Val is a self-made out-of-box thinker and individualist de-hypnotized from social brainwashing advances.
The word "belief" is a difficult thing for me. I don't believe. I must have a reason for certain hypothesis. Either I know a thing, and then I know it -- I don't need to believe it.
-- Carl Jung
What Is "Belief"?
The best way that I could define belief is: it's just a mental habit -- period.
Anything that we are repeatedly impressed by, tends to become a belief in our nervous system. That would include a total lie, which repeated enough would become our truth.
All political, religious, commercial, and medical brainwashing is based on beliefs.
In a sense, they are nothing but innate mental skills which help us to avoid thinking something over and over to get to a conclusion.
So, belief can be created in two ways -- either by repetition or by an instant strong emotionally charged impression. In either case, we tend to treat them as our truths. And that's exactly where we have to make this important distinction:
Believing doesn't mean knowing. While we can believe something that we first know, most of it are subjective, not objective. An example for knowing: 2+2=4 to Christians and Muslims and vegans and carnivores and Republicans and Democrats. It's their beliefs which make their respective reasonings different.
Thus, it's simply in human innate nature to form deliberate beliefs -- it's definitely not anything like an "objective reflection of truth in human's psyche". The simple rule of the thumb in identifying a belief would be -- if two people can have a different opinion about something -- it's about their belief.
That's why we also invented something like "axiomatic facts" -- the ones that don't need any proving for their undeniable accuracy.
Like, nobody is questioning our inability to grow wings, or questioning that we need water for survival. It's axiomatic. But it's not axiomatic that either Trump of Biden are currently the best possible candidates for presidency -- that's a belief.
Maybe the strongest point I would try to make here is that belief is really a simple innate function of brain -- and as such it's "mentally cheap stuff", since it doesn't take us any study or research to form one. A mental construct which we can form over anything at all.
In fun hypnosis, which I witnessed while in the army, you can best see how crazily convincing a belief can be -- as the subject is suddenly convinced that he is a dog, so he starts salivating and walking on his four, and barking.
Compare that to political or religious fanaticism where believers may go nuts in their acts of support.
So, I may not become much of a friend of either religious or political believers when I say that with all their strong devotion to their convictions, they are just as intellectually fallible as a kid who believes that "Santa Claus is coming to town".
People are suggestible to a different degree, and while in one of the extremes some may easily abandon their convictions for anything else that suddenly appears more believable to their open mind -- at the other extreme, it has a power of an addiction -- hence the phenomena of hypnosis and brainwashing.
There is no rational basis for beliefs, they are all deliberate mind's constructs -- for, it certainly wouldn't be the first that a Catholic turned Muslim, or a Republican turned Democrat, or a carnivore turned vegan.
It's the repetition of affirmation that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things start to happen.
-- Muhammad Ali
The Power of Belief
So, it all boils down to one thing -- what we are after while shopping at our culture market which offers any crappy thing that may be suitable to become a belief.
As for myself, I am totally into using my own logicalness, thinking out of the box, turning every stone and pebble to find an alternate truth if there is one. I am quite familiar with all studies about human suggestibility, hypnotism, mass brainwashing, gradual conditioning, and subliminal suggestions.
So, since all of the above is strictly based on belief -- I feel quite competent to talk about the very texture of the act of believing.
Its impact on personal, familial, social, and international models of living is enormous. Beliefs are basically guilty of creating every imaginable conflict, whether within an individual, or collectively.
That guilt stems from the very nature of belief -- that, unlike knowledge -- it can always have an opposite to itself.
Since a good part of human brain is still primitive, and as such tied to animalistic survivalism, it logically follows that those antagonistic, crazy drives of our lower brains are bound to reflect themselves in upper brain where they will form conflicting beliefs.
Thus, what to a chimp is his territoriality, to us is patriotism; what to a chimp is a drive to be an "alpha in the pack", to us is political careerism; what to chimp is an impulse to grab another chimp's banana tree, to us is economic war.
Thus, our lower impulses are dictating to our smart frontal lobe of the brain what beliefs to form, what justifications to apply, and how to make it all sound humanly dignified.
When it's about beliefs, I just can't hold it back anymore -- having to say how we, humans, are making perfect asses of ourselves and of our coexistence on this planet.
We say that religion is "mother of morality", which is a simple bullshit, because animals feel love without ever reading a holy book. Look at your loyal Fido. Look at an elephant protecting its young; look at a birdie going through effort of making a nest and bringing food to the young. Look at animals courting each other.
At least they are no damn hypocrites preaching one thing and doing the opposite.
What bothers me intellectually is this total intellectual blindness of even some scholars being brainwashed into their chosen dogmas -- dogma being a form of intellectual hypnosis, something that is not ever to be challenged.
