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Belief or Knowledge?

A choice to make you or break you

lifesmWhen you know something, it is completely verifiable through direct experience or scientific method. Yet most of us believe in things that may not necessarily be true or real. There was a time when people believed that the Earth was flat, there was a time when people believed that this earth was the centre of the universe and that the sun rotated around the earth.

When those first scientists broke the news that instead of the earth being flat, it was a spherical ball and that instead of the earth being the centre of the universe, the earth actually rotated around the sun, people were shocked. But not only were they shocked, a great many people who had a vested interest in what people thought and believed initially refused to accept this new knowledge.

Many of those early scientists were imprisoned or executed for daring to say something contrary to what people believed even though they were speaking the truth of their observations.

It took some time, but believers and the organisations founded on beliefs eventually relaxed their attachment to those erroneous beliefs and accepted scientific facts as a new basis for physical reality. It is the development of the modern scientific method that has given people confidence to put aside beliefs in favour of knowledge, yet there is some knowledge or truth that has taken time to be examined by the scientific method.

Much knowledge can only be determined by personal experience. For instance, science cannot tell you the taste of the mangosteen. You may hear other people’s testimony that it is good to eat and tastes delicious, but until such time as you actually eat one, you may accept that testimony as a probability or you may believe as it is not yet real in your experience.

Today people have many beliefs about right and wrong which comes under morality, and most people still have beliefs about what they don’t know such as God or spirituality. People also form beliefs about rights and entitlements which are subject to a higher authority that many attribute to fate or some higher power which again are both beliefs.

The meaning of belief

  • Belief is a mental act, condition, or habit of believing something as being true, real or valid that is outside of one’s experience.
    • This applies to ideas and all things beyond personal experience that one has formed an opinion about that one comes to believe as true.
    • Belief is the mental acceptance or conviction in the truth or actuality of something that cannot be proved scientifically or experientially.
    • Belief is faith, trust or confidence in a person or thing believed or accepted as true; especially, a particular tenet, or a body of tenets, accepted by a group of persons.

Beliefs came about to help explain our existence, some are helpful, but most have been unhelpful in that they confined human potential within the limitations of those beliefs. Western culture was almost entirely shaped by beliefs until the modern scientific method was developed, but while science is revealing the nature of existence in a technical way, humanity is still attached to many beliefs which hinder rather than serve.

Across the world now, physical reality has become the domain of modern analytical science yet the domain of being human remains mired in a mixture of beliefs. Christianity and Islam as belief systems are fatalist. They believe that there will be an end of days or an end of time which means there is no real incentive to be totally honest and responsible even though they believe everyone should be.

Beliefs about ultimate realities, the origin of life, what is God and the nature of existence are all subjective, and because there is so much variation in belief, most people even though the various churches spell out belief formulas, people customise their beliefs in order to facilitate their better survival.

Lets take the case of the Christian teachings ‘thou shalt not kill and love thy neighbour’ which really means to be kind to everyone who is not you. Yet their beliefs are flexible enough that they can justify sending armies to invade other countries and kill many people. Christians as an example of their belief in love and tolerance in fact practice cruelty and intolerance, and then justify their acts in the name of their religion.

Here we have the classic case of bigotry and double standards where contradictory beliefs are justified for many different reasons which are all based on contradictory beliefs.

In terms of application today, believe his come a tool to justify any action and is used completely at random. A classic example is the invasion of Iraq under the watch of George W Bush who believed he had the right to lie because he believed that the end justified the means and it’s debatable if he had any thought for the consequences.

Religion and the question of God and spirituality

god

<sma;;>God the Father with His Right Hand Raised in Blessing, with a triangular halo representing the Trinity, Girolamo dai Libri c. 1555 – Wiki image

“Religion: A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.” ~ A. Bierce

Religion is a codified system of beliefs and what is believed cannot be proved although some elements of history are used as justification for those beliefs.

