What Are We Supposed To Believe In

23 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, FindingPeace said:

Your cat sits next to her bowl when she's hungry. But is she holding a belief that you will bring food or is she operating from the truth that experience has taught her - that the bowl is where her food usually is and that if she sits next to it you will provide food for her. Is it a belief or a truth? After all, her experience has proven this to be a truth has it not? Noone came up to her one day and explained that if she sat by her bowl you would bring her food. She had to discover and learn this experientially. Until you stop providing food it will continue to be a truth for her.

I guess you could still call this a belief. What starts off as an experience of truth becomes remembered as a belief. There is no guarantee that it will be truth the next time. So this puts in question what truth really is. Because fundamentally, nothing is certain or permanent.

The only thing that we can be sure of as truth, is the present moment, and the experience of consciousness.

I think only truth she knows here is that a memory of me providing food at the bowl exists. That I will provide food again or that me and the food exist are all beliefs. I see no reason why experimentally learned beliefs and those learned from others have any fundamental difference, neither of them you can know.

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1 hour ago, Mat Pav said:

Have you ever cut off a thought mid sentence before it makes any sense, and yet still knew meaning behind it?

Yes, I see this when meditating.

1 hour ago, Mat Pav said:

But maybe our pets don't think at all and are just acting on instinct and psychological conditioning? I don't see the value in living in such a way though.

Interestingly I often wonder whether other animals spend more time living with that 'peace of mind' that we find very hard to cultivate. They don't live 'in their own heads' like we do. They're living outwardly. You could call it ignorant bliss. But that's the point really - what is ignorance other than the absence of awareness of knowledge. They can't sit around worrying about life, questioning it. Unless they are in iminent danger or facing some other threat they are at peace.

We spend too much time analysing and questioning our lives and our world. We're forever in our heads thinking, worrying, wondering, challenging life. We don't spend enough time living outwardly and just 'being'. The more knowledge, models and beliefs we have the more time we spend rearranging, modifying and reviewing it. We can't just sit down and 'be', without some useless thought-story taking over our focus and consciousness.

We need thoughts, to a point. We have a remarkable piece of biological engineering in our skulls. But we need to refine the amount of data that we shove in there. Put it to better use and reduce the amount of wasted mental resource taken up by neuroses and other meanlingless pursuits. I don't know yet where the balance is. But there must be some truth to this. I can't speak for anyone else but when I meditate I can't maintian focus for more than 10 or 20 seconds at a time. When you become mindful of your thoughts throughout your day, you become aware of how short-lived your moments of concentration and focus are. How short the periods of true mindfulness are. Something seems off that we spend more time distracted by thoughts than actually focussed on the present moment. Perhaps this is how our brains are wired from evolution. Perhaps it's the conditioning and BS we fill them with througout our lives.

To me it seems our species is becomming more trapped by it's own mind as time goes on and less in touch with reality. There must be a way to shrink the knowledge base and reverse this effect.

Interesting topic.

“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.”  - Lao Tzu

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