Political circus is displaying even more of insanity based on blind beliefs, dogmatic as they are, resistant as they are to any alternative perspective.
The craziest thing about politics yet is that neither Republicans nor Democrats are right, since both are just catering to the rich elite while brainwashing the masses into political camps and selling them another belief called "democracy".
Governments, in a hypothetical system that would be based on knowledge -- not beliefs -- would consist of a supreme court hiring and firing leaders, according to their performance that would have to have the interests of the majority in their mind. Period.
No bullshits of "the most powerful man on earth". No kings in suits of Presidents and Prime Ministers. No laws that protect them from being treated as any other citizen. No privileges enjoyed only by monarchs.
But, like I keep saying it, the whole belief system is tailored in favor of the rich and influential, and masses are hypnotically buying it.
Well, serves us right.
It's all nothing but a very intricate game of suggestive influencing, of forming and maintaining beliefs. And once in existence, beliefs will forever create conflicts, since it's simply in their nature to do so.
In a hypothetical world based on knowledge -- not beliefs -- the world leaders would sit together and work on global harmony, economic cooperation, and a joint effort for elimination of poverty, hunger, and pollution -- not act like a bunch of power-intoxicated lunatics always in some perpetual conflicts.
Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
-- William James
Uses of Beliefs
The world of beliefs is the world of relativism.
Meaning that any issue is not a real issue but is based on a belief, so that -- either on individual or collective level -- we first create a problem and then we frantically try to fix it.
We don't see that we would never have things to fix if we didn't have crappy beliefs in the first place which created a need for fixing.
Medicine and politics are so obvious example. In medicine, first we were brainwashed into belief that our health is too fragile for us to survive on our own. Believing that, we attract all kind of conditions and diseases, now being primed for believing in a constant need for medical intervention.
If we first believed that our bodies could beat any disease with a sound stress management -- we wouldn't need believing in visiting our good doctor at every "suspicious sneeze". Hey, it's been scientifically proven time and time again that a strong belief has cured cancers and other heavy diseases. We call it spontaneous remission cases.
In order for any pharmaceutical to be effective at all, there has to exist a receptor for it in the body -- meaning that body already has an even superior equivalent for that pharmaceutical. But it won't be released into our body if we don't trust it -- as simple as that. Our beliefs make our bodies medicine-dependent.
In politics, we first create some enemies somewhere, then we create new strategies-- call them beliefs -- which are to be a remedy for creating those enemies.
So the whole insane vicious cycle is about first creating crap and then fixing it, while the fix already contains seed of a new crap to be fixed, and so on.
The whole belief system in our cultural paradigm is gravitating around the interests of the powerful elitist manipulators -- and it's not some cheap conspiracy theory, but a simple truth based on the science of the nature of belief.
And I have said enough of the belief's role in this pandemic in my other articles, so I won't repeat any of it here -- but believe it or not -- the whole racket was heavily based on nothing but a massive belief.
Go to a jungle and find those primitive folks who never saw any sign of civilization -- then show them your cell phone -- and if you are lucky to do it before they eat you, they are bound to fall on their religious knees in front of you, believing that you are a supernatural being.
What happened there is a classical example of a construct of a belief -- as crazy as it may be.
What positive, if anything could we come up with after facing this basic nature of believing?
Being so powerful, and being deliberate, beliefs can be incredibly useful.
In a strict sense, it doesn't matter if we are deceiving ourselves with positive or negative lies -- we are deceiving ourselves, so why not use those believes that are life-promoting?
Indeed, since we will be lying to ourselves anyway, why not say that we are lovable, beautiful, confident, smart, resilient, relaxed, happy, etc. For, our belief will make it just as true for us as the belief that we are ugly, not lovable, not confident, stupid, susceptible, tense, unhappy, etc. will make us.
Indeed, whether we believe that life sucks, or that it's a fantastic and rewarding adventure -- we are right, as it has become our truth, and even "stars will make sure that our fate takes the course toward manifesting it".
What I am suggesting here is that we treat our beliefs for what they truly are -- as a tool -- not as an absolute truth picked up from this or that system of belief. I am saying that we consciously choose our beliefs while minding our best life interests.
That gives us incredible power over our limiting autopilot which is crammed with beliefs picked up from the assortments of socially imposing beliefs. Even your genes start upregulating themselves as they pick up the signals from your mind that life is good, world is safe, and you are in charge.
Now, O.K., as you noticed, I gave most of the space in this article to the negative aspects of beliefs. I did that on purpose, so that it becomes clear where we are "coming from" -- before we decide "where to go" with our beliefs.
It's important to de-hypnotize ourselves first, and then it's relatively easy to implant new beliefs into that soil free of weeds.
I hope you found the article interesting -- maybe even stimulating and inspiring. Personally, I from ever found this topic one of the most crucial in my own intellectual orientation.
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