The idea of God, a word that originates from the Sanskrit word Dev referring to the creative principal of existence became an old man sitting on a throne in some imaginary heaven within Christianity. This old man created heaven and earth, men and women and all life.

Then he tasked men and women with choosing between good and evil and playing this game until Armageddon.
This idea of God became Allah in Islam, again because the ‘religious content’ within Islam was borrowed from Judaism and Christianity.

Within Christianity and Islam, provided that men could match their actions against some aspect of belief or behaviour described in the Bible or Koran, then those actions were justified as being the will of God. Therefore within civilisation, men had a carte blanche justifiable permission to do whatever they wanted as long as they didn’t step on any more important men’s toes.

These flexible belief systems although they seem rigid as described in the holy books and are presented to the public have become tools of convenience for the insane to rule the world.

Hinduism stands apart

Hinduism is not a belief system and it requires that people don’t believe because for thousands of years they have come to realise that there is a greater experiential reality. To realise is to know.

Hinduism was shaped by the knowledge acquired by ancient yogis who mapped out a way to understand the nature of life and existence. While many people regard Hinduism as being a polytheistic faith with many gods,  that is a superficial perception and a false belief that is often touted as truth.

At the core of what may be referred to as Hindu knowledge or yogic knowledge is that the creative principal of all life exists two parts which may be defined as masculine and feminine, positive and negative, or yin and yang. It is not possible in nature to have one without the other.

In a sense this universe we live in is the fruit of creation in which we are a very small part. If we look at the immensity of the universe that surrounds us, we are minuscule in relation to the whole. Yet we exist and we have specific properties such as a need to eat and a need to sleep. We can function as individuals or we can function as a society, but social parameters often decide how we program our minds.

In understanding what is real and what is not, it is understood that there are only two directions in life. One direction is external to our physical self which is the world around us and the other direction is internal.  The internal is what is inside our skin to a certain extent, but more importantly it’s what is inside our mind or consciousness.

The ancient yogis explored their internal universe and discovered that the inside is a reflection of what is outside which gave rise to the famous maxim ‘as above, so below’.  Yoga is a subjective science that recognises that this universe we live is in a sense technological, but this technology is more sophisticated and subtle than what is understood by the untrained and uninitiated.

The ancient yogis learned that our knowledge is limited by our perception and they came up with ways to expand perception which is what we call the science of yoga today. It is through their enhanced perception that they were able to know that the earth was spherical many thousands of years BCE. Not only that, they were able to calculate the circumference of the Earth and astronomical measurements that have only been improved upon slightly in the past 50 years by modern science.

Through expanding perception, yogis are able to perceive more of life, a much broader spectrum of existence with the capacity to measure and evaluate those observations. It is from the advantage point of expanded perception that the yogis travelled sharing their knowledge and helping the people who are generally referred to as Hindus to cooperate with nature and enhance their lives.

It is this cooperation nature that enabled Indian culture to become more highly developed and sophisticated several thousand years ahead of the Europeans who at the time were emerging from the Stone Age. One must remember that India is home to the world’s first known civilisation, from Sanskrit we have modern language and it is only from the Indian system of numbers that we had any possibility of developing modern civilisation.

What is central to yoga and Hinduism is that nature is a very subtle form of technology and that every human being not only has a potential to appreciate this fact, but to align themselves with the nature of existence. Here I say ‘fact’, but this is only a fact for those who have experienced life to its fullest potential and know life.

For everyone else, this is only a possibility until such time as they have had a taste and then this fact becomes a probability. Believing serves small purpose and it is better to accept the possibility and meditate, then the truth will be known.

Modern science comes to the rescue

The modern scientific method has validated a great deal of what we may loosely term Hindu knowledge. Science has verified the astronomical observations in relation to our physical universe, the movement of the planets and our slowly changing relationship with distant galaxies.

