What would you do if you found that half of what you believed wasn't actually false? And you didn't know which half was false and which half was true?
Do we have to believe? If we do, would it be safer to have only tentative beliefs? Beliefs that could change as the evidence changes?
What is a belief? At best, a useful illusion? Our beliefs themselves are not the problem, rather it's the way we manage our beliefs. To believe in something is to give power and energy to our existence. However, if we do not choose our beliefs, if we do not questions our beliefs, if we do not test our beliefs (check them against the evidence, the facts), then how can we expect to live in a more humane world.
Peter Lemesurier. Beyond All Belief, Element Books, U.K., $13.95 from the Great Tradition, 25 Mitchell Blvd, San Rafael, Calif, 94903.
"We are all believers"
"...possibly it is the child who sees the world more nearly as it is, and we adults who use belief as a filter to help us see the world as we want to see it"
"the more we find out, the more our cherished beliefs have to go overboard"
If we see through our conflicting beliefs we may get to appreciate the resulting paradoxes and we will know more, and fight less.
The reality that remains after belief is burned away is evolving consciousness itself.
"The time for discarding many of our ancestral belief-systems has already dawned. What originally were simple tools of separation and discrimination have long since been turned into weapons of conflict, agents of division, catalysts of disintegration and disaster. We find ourselves divided from our fellow human beings, our very psyche torn apart by newroses and psychoses of every kind, our planet divided by an impenegrable iron curtain of economic division, political dogma and nuclear confrontation. "Perhaps, then, the time has come to question our beliefs - whether they be materialist, religious or of any other kind....It is not be intention to take away the crutches of credulity from those who still need their beliefs. The credulous, after all, are unlikely to red the book anyway. But what follows will, I hope, give confidence to those who feel that the time has come to throw the crutches away and learn to walk on their own two feet. -Beyond All Belief, Peter Lemesurier