This book has been reissued as of December, 2009
Birds of a feather flock together,
And so will pigs and swine:
Rats and mice will have their choice,
And so will I have mine.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?
Do not confuse belief with condoning something. Beliefs do not make the distinction because your beliefs are not based on your likes, dislikes, and approvals. Some people do not like to pay taxes, yet believe the taxation system is the best way to pay for necessary governmental services. Other people do not believe it is the best system, but also do not believe as an individual, she or he can make any difference in current methods and procedures. You may not think you believe something, but by following a few simple guidelines, you may find out that you do. Beliefs often have little or nothing to do with reality. Beliefs are based on a person's perception of her or his “self”.
The purpose of this chapter is to discover what you may well believe and where you learned to believe it. There are many paths to self-knowledge. They all lead to the same goal: Getting to know who you are. Why a person makes the choice for self-discovery is very simple: unhappiness or perhaps it is misery by the time a person finally takes some action. Why does my unhappiness (misery) exist, where does it come from, and how can my unhappiness be turned into my happiness? Contrary to what you might think now, unhappiness does not ever come from anything or any person outside of your “self”. Everything you desire from another is directly related to your own self-interests.
Beliefs do not generate a cause and then an effect. Cause and effect are connected in such a close manner that they occur simultaneously. They are an eruption of the same energy. Beliefs make the energy unfold. Mind does affect matter. If a person does not care (mind it) no thing will come of it (matter). When a person's mind does not create an affect their life is not effected. No affect, nor effect, occurs.
The fewer life experiences we have had, the easier it is to be affected by the collection of impressions, experiences, and energies that surround us. Intuitively we receive information as feelings from the Universal Cosmic Consciousness. Often we call our intuition our sub-conscious, but intuition is not our sub-conscious. Intuition is the receiver channel we may open and use to receive knowledge from some source outside our personal consciousness. Our sub-conscious is the place where we store our conscious beliefs that cause us trouble if left in our openly conscious state. They are the beliefs that are too uncomfortable for us to leave them open for us to be consciously exposed to them. As we are taught and learn we affect the orientation of energy, forming molecules and wave patterns that are used by our minds. We thus put into effect our beliefs and create our reality. All energy shifts and changes as it is formed within our unconscious and sub-conscious states so that we experience it in a conscious condition. What you do not consciously think about, you remain unconscious about, and what you feel sub-consciously that bothers you, well, they still materialize in a conscious state. And it is your unconscious, sub-conscious, and conscious beliefs that shape and form the energy that creates your life. You and your life are your beliefs. You select the energy to create whatever you believe you can have and what you can be. The right side of your brain imagines your life and the left side of your brain brings in into your reality.
What you experience in life is what you envision. Your beliefs are far more important than most people realize. What your body experiences, your mind believes. What you mind believes, your body experiences. As long as you continue to believe you and your life is controlled by people, things, and events outside of your "self", well, you are. You then constantly look for approval or try to take control of those people, things, and events. Your fearful ego is seeking power. Your ego selects the clothes for your persona and your personality dresses accordingly. Your beliefs direct you to be youthful, mature, wealthy, poor, successful, ruthless, sweet, harmless—the list is endless. At some point you must realize that you are not your ego. You created your ego when you were learning to cope with life. Your ego is a reflection of your coping skills. It is your ego that is fearful of life and tries to avoid criticism because you created it when you were trying to learn to cope with your feelings of being less important and knowledgeable than those who were being critical and judgmental of your actions at some point in your life.
Any thing we create in our conscious mind becomes limited by our consciousness. It is placed within some type of structure, including the limitations inherent in the keeping of time. All beliefs are controlling in some way and to some extent. Controlling beliefs are expressions of “self” perception. These beliefs come from somewhere. Even if you, like no one I know, were raised by apes or wolves, you still acquired and now have a “self” perception. It extends to a group, community, state, and world self-perception, which also comes from a source. The source is you, and me, and everyone else together. Currently we know what this group consciousness is by using social indicators. Mostly this is pulled off by marketing companies finding out what the public will buy. When people do not actually know what they believe it is possible for others to convince them to accept their beliefs. That is how mass marketing works. Our social consciousness is an indication of various groups' self perspective or consciousness.
Beliefs are learned. Learning begins before childhood. You have beliefs held within your DNA and cellular memory, gained from your parents, family of origin, and your heritage. When people do not know what their heritage or background is, or should she or he decide to suppress their knowledge, the beliefs remain, but generally show up in life in less positive experiences. Often what we learn is taught to us in a subtle manner. The learning occurs at a level beneath our consciousness. A great deal of what we have been taught and have learned is in conflict. For example, although we say we believe violence is horrible and needs resolution, we continue to find it exciting and stimulating. We watch violent television programs and movies, which may only be a form of emotional escapism, yet we also watch the news to see the latest film clips of disasters and physical violence. We give out the mixed message of desire and repulsion.
