Now today I want to pick your brain a little bit if we can about beliefs and false beliefs. Beliefs are such a subjective experience and they determine so much of our reality. It seems like some people sort of live with their beliefs for a lifetime and they’re like a fortress and other people are able to move in and out of different beliefs and explore for a lifetime, uh, and so forth. Then it’s just a fascinating, uh, topic and I’d like to get your perspective on it by talking about if you can help us define a little bit, what’s the belief? Is it possible to have a totally false belief? And how would you characterize a false belief?
Look, this is a, a deep, deep and important a subject. And I know that we’re going to take the time to explore it. Well at any point as always, Michael Woodward speaking. If, uh, I missed the mark, if I’m not clear enough, you make me honest so that everyone listening can get the benefit of, of knowledge that we hope to share.
Yeah, I’m honored. Thank you.
So first of all, let me say something that is likely going to be shocking, but that’s where we have to start. We’re not meant to live from belief at all and our entire life is nothing but belief.
Okay. So right off the bat, um, I want to clarify, we’re not meant to live from belief.
No. And let’s examine it.
Okay, good. Good.
W what is a belief? What is a belief? And you know what if I might, Michael, you know, I speak here in southern Oregon at my foundation four times a week. And sometimes for whatever reason, cause I can tell we’re going to have an engaging dialogue here. Certain things will come to light. And one of them is this. We as human beings, we live from beliefs and we’ve never by and large asked ourselves, is it wise? Is it intelligent? Can there be compassion? Can there be anything authentically good in terms of releasing us from psychological limitation inside of a belief? You know what Stevie wonder said about beliefs? Don’t you know that famous song when you believe in things that you don’t understand?
And it brings up what? Superstition. So let’s examine this. What is it? Belief. And I’ll put it to you, Michael. Then if it’s not clear or if you disagree, then you can be advocates for the listeners or you can support what I’m saying. A belief is what? The mind fabricates. That’s first. Beliefs are made by the mind and a belief is made when the mind, uh, encounters something that it wants to either get something from or get away from something that seems to be threatening it, which really by and large has everything for us. That means that the mind makes an object of something. For instance, let’s take one, and this is, I’m sure a lot of tender toes out there, but I, I promise you we can make this clear so everybody will at least have an opportunity to, to see this than another light. The belief in God, the belief in Christ, the belief in Moses or Muhammad or whatever one believes in. Why, why do I, why do I believe in this? Do I believe in my heart?
Do I believe that I’m going to breathe? Do I believe that I have to eat? Does an ego believe that it has to open its wings to soar or are these things that we have our heart, the capacity to love, the wisdom that comes to us from time to time that requires no thinking? Or are these qualities including a relationship with whatever one may consider the divine or are they inherent in our very existence, interwoven as you will into up into us so that we have these beliefs that actually separate us from the very thing we say we believe in.
I gotta Tell Ya, I should have known, but right off the bat you’ve blown this whole thing out of the water. In other words, here we are. Here I am starting with the question about beliefs and, and work so caught up, especially in the world of personal development and mental health. We’re so caught up in oh, beliefs and what do I, what do I believe in and what are my limiting beliefs? And, and we’re swimming around trying to sort through beliefs and what you’ve come along and said is maybe there’s an entirely different place to go. Maybe it’s just not even about that. And so, uh, you’re not seeing the forest for the trees you spent, you could spend your lifetime, even those very, uh, personal, uh, personal development, uh, in the personal development inclined crowd. We’re sorting through these beliefs and there’s actually an entirely different place that we can go to.
Yeah, I mean, I go outside here in southern Oregon where I live. I live on a little in a little house on a mountain and I walk outside and jerseys old-growth, sugar pine and Towering Oaks and Cedars. I don’t have to believe in the beauty that’s there. I Andrew into it.
So you’re distinguishing between beliefs and experience and saying the beliefs actually separate you from your experience. Cause there are a product of your mind and your mind is going to disconnect you from the actual immersion in the experience. It’s a self consciousness thing.
And in doing so, producing a sense of identity that is intimately connected with the feeling that that belief produces. But the feeling that is produced by a belief has really nothing whatsoever to do with the thing itself. That one says they believe in. It’s a substitute Michael.
And it’s uh, it’s uh, it’s powerful because it’s visceral and it’s a ton. There’s a ton of evidence in that, that it’s real. And you’re saying it’s not,
I’m saying the feel is real.
Yes, the feeling is real.
But the why is a lie. The feel is real. But the wires are like, look, just as a simple example, we’ll start at the top and then move backwards so we can apply this in our lives. At a practical level, if you were to take six truly enlightened men or women, probably not represented by the hierarchy of whatever the religion is that they happen to be the uh, advocate of right, but truly illumined in their religion, you could put these six people in a room together and there would be no discord. There would be no argument. There would be no contest between them as to the nature of the divine because they don’t believe in the divine. They don’t believe that God has one face or three faces. They live the experience of what is holy and the nature of what is holy is love.
And love does not separate itself out into what it believes in and what it doesn’t. Love interacts with changes and Trans figures, everything that is involved in it. So we have become a race of beings whose planet is being torn apart because we have become identified with the sensations the produced by this inculcation of belief. By the way, proliferated by groups, religious media, Wall Street, main street, so forth and so on. For the purpose of producing this kind of incredible identification so that you become literally a buyer of the brand regardless how ridiculous it is. They tell you what you must do to support it.
Right? Uh, it just makes a on that materialistic or a safe, the commercial side of beliefs in some, some of those folks are just masterful at creating an opportunity, if you will, for us to, uh, invest our minds and hearts in their, in their products. But, uh, you know, what you’re talking about makes beliefs makes the sort of fiddling around with changing your beliefs. It’s not, it makes it all seem so petty.
Well, let’s see now, but we don’t want to throw away the baby with the bath water because we are all actually, I’ll tell you a quick story to set the stage for this. Um, it just happened that I was at the supermarket yesterday and I was standing in line. Uh, and you know how you, you seemingly naturally, you don’t want to scan the longest line there. Right. You know, you want to get your milk and ice cream out to the car, Yada Yada Ya. But because of my own personal practice spiritually, um, I, I, I, I, I try to place myself where I’m going to be able to learn the most about myself. Long Story Short, I’m standing in a line behind three people and the person just ahead of me and starting to, you know, people mumble under their breath, you know, why is this taking so long? Oh my God. You know, then they send the checker for something, all of that business and the poor lady doing the checkout, you can just tell she’s getting more and more nervous and people are getting more and more impatient. Finally, when I got up to her, I said, look, I said, take your time, don’t rush. Everything’s okay. And she said, thank you so much. I’m in training.