@anon38262219 this was really helpful to me, brilliant post!
I agree with Martin. Very helpful, especially the above quote.
I’m the type of person who worries a lot so it’s sometimes difficult to get ahold of my thoughts, but I’m also very self-aware, emotionally. I have always found it easier to control myself by my emotions rather than my thoughts(if that makes any sense at all), but I thought that this was wrong since seth places a lot of emphasis on thoughts by saying the thoughts cause the emotions which then causes more thoughts, so you should always start with the thoughts. I can do this mental self-awareness (as opposed to emotional self-awareness) after I do some zen meditation but I’m infrequent with that practice.
I’m not sure if I am properly understanding the issue, so please forgive me if this reply misses the mark.
One of the primary things that I have come to understand about beliefs is that they are formed by our personal experience. They are neither “right” nor “wrong”, but they either serve us constructively or destructively. In one environment, a belief may be helpful, but in another, it may be hard to live holding such beliefs. I will offer a concrete example based on my having lived in Japan for over two decades.
Before going to Japan, I thought all relationships should be based on love and personality compatibility (primarily love). After living in a culture in which marriage was defined very differently (more of as a union of families in which the outcome was a successful family situation, not an emotionally gratifying partnership), I came to see that, within that environment, a belief such as mine (about love and close partner bonding) would make it very hard to be happy as few others would share my wishes or view the outcome as “successful.” My goals, which were based on beliefs fostered in my upbringing, were not compatible with the goals of people raised in a different situation. Neither my nor their beliefs were better than the other, but they were simply what worked for each culture.
For me, once I recognized that beliefs are based on situations, it made it easier to stop judging myself and others. Comparisons based on beliefs without context are very toxic. Insistence on the superiority of a belief without understanding the background and needs of the holder of those beliefs is stagnating.
My advice would be to seek perspective expanding exercises and experiences. I purposefully try to understand where politically, socially, etc. opposing views to mine are formed without invalidating or dismissing them. This helps expand my sense about all beliefs and makes it easier to be tolerant as well as change any beliefs that I hold which may be toxic to me or others. It is not easy, but it is worthwhile for me.
Dealing with existing beliefs can be quite hard. As had been said, they hold emotional value and emotional weight. They are connected with memories, with past events, with other incarnations, and the deeper they are the less intellectually they are formulated. Some exist purely as a complex inner feeling pattern and have never been put in words.
I have been diving into my belief-systems deeply over the last years as I set out to change a whole bunch of core-beliefs hidden under thick layers created by the rational approach. While at first they may seem hidden, they can be seen by looking at the small encounters and seemingly random and daily things you perceive and experience, regardless of how insignificant they seem. You can see them more clearly in past memories maybe, but keep in mind they always exist in the present. Every belief is held up by you right here and right now.
I have found a few “rules” about them:
- You have to be willing to accept the belief as part of you, any suppression will keep it alive and hidden, full acceptance frees it and frees you.
- Every belief, as negative and supressing it may seem, exists for a goal that is thought to be good and worth achieving. Regardless of how bad it may seem, it was born out of good will and most likely ignorance. This helps a great deal with accepting negative things.
- Beliefs are multi-facetted multi-dimensional thought-emotional patterns that like any other system are open and connected in various ways to various other beliefs. They may route energy to some other beliefs and get fueled again by yet other beliefs. You will most likely encounter beliefs more than one time, often several times, look at them from different perspectives, experience different aspects of them. That is, if you really dive deeply into this.
- The general belief systems of your surroundings, of your society and your history play most likely a role for you as well as they are also mirrors for your own inner workings.
- Whatever you look at, be it past, future, society, other incarnations, in the end they are all mirrors. Your point of power is here and now and here and now is the point where you continuously create your beliefs and you’re doing it here and now with a goal you might consciously or unconsciously believe in, or maybe you have already forgotten the goal and the belief just became a habit.
