The Path to No Path

Beliefs

Beliefs are not facts. Beliefs are ideas passed on by other people. Beliefs are projections from the past into the future. Beliefs take one away from reality. Living by one's beliefs is to live in unhappiness; living by one's beliefs is not living at all.

I might say that I believe that the sun will rise tomorrow morning. From a scientific point of view, this is eminently plausible. However, what concerns me here is why bother with such a belief? What difference does it make to me right now? Tomorrow morning is a figment of my imagination. If I knew that an evil alien would be snuffing out the sun while I slept tonight, would it make me happier to spend the next few hours worrying about it?

If I have been brought up to believe that my body is ugly, this might motivate me to lose weight and improve my fitness. (But why haven't I done this already?) And if, even after getting the body into shape, I still believe that my body is ugly, what then?

Perhaps I consider that I am unhappy because of what other people do to me. Perhaps I worry that the monsoon will not come this year. Perhaps the crops will fail. Perhaps I should ask God to intervene. If I pray to God, perhaps he will not punish me - he will punish my enemies instead.

Perhaps I believe that I am not a very good person. Perhaps I can prove to myself and others that I am worthy, or better than others, by working really hard and achieving things. Perhaps my achievements will make others look up to me.

But do any of these beliefs make me happy? Or are they burdens that I carry around with me, without ever finding out whether they are valid?

Do not confuse belief with knowing. If you know something to be true, you do not believe in it - you know it. If you have any beliefs about yourself, this means that you do not know.

Don't just believe what people tell you, especially when they tell you things about yourself. They will almost certainly be wrong. Instead, find out for yourself. Once you are an authority on yourself, you will not swallow the rubbish that some people want to force on you.

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If you should wish to contact me about anything you have read here, especially if you feel strongly for or against what you have read, or if you feel that something is missing, I offer you an opportunity to share.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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