The book I am reading about writing at the moment suggests starting with big or important questions. So…
What do I believe?
I fall at the first hurdle with this question as I am wary of beliefs and more inclined to attempt to see or understand truth, which by all accounts eventually reduces to “I am”. Everything else is concept or opinion which if held strongly enough over a long enough period of time turns into a belief.
The other forms of belief are those handed down from other people as dogma or doctrine and I am even less inclined to place any importance in those.
But there are also some deeply held ideas of how the world works that I am probably not even aware of. These are the ones that I “believe” are just how the world is and considering alternatives is genuinely inconceivable. What are these?
That being good matters.
That it is important that we try to be good.
That people who don’t try to be good are not good.
That I am not good enough.
That I therefore have to constantly try to be better.
That life means something even though I don’t know what that is.
That there isn’t a god.
That nature is all powerful.
Maybe that nature IS god.
If anything I am wary of beliefs. They feel artificial and rigid, but the ones that I am unaware of holding are likely the most rigid of them all because I don’t even know that I have them
6 thoughts on “What do I believe?”
Drifting towards daoism myself. Not as a formal practice, but a base camp for respect for nature and natural processes. Unmediated by any priests and hierarchy. It’s more a personal search for resonance. Many paths up the mountain!
Yep. My copy of The Tao is never far away. I have also read so much about the various flavours of Buddhism, and am drawn to the ones that are most straight forward and practical. I have loved both J and G Krishnamurthi’s writing overt the years and people like Joan Tollifson and the non-duality folks. My most recent wolfing down of information has been Paul Brunton’s books. They are a bit antiquated in style but really condensed and cover the core principles of the wisdom traditions. A lot of what I have read has sunk in and I am enjoying assimilating it into my own path rather than rigidly following any particularity “way”.
You comment about falling at the first hurdle rang a bell with me. I am often stumped when facing these big questions and berate myself because I don’t seem to have any concrete answers. I think you’ve answered the question very well, but I suspect the magic is in pondering the question in the first place. Wondering why we are here, and what we value and stand for, is a useful exercise.
What book are you reading?
The Power Of Writing It Down by Allison Fallon. I am about half way through and finding it useful.
That’s amazing, I just finished it. I thought it was very helpful but I’m still dithering.
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