Have you ever wondered why you believe what you do? I have and today I share my current thinking on the topic. It’s always subject to change! I’d love to hear what you believe.
First, why is this important? Although it might be self-evident, understanding our thoughts and beliefs, where they come from and how we can change them is essential to our moving towards our highest future. The better you and I realize why we believe what we believe allows us to bring into our awareness those beliefs that may no longer serve us. We get the chance to make a conscious choice and become a better person along the way.
So here’s how I currently think our package of beliefs develops:
Our individual self existed somewhere before being born.
As we moved from where we were before birth into this physical existence, we consciously forgot who we were previously while many of our “prior life” experiences were retained in our subjective consciousness. Hence, we arrive on Earth with subconscious memories which can play a part in our beliefs.
As our soul inherits a body on earth, that body has physical patterns inherited from its physical parents. These inherited tendencies may play a part in our beliefs.
We arrive on the planet much like coming into the middle of a movie. There is a collective story that is in progress that contains the sum history of life as we know it.
As a child we consciously learn parts of that story from our parents, friends, school, church and so on. What we consciously learn as to the details of the story and which parts are important depend upon the beliefs of our parents, our culture, our religion, etc.
As a child we subconsciously pick up on patterns within the collective story which impact our beliefs. These include such things as archetypes and structures of consciousness through which we develop.
As we grow up, many aspects of the story that we consciously learned from our parents and culture become so ingrained in us that they fall into our subconscious. Hence, things we once learned now simply become an inherent truth to us.
As we grow up, our ways of thinking evolves through the structures of consciousness. These are like patterns in the background that silently shape how we look at life. They guide our sensory input so that we “see” only those aspects of material life that fit our current structure. They quietly package our beliefs into a worldview or lens that reinforces our beliefs. Different theorists have given different labels for the levels that their data shows we move through. Our highest level of growth tends to depend upon the general level of those people around us. While there are “lower” and “higher” levels, most people today settle into one of three — mythic/pre-rational, rational, pluralistic/post-rational.
Finally, our current circumstances in life create needs we are called to fill. This is Maslow’s hierarchy. If life “out there” keeps us focused on meeting a certain level of needs (for example, safety and security), then our continuous attention on meeting that lack impacts our beliefs.
Bad News Good News
The bad news is that many of us move through life without ever wondering why we believe as we do. Many of us simply accept things as truth for the way it is without question. We’ll look at some examples next time.
The good news is we can change our beliefs. The steps are easy, the implementation a bit more difficult. The payoff is immense.
So that’s how I see our beliefs developing… what are your thoughts on the subject?
Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!