Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Believe What You Experience

One of my former teachers once said, “We don’t think ourselves into a new way of living, we live ourselves into a new way of thinking”.  The great teacher, Buddha, said, “Believe what you experience”.  It’s been my experience of life that we often start with an answer and then we build a question.  We want things a certain way so then we try to manipulate reality to match our desires.  Such manipulation may get us what we want but the side effects can be damaging.  Rarely do we just let life unfold.  The fact that it’s done that for billions of years doesn’t seem to deter us in our desire to be in control.  Most of us try to live according to whatever belief system we have chosen to embrace.  How would life be different if we believed according to what we have experienced?  This is a door that can swing both ways.  If you’ve never experienced love, it’s difficult to believe in it.  If all you have known is abuse and hatred, it's very likely that all you are capable of is abuse and hatred.  If you have felt great love in your life it is very likely that you will want to share that love with others.  Depending on our experience we may believe in hate or love.  If you choose to believe in God but you never have an experience of God, your faith may eventually disappear.  Some people, however, who have little or no faith may have an experience of God that deepens their faith.  Good or bad, our experience, or lack thereof, can greatly affect what and how we believe.  It's about balance.  Most people need and want something to believe in.  However, if we’ve never had the experience to support and strengthen our beliefs, they will eventually fall by the wayside.  Belief must be balanced with the experience of what we choose to believe.     

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