but depending on my denomination my belief may differ from another believer and we both might be correct.  This little tidbit of knowledge is hard to grasp, and I have explained it as well as I can to help you understand what I have been trying to say.

Because what I am leading up to is that I believe that there are different types of realities that exist simultaneously and each are perceived and interpreted by the brain differently depending on you level of enlightenment.  This is just the first in a little series I want to explore on reality. I am basing what I am writing about on "Plato's Allegory of the Cave".  

 I hope that I have intrigued you enough, or maybe even confused you enough that you will want to come back and follow the next few blog entries that are going to deal with the spiritual journey and the path towards enlightenment. What tools we have at our disposal, and how the further we go on this journey different things will start to look, and how our understand of what we perceive as reality may in-fact be just a shadow of the real world hidden behind.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B