"It's not a spectator sport!"

The term ‘belief’ is used of an idea that one believes and for which one cannot give reason. When such ideas are of an ordinary nature they are termed superstitions, and when they are of a sacred nature they are called beliefs.

Often man confuses belief with truth. Many people, without understanding their own belief hold it not as a truth but as the truth, and thereby ignore every other belief which seems to them different from the truth they possess. In reality belief is not the truth nor is the truth a belief. When a person has risen to the understanding of the truth it is no more a belief for him, it is a conviction.

The beliefs of a sacred nature, which come in the realm of religion, are as steps towards the goal which is called truth, and when man stops at a belief the belief holds him and he holds the belief. Neither can the belief push him onward nor can he advance. In many cases belief, which should serve as wings on which to soar toward the height, becomes as nails fixing man onto the earth. Every belief in the beginning is a step in the dark, but as man draws nearer to the goal, he at every step becomes more and more illuminated. Therefore there is hope for the believer, but the case of the unbeliever is hopeless.

There are souls who are capable of believing, even capable of understanding their belief, who yet for some reason or other are not willing to believe and reject a belief before the understanding comes. The wise course in life would be to try to become a pupil, a pupil of one teacher as well as a pupil of all beings; it is then that one will become the pupil of God. The wise course would be to investigate the truth of belief instead of giving up one’s belief, also to be patiently tolerant of the belief of another until one sees from his point of view the truth of his belief. When man sees only from his own point of view, he sees with one eye and the other eye is closed. The complete view is in seeing from both points of view, however contrary they may be. It is this tendency which will balance things and will give the right idea of things. In order to view a building one must stand in the street and view it, instead of standing inside it and wanting to see the outside.

In understanding belief one must be able to neutralize one’s spirit, and to the extent to which it is neutralized man becomes capable of seeing the belief in its right sense. When man says, on hearing something from another, “This is not what I believe”, he shows his weakness, he shows his incapacity to view the belief of the other from the point of view of that other. Knowledge comes by readiness to learn, and when we refuse it in life it is by lack of readiness. No matter from what source knowledge may seem to come, it is from one source in reality, and when the mind becomes a free receptacle knowledge flows freely into the heart. There is some truth hidden in every religious belief, and often it is of greater value than it may seem to be. And believing in a thing without understanding is a first step forward to knowledge, and refusing to believe when a belief is presented means taking a step backward. When a person is content with his belief that is a comfortable state of being, but it is the understanding of the belief which is ideal.

COMMENTARY

By Connie Delaney

We live in a time with all the cultures of the world are clashing together. All the world’s people started out as a few souls in Africa, and in a mere fifty thousand years have grown into almost 8 billion, covering every bit of the planet. To put the clash of cultures in perspective it is helpful to realize that only it is only in the last few centuries that the entire world has been known! That means that for 49,800 years we have been living in isolated pockets with hardly any communication between groups, and for about 200 years have we been coming together. Suddenly we are able to see the difference in beliefs that have grown through all the tribes.

This means that cultures and beliefs have evolved independently in the many people’s of the world. There have been constant clashes, and many belief systems have blended together, but humanity as a whole is still largely divided by belief systems.

This is how the evolution of consciousness occurs. Lots of different kinds of views evolve independently. When they come together, it is an opportunity for something new and wonderful to grow in the consciousness of man. Today’s world demands that people of conscience learn to step up and take a new perspective on belief.
It is not a good or noble thing to simply throw beliefs away as useless “Myths” or “conditionings.” All beliefs exist because of psychic laws that needed to be fulfilled for a certain type of people. If we take the time to consider all the things that have come to us from the past, and really learn to understand them, we will evolve the psychic and conscious power needed to create a sustainable future.

The heart of man is a beautiful thing that needs cultivated with things both seen and unseen. We have art and music and dance that is inspiring to the soul, and we also have a need for the humbleness of prayer. The human heart will always need tools for cultivating the depth of hope, and for comforting us in our moments of despair. We will always need to sing praise and remember our gratefulness for existence itself. For all these things we must continue to cultivate an understanding of where we come from, of the way all the people’s of the world have prayed, and of the psychic energies that must be known by anyone wishing to gain self mastery.

To truly step out of our own beliefs in an honest and heartfelt way teachers are needed. The path must be lit by those who have gone before. It can be an arduous journey at times, because when we lose the footing of our own beliefs, and start letting ideas from others come into our consciousness, we can easily get lost in world of no meaning. A truthful guide will push us on past the point of despair to where the sun shines again with a higher perspective.  Those who take the time and effort to rise above unchallenged superstitions, and take on our own inertia and lack of true faith, will be available for bringing in new methods for living an authentic and hopeful life.