The ancient yogis have always said that there is no inherent existence and that what we perceive as life is an illusion. Believers who see the world is something real and tangible scoffed at this idea, but today modern scientists have examined life down to the minutest detail that they can perceive. They have dissected the atom intersected the different parts that make up an atom.

The result of this research shows that what we perceive as substance in fact has no inherent substance. What we perceive as matter is a balance of energy and consciousness almost without any actual physicality whatsoever. In the field of mathematics what we consider as nature can be perceived as a binary code, or in other words mathematics can be used as an alternative way to understand the space-time continuum in which we exist.

This understanding from mathematics has excited a number of minds causing them to conclude that this universe is actually a hologram projected by some grand computer with the concurrence that what we think of as reality is an illusion.

Science has proved what yogis have been saying for 10,000 years or more. What we perceive is life is illusory and yet it is real. As Sadhguru says, “life is a dream, but the dream is real”.

Is there any meaning to life?

The thrust of western civilisation is about belief in place of knowledge and individualism as a reason for being. There is a belief that you see is real and tangible, that this life is finite has led to the chaos and suffering that exists in the world today, and if unchecked will bring about an end to all life on earth which is an inevitable consequence of the beliefs represented by Christianity and Islam.

Within yoga and Hinduism there is the knowledge that what we perceive is life is an illusion, but life exists and the objective of every human life is to align oneself with the creative principal of life and get to appreciate the nature of existence, we do this by expanding our perception and consciousness.

Modern scientists have guesstimated that if the spectrum of reality was a string line 1000 miles long, then we took the edge of a sharp knife and rested it gently on that string, that tiny space represented by the edge of the knife against the string represents the limits of our perception.

The ancient yogis mapped out different methodologies for expanding perception and one of the tools they employed was meditation, another tool they invented is the deity (god) which many people refer to as a Gods. So within Hinduism, those objects that people called God’s are actually technological devices enabling people to expand perception and align themselves with the principles of nature.

But to anyone who believes, this is all nonsense because it is contradictory to belief. Belief is actually a device that restricts being human because it confides the intellect to certain parameters. When a believer believes that what they see in front of their eyes in the world is the absolute fixed reality, they are blocked from seeing the more subtle reality around them.

brussellWhen beliefs have become habituated and people build their lives upon them, when something untoward happens, their world falls apart and they well be certified as being insane. There was a time in pristine religious families when a child who turned out differently to what the parents expected would often disappear without trace to avoid bursting their bubble. Children who remained home who admitted to illicit sex or that they were gay suffered rejection, and in some cases death at the hands of their own parents because the parents could not accept anything outside of their belief.

Today we are in some ways better educated, so many beliefs have become tools for self advancement in the material world with flexibly enough to allow behaviour contrary to belief. But this attachment to beliefs which is contrary to intelligence, this addiction or compulsive behaviour is what is causing the conflict and suffering in today’s world.

Hinduism is not perfect, with India having suffered 1000 years of hostile and exploitative occupation its culture has been severely damaged and belief systems imposed, it is struggling to survive.

The time is Now for Yoga

Yoga on the other hand although it is used and abused, it still retains its potentiality undamaged. All that is needed to expand one’s perception of life is to actually relax. All yoga is a relaxation, a letting go of beliefs, a letting go of ideologies and allowing perception to expand.

This expansion is allowing the individual consciousness to merge with the universal consciousness or creative principal that inspires and governs life. It is only through this process that the truth of life can be known and when enough people know the truth, and when those who do not know give up believing and simply celebrate the fact that life is wonderful we will again be able to create a more stable, peaceful and joyful existence in all creation.

References:
No Beliefs
Belief – A Redundant Idea

1 comment to Belief or Knowledge?

  • Stan Castillon

    The Wikipedia on “Descriptive Knowledge” says: “The difference between knowledge and beliefs is as follows:. A belief is an internal thought or memory which exists in one’s mind. Most people accept that for a belief to be knowledge it must be, at least be true and justified.” But really I think the justification beliefs is false

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