Thursday, April 27, 2006

Beliefs and Opinions: Fear of the Mystery

"God will reward me if I blow myself up and take innocent people with me."

"Making money and having things is what makes life worthwhile."

"Everything that happens is good, even when it's painful. God loves us."

"Life sucks. Get whatever you can while you can. No one else cares about you."
Living with the Mystery may be difficult. Having answers is so much more reassuring. It really doesn't matter that much if the answers are even right or true; we just find it easier to have something to hold onto. When we don't have answers it's too easy to find ourselves in a state of spiritual free-fall.

The Mystery is empty. There is nothing to grasp. It does not justify you or your life. It's puzzling. The Mystery is one gigantic shrug: "I don't know."

Where would we all be without experts and authorities, so willing to tell us how things are and what is true?

No wonder so many of us take the easy way out, living life within the confines of the beliefs and opinions of our parents, our schools, our society, our religion. It gives us the illusion that we know what's what. Doing what we are told is "right," and not obeying the rules makes one "wrong."

Sometimes we outgrow a particular set of beliefs and opinions, and trade it in for a different set that seems more "true." A thinking adult can have difficulty swallowing what passes for traditional truth. So a different truth takes over the top of the list, today's flavor. It's like changing one's clothes: "I think I'll be a fundamentalist instead of a communist today."

People fight each other and even kill each other over beliefs. Why? How can it be that important to try to prove that your beliefs somehow are truer than the other person's?

What is the underlying compulsion that makes us need beliefs? Even the belief that nothing is true is just another belief. Hell, even the belief that all is Mystery is still nothing but a belief. Another out of countless beliefs.

What do YOU believe? What is the truth? Who or what holds the top position for you in the judgement of what is true? And who or what is at the bottom for you, the most ridiculous and false and naive and foolish?

When will you get tired enough of the belief game to question the game itself?

Why do I need to believe? What would happen if I stopped?

Try it. Stop believing, if even for just a moment.

Watch your feelings as you do so. Be prepared for some disorientation, some uneasiness, perhaps some quite disturbing TERROR!!

No wonder we hold on to our beliefs and opinions for dear life, fight to the death with those who disagree or doubt what we take as self-evident truth.

Try for the next week to stay with the thought, "Only the Mystery is true. Everything else is an attempt to capture a truth and the security it brings by forcing the Mystery into a tight little box, thus creating only at best a partial truth, which, since it is partial, is also partly false."

Maybe what you believe is true, but it is also false. There is another truth which disagrees with yours. You know what it is, because you don't like those who believe in that contradictory truth (which you believe to be false).

"I have a soul."

"I don't have a soul."

"I know what a soul is."

"I don't have any idea what I'm talking about."

What happens when you give up your beliefs? What is left? What will hold and support you?

Give up your cherished beliefs, enter the Mystery, courageously and attentively.

Then you will begin to know what it's like to be an orphan.

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