But these are my experiences and I was heavily using my intellect since I was so deeply within the rational approach I couldn’t do anything but use it in trying to overcome it. Maybe it’s different and maybe even easier for more intuitive and emotional people who aren’t as quick with analysing, categorizing and creating thought-constructs.
Yet another rule I forgot about yesterday. Although it’s very similar to 2 I want to point it out seperately:
6. Any strong limiting belief I have found so far was rooted on a deeper truth that was distorted so far that it has become twisted. And because it was rooted in such a truth it was sitting there strongly and firmly.
Now, distortions always occur, but the more distorting the belief system is, the more distorted even eternal truths become. It is striking what becomes of a felt truth like “I create my own reality” if filtered through the distortion of the rational approach. A overly rationalized ego in fear of its own death and the meaninglessness of its life can do a lot bad things driven by that belief as it will change it into a struggle for power and control over itself and its surroundings.
I also want to give an example for a certain belief I have been tackling recently:
It’s about paradise that has to be reached, achieved. Reaching or creating paradise is believed to be the ultimate goal in life, something that gives life meaning and direction. I say reaching or creating because this belief shows up in countless disguises.
For the devout christian it’s about adhering to christian values in life to gain paradise after death.
For the practicing buddhist it’s about detachment and peace to escape the wheel of reincarnation.
For the rationalistic materialist it’s about creating a technologically advanced and safe physical society that survives at all costs and everywhere.
For the rationalistic esoteric it’s about connecting humanity with nature again and to create a peaceful ecological society.
And for the beginning “Sethite” it’s about changing ones own beliefs so that you become able to create your own paradise.
The idea of reaching a state of eternal peace and bliss is the rejection of negative emotions, of pain and suffering leading to their suppression (it also rejects the ever-changing nature of being, but that’s another aspect I could write a lot about). However any system based on the suppression of even the smallest aspect or part of consciousness or conscious experience automatically becomes a limiting system.
Striving for paradise, be it christian heaven, a better global society or your own personal experience, is always limiting if it is based on the suppression of negative experience. As I have been suppressing a great part of myself I can only say that the feeling of suppression itself is much more horrible than anything that is being suppressed. Experiencing the emptiness of depression and the hollowness of missing feelings is quite a heavy and much needed lecture to understand how bad and unneccessary suppression of energy is.
However, the idea of working towards a paradise is not a wrong one either, it is a distorted one, based on missing information and limited understanding of the nature of everything. As neither the soul nor humanity are doomed to begin with there is no need to frantically work towards a paradise to avoid damnation or extinction. There is no need to sacrifice the most minute part of yourself for such a higher goal. The notion that sacrificing something for something or someone else was morally good and noble is also ingrained into our culture. I never understood the whole thing about Jesus being sacrificed for humanity’s sins, this part never made sense to me, but it’s a core belief of our society. If you understand that you are a divine being there is no need anymore to sacrifice anything to prove that you’re not a bad or evil or damned being. There is no need prove you’re good, you just believe that you are good, that you are great as you are and with such beliefs you will automatically act that way and everything will work out. Also it gets rid of perfectionism as you have nothing to prove, and no need to shut up your critics.
I also struggle with “analysing, categorizing” , and as soon as I see or hear or read anything, I immediately find a location in my well-developed intellectual/experiential schema. A part of me realizes that the very act of attaching a new thought to a rung on my own scaffolding stops me from following a new thought with the open mind of a child.
I first read NPR when I was 20, and it was as if I was hearing everything I already believed put into words. I was born knowing this. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I am the third generation of metaphysical seekers in my family. And yet, at 60, I am still struggling with aligning my “physical” life with the true nature of reality I know in my gut to be true.
Are there others out there who are still seeking to personify their beliefs after many years? Does anyone care to share their experience and wisdom on this issue.
Thanks, Khris …
I share your experience with beliefs and following them to their roots … this, to me, is what Seth is about: beliefs…