Articles and Teachings
Why do you believe what you believe?

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A great Sage of a Rabbi once taught me "If you want to change the world, change yourself." This was based of course on the original Hebrew understanding, that we were mandated as priests to teach the world the ways of The Eternal Creator, thereby eventually healing the world. But the deeper meaning of the Rebbi’s statement is; that this world will never be changed through or by any Laws of any God or man; if the inhabitants of this world don’t adhere to that which was originally given, and DO THEM! So, I believe it’s worth saying again and again, and to every ear that will ever listen as long as we live - "If you want to change the world, change yourself." As my learning advanced, I explored the foundations of our own beliefs. The idea is; if the entire worlds history is shaped solely on the character of the individuals preceding you, being the collective input of man; then it’s safe to say that our lives, and all the lives before us were directly affected and shaped by their own positive and or negative choices, and also the choices of those preceding them, all the way back to Adam. Thus far, all of these generations have contributed either way to the world we have today. Then this rabbit hole twists and turns even further; because all of our personal choices in life are a direct result of our own personal beliefs, which are built into our character.

So; if our own personal beliefs, which make up our character, are so influential to the pre-destination of our lives; both individually and collectively as a species; choices right or wrong, and regardless how we arrived at them; then we have to now finally as people of ONE God, come to ground zero on this entire life & death issue, and ask ourselves this one simple but all important question: "why do you believe what you believe?"

Most people, especially our youth, are never asked this question. One of the most important questions to ask or have an answer to on the tip of your tongue, and 98% of the people on planet earth have never been asked, nor contemplate it. Think about that for one moment! Most people alive today, and all that came before you; and the majority of us have never given one thought to WHY they, or you, hold so dear the beliefs that you now have. Wow! Maybe that should be the definition of insanity! "To hold hard core beliefs which rule your life, but never attaining absolute verified facts or information which proves these individual beliefs to be true or correct".

Being that even a possibility? We all owe it to ourselves, and to all others around us to start paging through the mental Rolodex files of our beliefs and belief systems, and begin asking the simple questions – Why do I believe this subject or point of view? - And where did it come from? You, as I have, will quickly realize that you hold many beliefs which have been assumed through the years. I personally, for many years in my youth, found myself somewhat caged by an orthodox belief system which of course, like many, I was born into. I was housing an entire belief system in my mind & heart that I did not make a conscious choice to form; nor effort to refute until that question was asked of me.

So, now that we have the basis of the "question"; let’s get into the nuts and bolts of it; and see if we can’t finally start working in a positive direction to heal this quickly decaying world one person at a time. It appears; according to the experts of cognitive behavior, these beliefs and or belief systems we hold abreast so tightly, emanate from {our self-concept}, {our attitudes}, {our success and failures}, and ultimately {our over-all character}. Therefore, in order to jump-start this ancient mandate to heal the world; this would be the point to begin taking a serious inventory of your personal beliefs.

Beginning with a mental or physical list of what they are, and searching for how you originally formed them. The main positive feature of all this, is to realize and believe that you have the power to asses, relearn, and rewrite all of your individual beliefs and or belief systems. Which will now be rooted in as many absolute and verifiable facts from as many qualified sources as possible. Always remembering the question - "why do you believe what you believe?" And from here on, and for the rest of your days; every time you decide to believe, or find yourself agreeing with something or someone? ASK THE QUESTION! & VERIFY THE FACTS. We don’t want to fall back into old habits, only to begin storing additional unfounded information. At this point you will begin discarding the old beliefs which were based in ignorance, or just common inheritance; and finally replacing them with more educated beliefs. You should by now realize that this is a life- long process, and not a one-time system reboot.

Free-Will Choice – And our Limiting Filters:

Every single belief you now hold came through a pre-set Limiting-filter. Some are learned, and some inherited. Some we can control, and some we cannot. I tend to believe the experts on this one, that our inherited or cultural belief structures are the most difficult for any person to revise or discard; {Religion being a biggy}. The first and main action is to identify and understand the exact {Limiting Filters} that caused you to form these ignorant beliefs. Some people have more than others, some less, depending on each individuals life experiences to this point. However none, or at least few, are of any positive nature; if this statement weren’t true, you wouldn’t have ever asked yourself; "Why is this world getting worse all the time" or "Why do things always go wrong for me? Amazingly! Our own ability to recognize OTHER people’s poor choices or false beliefs is always so ardent! Maybe after learning this, we should be quicker to teach them if they are willing.

Our Perceptions of truth are colored by the following Free Will Limiting-Filters:

Interpersonal Belief Limiters = Religion – Culture – Geographical location – Race - Family – Friends.

Secondary Belief Limiters = Age – Education – Profession – Experiences – Emotions – Gender.

The above list of filters I am certain is not exhaustive, but more than serves my purpose here. These Limit-Filters bias our perceptions of reality – "You are what you think", ‘From the mouth comes the beliefs of the soul, and your mind directs your soul from your {forehead}, which dictates the actions of your {right hand}; of course, only if we allow them to.

It’s right there, at that precise moment of Free Will choice, where we choose our character and predetermine our future.

This all falls under the heading; {Teach your children well!} Here’s the rub.. This entire building process of our Free Will Limiting-Filters which all work so effectively at defining our characters, and subsequently our future; is going to happen either way, consciously or subconsciously. Therefore, if these rooted beliefs are going to dictate such a lifelong and intimate effect on your future; as well as the present & futures of those loved ones around you; I am vigorously suggesting that you heed this advice and begin inputting your new information consciously, rather than allowing old and hidden unconscious mechanisms to continue, and or worse, multiply. Alas! The human condition, which has been incorrectly learned and hard wired into most of us for so many generations now; appear adverse to change, much less acts of deep on-going examinations of their long held beliefs. They choose to remain comfortable on this track of misinformed perceptions; fooled unknowingly, and in some cases, even knowingly, by the growing multitude of Limit-filters within them.

So, we now see that it’s our own personal and collective knowledge-base, being the culprit that directly dictates our day to day Free Will choices continually. Which over time turn into Life choices; which as individuals, and also a collective species; have a direct applied force of positive or negative on our long term generational existence. Obviously as well; these direct forces being exerted onto both our earth, and all other sentient and non-sentient life forms within this sphere; are generational forces having an accumulative and long lasting effect, which will in the end dictate how, or even if, man will continue forward. At the absolute and very least; this dictates how life on this planet will be available to us in all facets of our lives; both on the individual, and as collective populations. We have so many scriptural references to this exact idea and understanding that none of this should be a surprise to anyone. Yet for a growing multitude who delve into their own darkness, and explore the reasons why they believe what they believe? Then certainly, their future, and the future of this world, this Eden that was entrusted to us; is ours to shape if we dare to finally begin searching, learning, and implementing truth over fictions.

"The future is pre-determined by the character of those who shape it"

So why do you believe what you believe?

By: Dr. Shmuel Asher Th.D ©1988

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