Question: From: ely@tiac.net (Eric)
Newsgroups: alt.consciousness.4th-way
Subject: Believing
Date: Wed Apr 16 10:59:01 1997

Eric wrote:
>
> >On 8 Apr 1997 14:33:21 GMT, Sodme@titty.com (Gordan Bennett)
> >wrote:
>
> >>Life is a gift and should not be thrown away I believe.
>
    There is something I do not understand. For as far back as I can recall, people have believed that their individual opinions or assumptions were truthful. (Unless a person values that which he thinks is false, he holds onto that which he believes is true.)
    So, why does a person believe on the one hand that ``Life is a gift'' and then that ``...it should not be thrown away.'' If life is a gift, is it not one's to do with as one pleases? Why does a person believe it is true that only forces external to human thinking have any claim on ending a human life?

    Because ``they,'' unlike ``us,'' believe that ``their'' beliefs were arrived at by careful observation and experiences with living. From ``their'' point of view, ``we,'' of course, just believe stupid things without any proof whatsoever, because ``we'' are either truly stupid or simply poorly informed.
    It is ``their'' job, ``their'' duty, obviously, to point out the error of ``our'' ways, so that ``we'' may be as well informed as ``they'' are, or that it may be determined that ``we'' are simply stupid and cannot be properly enlightened, so that ``they'' may more profitably spend ``their'' time with those who may be educated to ``their'' exalted level of understanding.
    Except that, somewhere in there, ``I'' have forgotten who is ``we'' and who is ``they'' ...

    ``We'' tell ``others'' that beliefs must be based on personal experimentation and experiencing, so therefore that must be the case for ``our'' beliefs, right? Otherwise, why would ``we'' tell ``others'' to believe in such a wise manner?

Here is another example of speculation passing for truth in one's mind. As much as there is a strong urge in one to believe in something, there will always be those who take the position of understanding something that is not yet understood. In the above paragraph, someone (a human) lays claim to knowing ``definitely'' something about whether or not a certain action will lead to a place called, ``Heaven.'' Even the term ``heaven'' is suspect as it is not a proven place and those who believe it exists claim that something called ``faith'' was sufficient for them to believe. Those who believe in a ``Heaven'' have, so far, proven to be different from Heaven's Gate members, only insomuch as the way in which they believe they are supposed to die.

    I really cannot perceive any difference between this statement of beliefs and some other statement of beliefs. All simply say, ``mine are the correct beliefs; all contradictory beliefs are either poorly informed or simply stupid.''
    Heaven may not be a place that has been proven to this one or that one, and may be a place that is proven by faith that is not faith but simply strong blind belief to yet another.
    Or it may be a place that is very, very real to those who live there and observe, perhaps with some compassion, those who choose to live in Hell and claim that there is neither Heaven nor Hell, as they writhe in torment in the flames of demons of their own creation.
    My friend, there is a hell, and there are demons in that hell. The catch is that you must make a demon before it can possess and torment you. Those demons are called beliefs, conclusions, opinions, ideals, standards, false i's, self-hatred, self-doubt, inferiority, insecurity, and many other names by those in hell. In hell, one does not call demons demon, lest one see where one is, and what's going on here, which would be more than one could bear without some belief system that allows for a way out. If one has such a belief system, one of course is caught up in the struggle to make it work, and has no problems telling others that there is a heaven and a hell. Tomorrow. When you die. Some even say now, safe in their belief system that they are on the way out.
    In heaven, the residents call those who inhabit the slums outside of heaven that is called hell what they will, knowing that once they, too, thought that the slums of heaven was all that there was, and that they, too, would not admit that it is named hell by the residents of heaven.
    When hell is all that there is in one's experence, how does it confound the imagination that some will dream of an imaginary heaven for surcease from their torment and that others will demand that the slums be cleaned and rebuilt for surcease from their torment? This does not deny the reality that is heaven and hell, any more than it affirms the beliefs of those who only claim to know what heaven and hell are.
    One of the illusions is that one knows that heaven and hell are after death when one does not even know what death is nor life. Truly, those in hell are dead, and those in heaven are knowing life forever, having died to something.
    One cannot leave hell until one admits that one is in hell, or every journey will end where it began: in hell.
    Hell is just a word that was used for a time for the human condition of unconscious living by those who had found a way to live consciously. Heaven, by the way, is not hell's alternative nor its opposite. One who leaves hell does not necessarily find themself in heaven.

    But all this crap about heaven and hell is just a side issue, isn't it? It would be much more interesting, perhaps, to look at what I am certain that I know, and question whether I truly know that. Speculating on what is meant by those who speak of heaven and hell from experience may be a waste of time until I have some experience on what I can be knowing of the subject: hell. Enlightening others who are wasting time while I am still wasting time is an amusing game to those who choose not to play.

