Friday, 5 September 2008

Enlightenment Q & A: Day Six. Looking at Opinion and Belief.

Today I want to take a closer look at opinion and belief and relate it to our prime subject here, enlightenment.

Q. What is an Opinion?

In the dictionary we have an interesting overview, one we can all relate to.

1. A personal view, the view that somebody takes about a certain issue, especially when it is based solely on personal judgment.
2. Estimation, a view regarding the worth of somebody or something.

Q. What is a Belief?

A belief is an opinion that you have become so attached to that you accept it to be true or real. A firm and considered opinion is the foundation of all your beliefs.

We can see that a belief is simply a firm view or judgment based on an opinion. You have to have an opinion on a subject before you can solidify it in the mind as a belief, can you see this for yourself?

If you are intelligent enough to take a very close look at all your beliefs you will discover that they are simply hardened and compacted opinions. And opinion, what is that again? Opinion is simply hardened and compacted thought. You can’t have an opinion on a subject without first and foremost having thought about it.

Q. What is thought then?

It is the activity or process of thinking. Each of us is aware of the fact that we think but not everyone knows what thought actually is.

Thought is all your past experiences that have gathered together within the psyche [as your thinking mind] and those thoughts are repeating themselves on an ongoing loop. They are active as a background noise, a loop of thoughts that never becomes quite for long. It is what can be described as discursive thinking, which is simply thought with a will of its own. It is sometimes called 'Internal Chatter.'

That chattering loop of thoughts is always on the move within your sub-conscious mind. That is why the thinking mind knows no peace, because it is not still. It is always on the move, thinking aimlessly, problematically and with a will of its own. It is this endless loop of thoughts that creates fear, doubt and worry within your mind from time to time, and that is why you are never truly at peace for long. And it is this endless stream of thought, the endless repetition of, and movement of thinking within your mind that brings disharmony into your life. And if you stay with me I’ll gradually prove this to you, but patience is needed and you’ll need to dedicate yourself to this process of investigation into your greater reality or the truth of self-knowledge.

Q. What is The Truth concerning Opinion and Belief?

People believe that what they believe in and have an opinion about is the truth, but that is not so. The fact is that:
  • A belief is a belief
  • An opinion is an opinion
  • Truth is neither.

A belief is a belief, an opinion is an opinion and Truth is neither.

If you think that you can believe in the truth then you can be sure that it is not The Truth about which you have a belief.

Do you have an opinion about what I’ve just said? Is it your opinion that what I’ve just said is correct or incorrect? Isn’t everything I write here just my opinion, or is there a difference between having an opinion about truth and the realization of The Truth?

Q. What is The Truth regarding Truth?

The Truth is that Truth cannot be believed in. Truth is something that the thinking mind knows nothing about, although it may have many hardened opinions and  beliefs on the subject.

Truth cannot be believed in but it can be realized. What does that mean? It means that all your opinions and beliefs hold no value whatsoever where this subject is concerned. It also means that in order for you to discover The Truth of Your Life, and discover the underlying Truth of all life on earth, you will need to suspend your belief system and enter a totally fresh and new state of being where anything is possible but, simultaneously, everything has to be investigated with the eye of a skeptic. Meaning? You have to investigate everything, leaving no stone unturned, but you must accept nothing as The Truth.

You must accept nothing you read as being a source of truth and paradoxically you must not reject it out of hand either. There must be a complete openness of mind to possibilities. Where The Truth is concerned a closed mind will not work because a closed mind is already controlled by its conditioned beliefs and opinions. The closed mind has been closed by its own conditioning, therefore all other possibilities will have been tainted by this very conditioning. The closed mind is like a door which has been bolted shut for all time, never to be opened again and through which the individual will never pass. You have to be willing to open the doors of your mind if you want to discover what lies beyond the world of belief and opinion.

Where self-knowledge is concerned you will need to begin with an open mind. An open mind is a mind that is not only ready to hear other possibilities, but it is also willing to observe its own conditioned thinking, beliefs and opinions.

Also, you will need to look at what the atheists, agnostics, scientists and religionists have to say without recourse to judgmental position taking. In other words you must not judge anything as being right or wrong. In self-knowledge 'nothing is good or bad, except when thinking makes it so.' This begs the question, If the thinking principle is still, and therefore does not make anything right/wrong or good/bad, then what remains? And that is the very question you’ll need to find the answer to . . . but how? The answers to all your questions are all within you, but you have to be able to access them. Correct meditation, as self-observation, will guide you to the solution, which is the end of all your questions.

Throughout this process you will need to become the observer of  your self, meaning you will need to become more and more conscious or self-aware.
  • Aware of your thought processes, emotional feeling and actions or behaviors.
  • Aware of all your attitudes of mind, beliefs and opinions.
  • Aware of everything you have become psychologically and emotionally attached to.

This is a mighty undertaking, one that most individuals are not capable of participating in fully because it is so demanding of ones attention . . . but this is also what every enlightened individual has had to dedicate themselves to.

What is the enlightened state again? It is the realization of, and then the living of, a life that is totally free from psychological and emotional unhappiness and problematic living. No more problems exist in the enlightened individuals life. Events happen, as they always do, but the enlightened individual does not turn events and circumstance into any form of psychological and/or emotional problem or unhappiness because they know that the solution already exists within them. They simply go still and live their life from that place of stillness and creativity within where all solutions are born. In the next moment the solution unfolds and all is well in the enlightened individuals life . . . as it was always meant to be. And so the life is sweet and flows smoothly with effortless ease . . .

Now, if that isn't enlightenment enough for you then I guess you won't be putting in the required time and effort, in the form of self-observation, to experience the Enlightened State of Being. Or will you . . . are you up to the challenge, is the prize big enough for you, or are you still happy to live in the normal, unhappy condition, the way of living and being that 99.9% of the earths population does? I'll leave that thought with you till next time . .

. . . when I'll be taking the subject on a little further. Any thoughts, questions or comments you may have will be most welcome, all feedback is useful, thanks, Doug.

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