Whose Beliefs Are Living You?

Whose Beliefs Are Living You?

OCTOBER 22, 2020 | BY  George and Sedena Cappannelli

Have you ever stopped to consider where your beliefs come from?  In our experience this is a critical thing to do as part of our process of creating the life that we want in the world that we want to live in.


First step - Identify a few of the major beliefs you are currently holding about life, aging, death, the hereafter and about who or what is ultimately responsible for your life.


In short, look at some of the beliefs you currently hold that have shaped your life to date and will, if they remain unexamined and unchanged, most certainly continue to shape and perhaps limit your life in the years ahead.   This is not a bad thing, of course, if your life is exactly what you want it to be and your needs, longings and dreams are being satisfied.  But if this is not the case, then consider this.


Carl G. Jung took great pains to point out that believing is very different than knowing.  Beliefs generally come from and depend on what other people say, think or claim.  In short, they come from people in our families, churches, schools, businesses, ethnic and religious group, our country, etc.


Alan Watts, well known author and spiritual teacher, had this to say on the subject.  “Beliefs are what we wish to (or think ought to) be true.”


Knowing, by comparison, is based on personal experience and is far more accurate and consequential for you than someone else’s belief.


Knowing also comes from our intuition and our insight and as a result may or may not be immediately verifiable to others.  But that does not make it false, for when you feel into what you know it will have a certainty and undeniability to it. Finally, there is a form of knowing that sometimes manifests at first from flights of imagination or what some call ‘fantasy.”  For example, it is said that as a boy, Albert Einstein dreamt of riding a beam of light through space.  Later, when his skill in mathematics allowed him to do so, he verified this dream and articulated the Theory of Relativity.

Although knowing is so much more powerful than believing, in this Age of Philosophical Materialism when science and technology are advanced as the primary means of determining what is real and what is not, ‘beliefs’ shape the vast majority of our experience in the modern world. 


This is, of course, not a new path for humanity.  History is full of examples.  At one point in history the prevailing belief was that the world was flat.  Earlier many believed the Earth was the center of the Universe and the Sun and the stars revolved around it. 

And in the Information Age when media trumpets the same message and perspectives over and over – as if repetition were the basis of truth – beliefs can unfortunately come to rule our lives.  because from my perspective, our world would be much richer, truer, more balanced and aligned with nature and with the rhythms and harmonies of the Universe if each of us only used our assumptions (beliefs) like crutches – temporary supports on the road to actual knowing. 


Another reason it is important to pay close attention to where our beliefs come from is the Law of Manifestation that holds that ‘energy follows thought and manifestation follows energy.’  While the validity of this law is becoming more obvious to more of us, it may not be as obvious that if ‘thought equals knowing’ the energy that results are powerful and aligned.  If, however, ‘thought equals believing’ the energy that results is less stable and requires the participation of others to interpret and translate.


So we invite you to explore this difference between knowing and believing in your daily life. We are certain it will be one of the most valuable things you will ever do. And remember, to arrive at “knowing” you must be willing to at least suspend some of the beliefs you are now holding long enough to discover your own truth.  And in doing this it will also be helpful to stop pretending you already know and instead adopt what in Zen is called ‘the beginner’s mind.”


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