FAITH BEYOND BELIEF

Contrary to popular opinion, beliefs are a highly unnecessary component of life. In other words, you don’t need no stinkin’ beliefs! And living belief-free doesn’t’ make you a moron, a pagan, or a bad person. Quite to the contrary. The Personal Level On a personal level you can live a fine, high quality life, without the burden of beliefs. On a societal level, competing beliefs are what divide us, segment us, and keep us apart. A society without beliefs is society rooted firmly in reality, and thus has a much better chance of being harmonious. Psychologically, your beliefs either bolster or undermine your ego. You believe you’re smart, so you present yourself as smart, even to the extent that sometimes you act like a smart ass! You believe that you’re unattractive, so you do all kinds of grossly expensive things – get cosmetic surgery, buy pricey clothes, plaster on the make-up with a trowel like Tammy Faye, etc. – all to make up for what you believe to be your inadequate appearance. As you can see, belief and judgment are more than kissing cousins; they are more like conjoined twins. Your beliefs create your judgments and your judgments create your beliefs. It’s hard to tell where one stops and the other begins. The other thing that they have in common is that both are dysfunctional and a colossal waste of time! What if you just did what you could? What if you just did what needed to be done to the best of your ability? What if you just presented the world your authentic self, sans beliefs and judgments altogether? It’s worth a try. The Interpersonal Level Personally beliefs separate you from yourself. Interpersonally a similar phenomenon occurs -- beliefs separate you from others. Oh, sure, there are some people who believe pretty much the same as you do. You call them brilliant! Sometimes you even call them friends.

But, far and away, most people on this planet hold beliefs quite different than yours. You call them ignorant, misguided, sinful, Republican, or just plain wrong! The thing is, what they believe is really none of your damn business! As a variation on an old saying goes, “Beliefs are like assholes. Everyone’s got them, and most of them stink!” That includes all beliefs, even mine, even yours. The Societal Level On a societal level, beliefs are the things that wars, crime, hatred, inequity, and injustice are made of. It’s capitalism versus socialism, rich versus poor, the saved versus the damned, Jew versus Muslim, democracy versus dictatorship, the Koran versus, the Bible, and the thing is all are merely ideas! None of them have a shred of reality to them. And yet, we fight over them, live and die by them, place them on pedestals like graven idols, and cling to them like a drowning man clinging to a big-hootered blow up doll. Sick! The behavior even more than the metaphor. Faith What other option do we have? Faith. Faith transcends belief because faith is without cognitive content. Faith is intuitive, not rational. Belief is in something, faith is in nothing. If there were an Ultimate Reality that we could see, something that our discursive minds could understand and our physically bound senses could grasp, we wouldn’t need faith! Faith is an attitude towards life, an attitude of acceptance of what is. Those who have faith, have it not in a particular person, religion, or philosophical system, but in life itself. They have faith in the Universe and all that’s in it. They have faith in themselves, in you, in me, and in all of creation, both manifest and unmanifest. Faith is one. As is the Universe, as is the Spirit. And we are all in this thing called life together. Faith does not discriminate or exclude. It accepts, support and sustains all. Faith doesn’t ask for proof, evidence or consensus. It is an intuition into the

invisible nature of life, a non-cognitive understanding of the energy or Spirit that animates all. Faith beyond belief puts the Spirit before the mind. It “groks” both the transcendent nature of existence and its immanent manifestation, and it accepts One and all. Choosing faith beyond belief is simple, but not easy. You merely need to surrender your long-cherished opinions, eradicate your most precious ideas, and jettison your most tightly held judgments in order to let the two – the physical world and the Spirit – become one again. When you totally accept the presentation of physical reality and intuitively understand (stand under) the spirit that precedes, imbues, and transcends it -voila – real change happens! Indeed, that’s the only way real change happens – not through belief but through faith, not through cognition but through intuition, not through competition but through cooperation. We are all in this together. Nothing is more obvious. If we can find faith beyond belief we will begin to act from that Oneness, and then, who knows what will happen?