    There is a very valid question in what was posed, although it was not formed as an answerable question and pretty much ignored as a consequence: ``Why do I believe things that are contradictory?'' ``Why'' conceals yet another presumptive assertion: that there is a cause; were one to find that cause one could change it and have a different effect. So the question, as formed, is more accurately a statement: ``I believe that when I find the cause of having contradictory beliefs, then I can change it and stop believing contradictory things. So I must search out the cause of this, to me, ridiculous and unpleasant behavior so that I can stop.''
    This is not the case. I do not need to know what caused someone to build a building that I do not like and wish to see torn down and rebuilt as something more pleasing to my taste. I just tear it down and rebuild. Even knowing why they did that in the first place does not change anything, although it may prove quite interesting. But I still need to go to the effort to remove and rebuild if I want my own building in its place.
    If I want to prevent all further buildings like that one from being built, then I must search out the cause and change it in all builders so that they never do it again. What if ``all builders'' have different reasons for liking that particular kind of building. Will this still work?
    Being aware of the factors that allow one to build contradictory belief systems may assist one's efforts to stop doing such a thing, if one no longer wishes to do so. When aware of these factors, I may see that I am in the process of doing it again, and stop before it reaches the final stage of yet another belief. Does that undo all that was built before I became aware of the mechanism? Only in quite rare circumstances in this one's experience.
    The effort necessary to stop building is one thing. The effort necessary to remove what has already been built is yet another.
    Both may have value if one wishes to stop building and one wishes to remove what has already been built.
    Cause and effect implies that these efforts are one and the same effort. Thus the cause is being poorly informed or simply stupid. If one is (luckily) poorly informed, then learning will both remove and rebuild. THIS IS AN ILLUSION! This effort will simply build yet another belief, leaving the previous belief in place as yet another contradiction almost every time! The few times that this actually works leads one to believe that it should work every time, rather than leading one to question the belief that there is such a thing as cause and effect!

    For example, many of us believe that we are not loved, or not loved for the right reasons. Then someone comes along who we accept loves us. We ``change'' our belief: I am loved! We walk on air for a while, believing that we are loved. Then they do something that shows that they do not really love us, or that discloses that their reason for loving us is not acceptable. And we're right back where we started: I am not loved! Only now I have two contradictory beliefs that I must struggle to reconcile. I am loved; I am not loved. What an inner torment these two beliefs make. Many of us live in that inner torment.

    How much of one's ``work'' is an attempt to live solely by a set of beliefs that one has accepted from some authority who suggests to one that someone with that very special set of beliefs will be standing in a right and safe and secure position all of the time? Whether that right and safe and secure position is wealthy, loved, conscious, or some other reward that one seeks? And regardless of the fact that the ``authority'' actually is suggesting that one not regard them as an authority, but experiement to find out for oneself whether they speak accurately or are just full of nonsense.
    If you are interested in the conditions necessary to the construction of belief systems, contradictory or not, let me know. They are known. If you want the cause, please don't ask me. I have no idea.

How to Be a True Believer

  1. Make sure that you desire safety and security as very necessary aspects of living to be striven for as best you can all the time.
  2. See that REAL safety and security are to be found in knowledge and in being right and in the right at all times due to what you know. Try to act on that knowledge at all times.
  3. Never make the mistake of noticing that knowledge is always an explanation for that which cannot be demonstrated, nor that demonstrations require no explanation -- they are simply experienced. That's all just a lot of mumbo-jumbo used by fools and mystical types to excuse their lack of real knowledge.
  4. Never admit that you do not know, except as a derogatory comment that only you may make about yourself to prove that you are humble and/or improving yourself. Attack all others who suggest that you do not know or that you are wrong with all means at your disposal, psychologically and/or physically.
  5. Acquire knowledge by reading from and listening to the proper authorities. Make sure that you find out which are the proper authorities, and then defend them against all comers. Even better, become such an authority yourself.
  6. Acquire knowledge by thinking about what you have read and heard from the proper authorities, and comparing it to what you already know.
  7. Always remember that knowledge requires constant commitment to achieve the safety and security that it promises.
  8. Form a conclusion based on something that happened once or twice by comparing it in thought to what you have read and heard from the proper authorities and any other conclusions you have already come to by using this method. Repeat endlessly, for as long as you live.
  9. Everything that you understand of what you have read and heard and thought is true and accurate, so never question your thoughts by peforming an experiment to verify that what you have concluded is accurate: unless it is a thought experiment.

    Remember: to be truly safe you must never admit that you know anything to anyone else. If you do, you will, sooner or later, inadvertently suggest that someone else is wrong. Then they will attack you. Always preface everything you say with ``I think'' or ``I believe'' or ``In my opinion,'' even though you actually know and are certain that it's right.
    Alternately, you may state positively what you know and develop the strength (this is not being inflexible or stubborn when you are right) to stand up to all such attacks by maintaining your righteousness and quoting your authorities to prove your righteous position (this is not arguing, and you must be sure to tell everyone who suggests that it is arguing that IT IS NOT); or simply bludgeon them psychologically and/or physically until they stop attacking you.

    Note: it is not actually necessary to use all of these methods to become a true believer. They are all natural outcomes to using any other one of these methods. Pick any one and use it for a time. You will soon notice that you are quite naturally using them all, without even thinking about it, and quite possibly without even noticing the fact.

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