Friday, 28 August 2015

The Belief Affair

Bear with me for a moment, lend me your attention for just a while.

Nothing is set in stone, except fossils. The world is not black and white. It is in countless shades of grey. Dualism is perhaps worst than the black plague. It restricts thought, destroys the creative process, and inhibits intellectual debate.

Every belief system we see in our world today is there by virtue of people. People follow, people propagate, people keep beliefs alive. Every idea, every thought, every expression is here because of people.

If you truly understood the meaning of the previous paragraph, you need not even read further: for now you know that criticism of anyone or anything barely has any basis. What makes one specific belief any more important than other?

You may hold very strong beliefs. I want this article to be interactive. I want you to think about a specific belief of yours which you hold to be true, factual, and irrevocable.


Now analyse the following paragraph with this belief of yours in mind, comparing what is written to what you feel.

I know this to be true. I conduct myself in a way which is in line with this belief I hold. This is the truth of my life. Something which makes me feel complete, whole and at peace. It is something I am willing to stand up for. It is something which I would want more people to believe in because I know it is right.

So far so good?

Now imagine this: every single person, just like you, has the same feelings about the things they believe in. Think about the feelings associated with beliefs which hold true for all people, regardless of what their beliefs actually are.

Now that you realise that you are indeed not the only person who is so attached to beliefs, there are a number of realisations that follow. First and foremost, you cannot fight somebody on their beliefs. Why? Because they can fight with you based on your beliefs using the same logic. What they are to you; you are to them.

Having reached this understanding, it is your responsibility to discourage belief-related conflict. You have grown up with certain customs and beliefs (or you may have discovered them on your own) much like every single other person on planet Earth. Fighting over beliefs is not unlike fighting over what colour a person is.
My dear friend, you are on this planet for 80-or-so years on average. There have been thousands of generations which have come before you, and thousands (hopefully) to come after you. All have died, all will die. Do you think your beliefs are worth creating inter-human dissonance for? If so, your beliefs must be re-evaluated.

Like I said previously, nothing is set in stone. You must re-evaluate anything and everything you think you know or believe in order to have a satisfactory answer as to 'why' you hold that belief or 'truth' per se.

To all budding intellectuals and bleeding hearts who want to make a difference, let me give you a practical way of doing so. You have a set of understandings. You realise that the world is imperfect. Do not settle for the status quo. Your life is more precious and the world is much too unfair to you personally. The quality of your life is directly related to the condition of our world and the people within. The first step you ought to take before anything is to embody the realisations that you have reached. By doing so, you will not only eliminate the hypocrisy within yourself (the difference between your thoughts and your actions) but you will also lead by example. All of us are leaders, if we choose to eliminate this hypocrisy. The second thing then is to disseminate that knowledge and understanding, just as I am now doing.

You are limitless. You have the capacity to change yourself. That is all you need. Imagine, if I inspire you with this piece to make a difference in yourself, and you in turn inspire one more to do the same, our world will know peace. Perhaps not in our lifetimes, but it will eventually attain a peaceful status quo. We must be a part of this historical movement.

We must do our part as cogs in the Great Machinery of the evolution of thought. If we expedite our efforts and attain our goals, the future history books will talk of our time as the moment where it all started becoming better. We will be pioneers of human history. We will change the world, one person at a time. Take this pledge, and you too can be a part of it in your own personal capacity. That is all you are required to do. The burden of the world is not on your shoulders; it is only your own burden that you carry. I would reiterate: first, embody the understandings you do have, and second, spread that knowledge to inspire others.

Here's to a new chapter in our lives!

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