The experiences and actions that evidence life
do not require belief. The wind blows. The birds
sing. The sun and the moon rise and set over
the horizon. The sky turns color. The tide ebbs
and flows. A newborn child turns to its mother
and father. None of this requires belief. It
just happens. This is not a satisfying interpretation
to the egocentric mind, but it is nonetheless
true. Life and its actions are inherently intelligent.
Life does not require your belief. So what is
the effect of belief on life? Belief is an artificial
intelligence and it has no effect upon reality.
Belief is a fictional story and as such, it
is merely an illustration or interpretation of
what is. We make-believe, consciously and unconsciously.
For example, we are all familiar with a mirage
of water in the desert. There is no water in
the mirage. There is only an image of water and
nothing more. This is imagination, a sensory
deception. At best, the mirage is a representation
of water or a pointer to water, but not the fact
of water. A mirage is not a belief in and of
itself. A mirage is just an appearance in mind,
a visualized image. An additional element is
required to form "belief".
When who I am becomes identified through the
images I perceive, then belief is created…something
true in relation to "me." Belief is
a creature of what I think I am. All thoughts
are capable of being referenced to "me" and
thereby made into "my belief." Thoughts
that are merely witnessed, without being referenced
to an objective identity, are beyond belief.
When we are not conscious of our thoughts as
NOT SELF, we are living under the influence of
belief. As such, we are in ignorance to who we
are in the absence of our beliefs. This is the
meaning of the expression, "we cannot see
the forest for the trees." It is through
the force of belief that we appear to lose feeling
contact with our pure Being and its free awareness.
You may remember the scene in the classic movie,
The Wizard of OZ, where Dorothy and her friends
entered the palace to meet the great wizard.
In the midst of a loud and fiery mechanical display
by the so-called wizard at the far end of the
throne room, Dorothy's dog, Toto, pulled back
the curtain on a nearby cubicle. Therein, it
is revealed that a mere man is pulling and pushing
the mechanical levers that operate the all-powerful
and fearsome wizard. The man, realizing that
his deception is being exposed, speaks into the
microphone serving as the voice of the wizard,
and anxiously says, "Ignore that little
man behind the curtain." Like this story,
we have been under the false impression that
the mind is the almighty wizard. Our witnessing
consciousness, Toto the dog, has pulled back
the curtain and we can see for ourselves that
the mind is nothing more than thoughts, parading
as absolute truth and reality.
All personal beliefs are like a façade
that may crumble without any disturbance to the
inner reality. For instance, the presence or
absence of a mirage has no effect upon the desert
as it is. So, the question, "Can human chaos
be resolved?" is a belief-based question.
The very perception of chaos is a belief. Experience
is shaped by belief. Your experience may be chaos.
But what is experience?
It can be observed that experience is just the
reflection of what you hold as belief. Two different
people in similar life circumstances can have
very different experiences of the same event.
Yet, life is what it is, regardless of what we
might think about it. So ultimately, our chaos
cannot be resolved when we think as we do, because
we believe in chaos. By believing in our fearful
concept of self, we support the experience of
our suffering. The world merely reflects the
form and feeling of our convictions.
So, what is the real nature of an identity founded
in belief? Such an identity is merely a concept,
a thought-formed creation or fantasy. It cannot
be real, because this self-image disappears in
the absence of thought. It needs the activity
of thinking to exist in any manner. An identity
gleaned from thought does not possess an independent
existence outside the realm of mind. It's true,
you can think about yourself. But who is that?
You, as you truly are, or simply a thought.
If your mental images of self are not true,
then neither are the desires and fears that arise
from those images. All images support the dream,
including the image of the dreamer. Thus, if "I
desire to be happy" and the "I" is
misperceived, then the desire is also a mistake.
The effect of this irreconcilable marriage is:
I am desire and desire is I. If, we let go of
the imaginative attribute of desire in this equation,
I am I is all that remains. As this purity of
presence, we are awake to all experience, as
its witness. While the witnessed is relative
to the shape of manifest conditions, witnessing
is ever free.
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