by Gregg Braden –
We live our lives based in what we believe. When we think about the truth of this statement, we immediately recognize a startling reality: Beyond anything else that we may actually do in our lives, the beliefs that precede our actions are the foundation of all that we cherish, dream, become and accomplish.
From the morning rituals that we go through to greet the world each day, to the inventions that we use to make our lives better, to the technology that destroys life through war – our personal routines, community customs, religious ceremonies and entire civilizations are based on our beliefs. Not only do our beliefs provide the structure for the way we live our lives, now the same areas of study that have discounted our inner experiences in the past are showing us that the way we feel about the world around us is a force that extends into that world.
In this way, science is catching up with our most cherished spiritual and indigenous traditions, which have always told us: that our world is nothing more than a reflection of what we accept in our beliefs. We live our lives based on what we believe about our world, ourselves, our capabilities and our limits.
With access to such a power already within us, to say that our beliefs are important to life is an understatement.
ORIGINS OF BELIEFS
With few exceptions, they originate with what science, history, religion, culture and family tell us. In other words, the essence of our capabilities and limits may well be based in what other people tell us. That realization leads to the next question that we must ask ourselves:
ASSUMPTIONS & LIMITATIONS
Historically, for example, we’ve been taught that we are insignificant specks of life passing through a brief moment in time, limited by the “laws” of space, atoms and DNA. This view suggests that we’ll have little effect on anything during our stay in this world and when we’re gone, the universe will never even notice our absence.
While the words of this description may sound a bit harsh, the general idea isn’t so far from what many of us today have been conditioned to hold true. It’s precisely these beliefs that often leave us feeling small and helpless in the face of life’s greatest challenges.
WHAT IF WE’RE MORE THAN THIS?
Could it be that we’re really very powerful beings in disguise? What if we’re delegates of miraculous potential, born into this world with capabilities beyond our wildest dreams – ones that we’ve simply forgotten under the conditions that have shocked us into the dreamlike state of being powerless?
How would our lives change, for instance, if we discovered that we’re born with the power to reverse disease? Or what if we could choose the peace in our world, the abundance in our lives and how long we live? What if we found that the universe itself is directly affected by a power that we’ve hidden from ourselves for so long that we’ve forgotten it’s even ours?
Such a radical discovery would change everything. It would alter what we believe about ourselves, the universe and our role within it. It’s also precisely what the leading-edge discoveries of our day are showing us.
For centuries, there have been people who refused to accept the limitations that have traditionally defined what it means to live in this world. They refused to believe that we just appear through a mysterious birth that defies explanation. They rejected the idea that such a miraculous emergence could be for the purpose of living in suffering, pain and loneliness until we leave this world just as mysteriously as we arrived.
VENTURE BEYOND CONDITIONING
To answer their yearning for a greater truth, they had to venture beyond the boundaries of their conditioning. They isolated themselves from friends, family and community and let go, really let go, of what they had been taught about the world.
When they did, something precious and beautiful happened in their lives: They discovered a new freedom for themselves that opened the door of possibilities for others. It all began by their asking the question that was just as bold in their time as it is in ours: What if our beliefs are wrong?
It’s in our absolute surrender to such a possibility that we discover the freedom that tells us who we really are. My personal belief, however, is that we don’t have to live in a cold, damp cave in the middle of nowhere to find it.
I also feel that personal liberation begins with the individual commitment to know who we are in the universe. When we make such a commitment, everything from the way we think of ourselves to the way we love will change.
They must, because we are changed in the presence of these deeper understandings. It all comes back to what we believe. While it may sound too simple to be true, I’m convinced that the universe works precisely in this way.
The above excerpt is taken from “The Spontaneous Healing of Belief,” by Gregg Braden. Published by Hay House (April 1, 2008) and available at bookstores or hayhouse.com.