It is well known that parents, families, schools, television, radio, written media, and our peers—all teach. However, you may not recognize that you are also learning as and what you teach others, too.
All beliefs are permeated with self-interest. What you have learned until now guides you towards fulfilling all of your self-interested desires. However, much of what you have learned has caused confused signals to be sent out through your transmitter energy. You need to unlearn some things. Likely you need to be re-trained and re-taught so that you can issue clear signals, which will then allow your desires to be manifest in your life—immediately.
We are made up of energy. We are the same energy as the Universe. Quantum science clearly shows that everything is a squiggle, a flutter, some part of the ebb and flow found in the undulating whirl of the quantum field. The human body has a nervous system that gives us the ability to be aware of the information found in our own quantum space and we can consciously change the content that creates our physical body—our environment—our lives. Our beliefs affect our DNA, helping to form parts of the messages given to individual cells to do certain things; to become certain things. The physical and emotional responses began to encode our DNA millions of years ago. As we have experiences the information about them is sent to our DNA, which eventually causes the blueprint to be altered. A good example of a physical experience causing DNA changes in response to an emotional experience comes from looking at those people who have spent several generations in frigid and dark environments. They are less prone to melancholy, depression, and suicide during the lengthy winters than those who are new to it.
No one actually doubts that we all contain survival tools from our ancient past. We do have instincts. Our heart races, adrenaline floods our physical systems whenever we experience a shock. Should you be driving your car and another cuts you off suddenly without warning, when you are being held up at the point of a gun, when another questions your ability or conduct, these are events that cause your ancient “flight or fight” responses to occur. Nor do we doubt the necessity for them to be used in some survival situation; eat or be eaten. Although our living conditions and society has changed, we maintain these survival skills. Perhaps we no longer, or at least seldom experience, human eating tigers, however, what we have done is substitute the ancient human eating tiger with a boss, a client, a spouse; some modern life-style symbol that we believe to be the cause of us being eaten alive—right now. Genetically we believe ourselves to remain living in a frightening jungle.
Even though it has been well documented on a scientific basis that humans have not evolved because of a natural inclination to accept an aggressive behavior over a non-aggressive type, we continue to believe that violence is genetically programmed. Because of that belief our survival stress has not changed.
Beliefs are not necessarily true. Truth is subjective. It changes often and depends exclusively on any particular and personal perspective. Examples of untrue beliefs are many. Here are a few:
UNTRUE BELIEFS (THROUGHOUT THE AGES)
THE WORLD IS FLAT.
PEOPLE CAN FALL OFF THE EDGE OF THE EARTH.
HUMANS WILL NEVER FLY.
SPACE TRAVEL IS IMPOSSIBLE.
MONEY RESOLVES ALL PROBLEMS.
MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL.
ONLY THOSE WHO WORK HARD GAIN WEALTH.
MEN ARE BETTER THAN WOMEN.
WOMEN ARE BETTER THAN MEN.
ADVERSITY IS THE BEST TEACHER.
BIOLOGY CONTROLS AGING.
ILLNESS IS A PUNISHMENT FROM GOD.
SEX IS HEALTHY FOR PEOPLE.
SEX IS BAD FOR PEOPLE.
THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME.
PEOPLE ARE EITHER BAD OR GOOD.
I CANNOT BE SLENDER BECAUSE OF MY GENES.
CALORIES ARE WHAT MAKES PEOPLE FAT.
NO PAIN, NO GAIN.
THE WORLD IS A FRIGHTENING PLACE.
LIFE IS SHORT.
BUSY PEOPLE ARE HAPPY PEOPLE.
IT IS DIFFICULT TO CHANGE MY WAYS.
HARD WORK NEVER HURT ANYONE.
THE MORE EDUCATED PEOPLE ARE SMARTER.
EMOTIONALLY STRONG WOMEN ARE BORING.
REAL MEN ARE NOT NURTURING.
ASSERTIVE WOMEN ARE BITCHY.
MEN ARE BULLIES.
WOMEN ARE TOO SENSITIVE.
MEN ARE TOO HARSH.
THE EDUCATED GAIN WISDOM.
THE UNKNOWN IS FRIGHTENING.
THERE IS ONLY ONE TRUE PATH TO ENLIGHTENMENT.
LOVE COMES TO THOSE WHO ARE GOOD.
