Friday, February 1, 2013

Belief Systems

One of the biggest blessings of getting sober three years ago was the personal revelation that even something I deeply believed, felt in my bones, was 100% sure of because of various proofs, could still be dead wrong. When I was drinking, my brain would lie to me all the time, and I clung to all sorts of false beliefs--the main one being that I wasn't an alcoholic. But I also thought some things about various people that, after my brain chemistry normalized and as I was able to speak with people and sort certain issues out, simply turned out to not be so. It is pretty ego-deflating to realize my own intellect, my own eyes, things I'd thought I'd heard, were bullshit.

Ironically, that wound up being very good for me.

Here's a truth: no matter your worldview, you don't have the whole picture. Everything is based on belief systems. If you're religious, that's your paradigm. If you are a scientific materialist, that's every bit a belief system, and that's your paradigm. (It is, perhaps, simply more intellectually palatable since you get "proofs"--repeatable data, measurements, things you can see, hear, feel, smell, or touch.) Big whoop. There was a time scientists didn't believe in bacteria or viruses, either, until these could plainly be seen under the microscope. We can't see radio waves, either, but we know they're there. In fact scientists have measured magnetic fields around human beings, but I admit I can't see auras. Just because I can't doesn't mean I summarily reject the idea that someone else can.

I guess what I'm saying is this: whenever you automatically dismiss something as being impossible, crazy, demented, woo-woo, or delusional, all you're doing is allowing your mind to be snapped shut by whatever belief system you happen to hold.

So nowadays I am a walking question mark, open to numerous possibilities, not super-quick to accept, but not super-quick to reject, either. All I can say with any certainty is that I am darn sure I don't have the complete picture.

I'm pretty comfortable with the world of material reality and the limitations of our physical bodies. I can't fly. At least, not in this body I can't. I can if I put it on an airplane.

But I am becoming pretty certain that we are more than our physical bodies. The only way to state it is to say that we seem to be able to do things with our consciousness that reach beyond the physical body. There is too much of a mound of evidence from science that shows us this. And some of the greatest thinkers--Carl Jung leaps to mind--came to believe this. He plumbed the depths of the subconscious in ways Westerners had never seen. (Mystics of all religious traditions have always taken journeys with their consciousness.) Yeah, yeah, I know. Crazy talk, right? And yet... and yet.... in deep meditation or in a lucid dream, I sometimes have useful information imparted to me. Twice now I've had short out-of-body experiences and outright seen things I can't explain. Even when wide awake, I'm starting to sense (not see yet) entities near at hand. There's one hanging constantly just behind my left shoulder all the time now. I'll ask, "Who are you?" and never get an answer. Yet I kinda like having him or her there. Perhaps it's a guide or a helper, or maybe just an observer.

I don't know if I believe in ghosts, per se, but perhaps those are entities that exist on a nearby plane and sometimes our plane and their plane bump into each other every now and then.

I'm surmising that there's Earth, and we are spiritual beings inhabiting the human physical reality for a time--for what purpose, I don't yet know, and for how long, I don't yet know, and I may never know. But I don't think our physical material reality is the ONLY reality. And I don't think we die. Our body does. But not our consciousness. We reincarnate--I've now recalled two past lives--or, when done here, we move on and continue our spiritual quests. We continue to exist in other planes and when consciousness is focused laser-like on someone who has passed from this realm, sometimes they'll hear you and pop by to say hello.

You don't have to believe me. Really, to believe me, you'd have to experience it for yourself. But I'm pretty sure I'm not nuts. And like I said, I'm not even sure anymore what I believe. I'm just open. The less ego-driven I am, the more open I become. The more open I become, the more aware I am of how much we don't actually know.

I'm using the word "impossible" much less often.  And my own mind has become a laboratory. It's an exciting journey!

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