Most of the time I come across quite confident and with seeming conviction. It doesn’t mean I am, not with absolute certainty. It simply indicates that based on the information available to me (in that moment) I am.
But once new, logical facts present themselves, I can shift within seconds, while those that witnessed me minutes before the new information continue to address me as if I maintain the old conviction. It is unfathomable for them to consider a person is capable of dropping beliefs so quickly and with such finality.
Well, I do. And I have made a daily practice of it.
And it is one of the reasons I belonged to a cult for only a brief period of months, while members of my family remained in it for a decade or more before leaving, and why some remain still after twenty years.
After living spiritually independent for two decades, I cannot imagine even slightly handing over my mind to someone else’s convictions and contributing to my own psychological suicide.
The one thing I have held on to – the thing that started this personal perpetual rebellion – the idea presented by the main leader when I joined the break-off study group of the Mormon church (which eventually became a cult) was the simple notion (ironically) to not let anyone, anything, any idea, belief, or conditioned behavior come between me and God.
This caused a revolution inside me, a personal declaration of independence that lit fire to my life and choices from that point forward.
I do not currently know with certainty if there is a God. But I do know that at the time, believing I had a direct connection with God, involving no one else, worked. It released me from the childhood conditioning of guilt, salvation to-do lists, and mind-numbing re-regurgitated concepts and lessons.
I now believe there is a “field”, some law of physics that connects us all. And I do not think that law has arms and legs, eyes and ears. In my experience of this elegant law, it is more exquisite, less likely to have physical features at all, and immensely supportive of individuality, of contrast and diversity. That is what I currently believe, until I can find more information to prove otherwise.
I think it is possible that there may have been a Christ, or someone like him – a brilliant rebel that used his life as a metaphor, so that others could glimpse the magnificence of the universe he was beginning to see. And it could be that Buddha was the same, from what I have read.
“Beliefs are not to be held on to. They are transitional ideas, stepping-stones, teachers. They are mental constructs that provide a sense of safety. They are psychological prisons that prevent us from learning and expanding our creative and moral scope if held for very long.” -Amy Larson, amyjalapeno.com
Agreed. Depending on the belief system, it could be the life of a person or the death of them. As you said, it could be the worst prison anyone will ever have. The only way to break free is for the person to recognize the shackles that bind them and break free!