(GOOD = DOING AS YOU ARE TOLD =
CAUSING MANY TO BE UNIVERSAL DOOR MATS)
A great deal of our education is taught within the belief that what is being taught is good for everyone. That actually means it is good for the person teaching it. Whatever “it” is. To maintain the status quo, control and fear are habitually perceived to be the easiest and most effective tools to obtain results. Often society enforces rules that affect all of us. Those rules that have the effect of maintaining everyone in their current place. Long range growth is ignored or deplored because it is unknown and thus frightening. The basic fear of scarcity (there not being enough for you and me, too) is the underlying issue.
Right from birth people are taught not to take risks. They are actually encouraged not to grow emotionally. Even those who appear to be taking risks, are not generally making societal changes, they are mostly addicted to adrenaline highs or are just restless in being where they are at any point in time. Our individual egos start being made at the start of our lives. The clamoring voices of the frightened child and overly critical and strict adult become major parts of a splintered personality. Our egos remind us constantly not to change, not to risk current “haves” for possible future “have nots”. This prevents growth; promoting stagnation, inertia, decay, and emotional death.
When a person says she or he cannot make a decision, and then waits until all the options are taken away, leaving only one left, that person is exercising a strong belief. Another person might say she or he has done everything they were told to do and nothing has turned out the way it is supposed to, anyway. That person is experiencing the outcome of strong beliefs. Those statements both reflect the belief of not being capable of taking care of one’s self. That belief was taught. The belief encourages emotional laziness. It does maintain the status quo.
It is not an easy thing to move away from what society says is correct for everyone to begin making self-decisions based on what we really do desire. The pressure from all sorts of sources is tremendous.
Couples often remain in hopelessly unhappy relationships because of fear beliefs about leaving it. They exercise “The devil you know is better than the one you don’t” syndrome. Which in turn causes self-actualization of the belief that change is worse than almost anything else, all the while adhering faithfully to the belief that risks are for the foolish of this world.
More often than not some harsh life event occurs to force an evolutionary leap: a major life threatening illness, career failure, a life-style changing divorce, death of a significant other (spouse, parent, child, lover, or friend), an enforced retirement, etc. Something happens where life changes occurred without any consciously recognized action being taken by the individual who is left with the significant change. People experience what they believe is a compelled change without any individual responsibility or personal action taken by them that brings with it consequential experiences that must be dealt with and felt by them. The pain of change becomes a modifier of behaviors and desires at these points in time. The emotional pain is generally so intense that a person will seek another way of life to stop the pain and ensure it does not come back.
Fears are experienced and dealt with in some manner. Whether for good or ill, always depends on the original and changed perspective of the individual involved. That is, what fear beliefs she or he retains, maintains, and sustains.
Family secrets are a major teaching aide. It causes confusion to everyone. It establishes the circumstances where people judge their inside feelings with what is being shown on the outside by others. Exterior life-styles are compared to an individual's sensitivities.
Families teach and the world confirms through various means that it is okay to lie. That is, as long as the lie is used to cover up a truth that would be painful. This lying is called being polite. But it really means that some form of authority or superiority is being sustained. Another acceptable form of lying is to dissemble: to hide the truth. Pretending that things are different than what they really are is to dissemble. It avoids the truth. Again, this is believed to be a protection device. One needs to ask who is being protected. Examine the lie and you will see it is protecting the liar.
People always know something is going on when the truth is withheld for any reason. We sense it and just fill in all the blanks. Generally with the most horrifying stuff. From our limited experience and partial knowledge we construct ignorant wisdom. Self-blame is the usual outcome of making up in our own minds what we do not actually know. Self-blame is uncomfortable, but it does allow for a form of temporary escape from what is really going on. Playing at Godhood allows for things to turn out the way a person decides it should turn out. We accept unhappiness and believe it is really all our own fault.
Several years ago I heard a man tell of his resolution to give up drinking alcohol, but to do it he included his decision to no longer be the keeper of his family’s secrets. The people who wanted their secrets maintained were less than pleased. However, he had to decide which was more important to him: his personal health and well being or his vow to keep another person’s deeds unknown and without any consequences. He chose personal health and accepted the consequences of family upheaval. He also opened the door for attitude adjustments to take place within his family.
