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The Limitations of Belief
The Limitations of Belief
By Tony DeLorger © 2011
As with all of us, I remain captive to my beliefs. In accepting a belief we place it within a neat little box of containment, defining its boundaries and therefore creating limits. This action is subconscious and our lack of awareness can quantify our understanding and close us off from further knowledge.
Once we recognise something as truth we are concluding that all else is wrong. Truth seems elusive because our opinions of it change continually; it is not static but in a constant state of flux. Truth is in essence undeniable, but what we see of it is usually only a fragment. The more we hold on to our perceptions of a truth, the more arrogant and ignorant we become.
It is human to need security, to feel a part of something and to have common belief. We feel this defines who we are and allows us to be accepted by others. The group mentality gives empowerment to the individual, a feeling of purpose and worth and a cause with which to support. This is why religions and all forms of ideologies have always played major roles in human endeavour.
The problem follows that once we accept something is truth that belief then remains still, at rest. Perceptions must remain in flux for there to be learning, otherwise we just stagnate. The only way to avoid this is to accept ideas and be open to anything, as often the solutions to life’s problems appear when you least expect them. Should we be closed, we could miss life-changing understandings.
Driven to accept belief, we need to stand for something, define ourselves by association; this is a natural response in finding our feet in life. But ‘putting all your eggs in one basket’ is of no advantage, simply a limitation. I am a writer, but that is not all that defines me; I’m also an artist, a musician, a father, a partner, a cook and so it goes on. We are all many things and have many responsibilities in life. How we see life at any one time depends on our current views and claiming truth in any way is short-sighted.
We go through many phases of learning and interest in various subjects and activities. Experience is the greatest teacher and the more we learn the better our perspective on life. The trick is to not define the self by one belief or idea alone. This imbalance can affect other areas of life in a negative way. We should equally explore life on every level and commit to the ideals that appeal to us the most. But claiming truth definitively creates dogma and therefore limitation.
We create belief from our collective input: what we see, hear, touch, understand and feel. This information is then assessed and we form a belief or understanding of that subject, event or whatever. Our views are of course prone to misunderstanding, misinformation and assumptions, and not definitive.
I believe we are here to learn, to expand our understandings of life and the mysteries it holds. In that quest we must remain open to all possibilities as we are imperfect beings and prone to misinterpretation. Being open is the greatest attribute one can have in life. It maintains that child-like quality that so often escapes us as we get older. In nurturing this quality, we not only learn more but gain a broader perspective and understanding of what life is. So don’t get caught up in the limitations of belief, but rather be open without conclusion.