Spousal abuse is often kept in the dark for long periods of time because of the beliefs of both people involved. The things learned and believed by each of them. Each person holds on to their belief that the unacceptable behavior is more acceptable than their need to expose it—for it to stop. These beliefs can be based on fears of having to take care of one’s self and not believing she or he is capable of doing it. There may be the fear beliefs about the need to get a decent job, to support children alone, admitting to ignorance or immaturity in selecting their mate in the first place. The list of beliefs and the basis for those beliefs is endless. Again, the facts and reality are not necessarily part of a belief. In those situations, many of the people are already successfully taking care of her or himself, as well as other family members—often the person who is being abusive. Life is conducted in spite of tremendous obstacles. Yet, the belief continues that she or he is incapable. The entire point is that unless and until the situation reaches an intolerable level, it likely will not change. Beliefs are strong and often hidden from the person who believes them. The duration of time spent within an experience, before any action, activity, or situation becomes intolerable, depends on many connecting beliefs. Levels of acceptance beliefs are learned along side of behavior beliefs. Mostly, the belief that taking an active role in making a choice, actively courting a change, is more horrifying than staying within a terrible, yet familiar situation.
Most people are taught to stay separate, keep quiet, and handle their own emotional challenges. They are encouraged to be strong, to use will power to overcome whatever is bothering her or him. The purpose of this teaching is to prevent everyone from giving their personal power away. However the learning often becomes confused, forming a parallel belief that it is shameful to ask for emotional help. Self-empowerment, in any form, means knowing what your choices are and making your own decisions.
No one, at lease no one I know, can discover what they do believe without working towards it. Yet the work involved can be considered rather insignificant whenever there is a strong desire to know and the simple willingness to look at truth from another perspective. The phenomenon of working smart is a good one to use. Working smart means using a power greater than one’s self to get help. A power greater simply means, more than an individual. It might relate to friends, support groups, professional healers, books, a personal loving God. It is any person, thing, or entity that gets you unstuck from beliefs that are causing you pain and unhappiness. The help comes from it being easier to deal with a challenge, a crisis situation, a change when the power greater is detached from the emotional energy. Situations and circumstances can be more easily looked at from a different unemotional point of view.
Anyone can say that spousal abuse is resolved by physically leaving. However, that might be one of several options available for a final conclusion. Those attempts to arrive at a final solution without dealing with all of the fears and beliefs connected and related to actual living experiences never work. Getting help to review your fears and beliefs—to see the connection of personal choices is important. Help does not mean doing what another tells you to do! Although it might, if the person giving advice is truly offering unemotional and selfless direction. Taking the actions that brings your truly desired personal decisions and corresponding conclusions is the way unhappiness, or even misery, is exchanged for happiness and joy.
Ask anyone who stays within an unsatisfactory relationship why she or he does and you will get the response, “I love.” Thus is it imperative for us to look at love beliefs. Does a love relationship mean becoming whole by being one-half of the relationship? Thus, not having one means never being whole? Does it mean that a bargain was struck to make two half people whole and the bargain must be upheld no matter what unhappiness comes with it? If all of these statements are true then it is essential for us to discover why people are taught and learn that they are not complete within themselves. And that means work and change, which is not only discouraged, but let’s keep in mind that individuals exhausted from maintaining their current state of affairs have little if any energy left over for some fun in their lives. Self-discovery effort is seldom considered fun. Usually it is not even considered remotely pleasant at first. Besides, there is the ever present possibility, because of not being whole to begin with, of failure. It is almost guaranteed. It seems easier and more comfortable, if miserable, to just remain in some current completing, even though unhappy, relationship environment. Expediency is exchanged for real solutions. Or, the next best option is to get another partner who can make the “magic” of completeness occur again. Most people believe that getting another partner is not as big a risk as staying less than whole. Those people are half right.
We as a human society often exclaim over our ability to think. Yet, to think, is actually not much approved. It is preferable to complain about the fact that others do not think and do not do things the right way. (Right way = our way = the way we were taught and learned.)
So ask yourself, how can anything ever change without thinking things through? Each and every one of us was taught the right way. If everyone is right, no one will ever desire to make changes. Who would under those extraordinary conditions? That creates an endless spiral of desiring the other person or people in the world to change. Which, then of course, also prevents the need for anyone to ever think at all. Again, without conscious thought, we are all preserving the current socially conditioned beliefs.
For some time, during my initial efforts to replace my unhappiness with joy, I would lament, to those accepting the power greater role in my life, about how unfair it is that I always had to be the one who made changes. Each and every one of those beautiful souls patiently and repeatedly explained it was my unhappiness that cried out for change. Those others, whom I wanted to change instead of me, were not expressing any unhappiness. At least not to the extent that they wanted to change the way I thought they should change. It was my own emotional laziness, founded on my own untrue beliefs that needed to be replaced. A new perception and a new self-perspective indicated there was another way to move away from my ever static and joyless position. I eventually understood what I was told. I agreed to make some changes. I grew in joy.
Love beliefs are taught from the beginning of life. Here are some love beliefs that are untrue:
UNTRUE LOVE BELIEFS
LOVE DEMANDS SELF-SACRIFICE.
I LOVE SO MUCH IT HURTS.
LOVE IS PAINFUL.
YOU ALWAYS HURT THE ONE(S) YOU LOVE.
LOVE MEANS GIVE AND TAKE. (BARTER AND EXCHANGE)
LOVE IS NEVER FREE.
NO ONE LOVES YOU AS MUCH AS I DO.
I LOVE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE..........
YOU LOVE ME BECAUSE I AM..........
I’LL NEVER LOVE ANOTHER AS MUCH AS YOU.
IF YOU REALLY LOVED ME YOU WOULD.........
LOVE IS BLIND.
THAT THERE ARE MANY FORMS OF LOVE:
Love is none of these types. Nor are these beliefs and statements true. Yet, everyone I know believes at least some of them.
Love is no more and no less than love. People hook many of their other beliefs about their lives onto love, creating something more or something less than what love is. Each type of their created and manufactured love was taught for a specific self-interested reason, purpose, and cause. It is of primary importance to unlearn there are any forms of love, re-learning the simple truth that love is love.
A whole person loves and does not seek their wholeness from another source. Self-interest is not a negative side effect of being whole. Any person who has her or his self-interests satisfied is not looking for ways and means to fill themselves up or of completing themselves by taking something away from another. Not even as an exchange. Whole people take responsibility for themselves, allowing everyone else the same dignity of obligation.
Positive Affirmations can help you change your prior beliefs and thus your experiences about love. They can help you gain wholeness for yourself. They also help you learn what your love beliefs have been, thus preventing any further need for you to continue believing you must use untruths to maintain some illusion of power and control over yourself and others. You can stop using your old love beliefs to abuse yourself and others.
We cannot underestimate the power of one single thought about scarcity and lack to invade, pervade, and manifest itself into numerous aspects of our daily living. The belief in scarcity is tenacious and insidious.
When a person is taught from earliest childhood that food, space, attention, money, anything at all is limited, a belief in scarcity will show up in all sorts of places throughout the remainder of her or his life. Lack is lack. Unless the underlying belief is altered, no matter what evidence is shown to indicate it is not true, lack remains the overriding faithfully kept belief. Opposite actions is, in fact, evidence of the belief. It only offers a contrast. One lack contrast is experienced by collecting enormous amounts of things. The collection proves that scarcity does exist. Thus lack is true and scarcity is real. Hoarding is a form of self-protection against lack. Hoarding and excess stockpiling indicates a devoted belief in scarcity.
Scarcity and lack shows up in everyone’s life at one time or another. The belief is self-actualized in ways such as not being loved unconditionally by anyone. Babies are born emotionally whole. A baby’s self-interest is accepted by the infant; she or he is complete. It is the self-interest of parents and others, who perceive themselves to no longer be whole, that are prompt to change, contradict, modify, and control this wholeness issue right from the beginning. It is the education and social conditioning which begins immediately that causes feelings, emotions, and beliefs of unworthiness and incompleteness. We have already seen that occurs because of the common belief that love is a commodity rather than what it is—love. This belief is often established when parents expect their children to be a reflection of their good parenting skills. Which, by the way, has generally little, if anything, to do with love. One or both of the parents starts, and everyone in the relationship ends up, perceiving that love is to be given and possibly taken away under certain conditions. All of this is believed in and done in an effort to control another’s actions. Love does not control anyone.
Another common place for scarcity beliefs to make themselves felt is in connection to personal self-worth and personal power. Do not think for a moment that these areas are immune to beliefs in lack. Why else would people collect acquaintances rather than friends? Whole people, who are sure of themselves and take responsibility for their actions have friends. Half a person needs to have numerous opportunities to share with, if not actually take away, something from another to make her or himself feel whole. Friends love. Love only expands and grows. Any lack of love reflects a strong belief that love is scarce. Do not forget the basic law of increase. Lack remains lack no matter what guise or disguise you use to confuse yourself. Any belief in scarcity will cause scarcity and lack to manifest and grow.
To improve the quality and texture of your life you must know what it is you do believe. More than likely you will then take actions to unlearn and then re-learn for yourself the truth about:
ü YOUR FEARS
ü YOUR FEELINGS
ü YOUR PERSONAL POWER
ü WHAT LOVE REALLY IS
ü WHAT BEING WHOLE MEANS
ü WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN AND USE TO CONTROL YOURSELF AND OTHERS
Next let’s explore those beliefs we have that control our lives.