The Ability to Believe: Strength or Weakness
The Core question here is, what does believing in something create in us? Is it safe to say that believing in something creates Hope? Hope for a better tomorrow, Hope for an after life, hope for a better job; basically we believe, hoping things will go our way. Believing help us project for a better future. It makes us expect a result, a reaction from an action, some even hope for a reaction with no actions, delusion maybe, who are we to say, it's still a form of belief. The dictionary definition of Hope goes as follow: “ a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”.
If we can agree on that notion, than let’s ask ourselves why do we need hope? Does one in true control of Him/Herself need hope? First and foremost, what does hope do for us? Hope makes us feel good, it enables us to cope with difficulties in life. It makes us project who or what we want to be. Hope in the after life, hope in a better financial situation, hope in anything is essentially projecting a better future. Hope lives in the future. By definition hope can never live in the present nor the past. Hope is projection of a better something. Faith provides hope, trust provide Hope, they are all forms of beliefs. Why do Humans have a desperate need to believe?
It doesn’t really matter what we believe in as long as it gives us HOPE. Looking throughout history most cultures had something they believed in, something that usually promises a better future, something that provides Hope so Humans could cope with the toughness of Reality. Could Hope be our deepest weakness? Could our need to believe in something be our deepest flaw?
To answer these questions we must think about causes and consequences, everything in our known universe is the consequence of something else. There are actions that cause reactions, and so forth things are built. What then causes the need for belief, the need for hope. If belief and hope are great things, then whatever the reason it is needed, must be bad, or less good. Otherwise why need it, why does it make us feel good or better.
Hope makes us feel good, believing in something makes us feel good for the moment that we do, that is the reason why, we always need to go back to whatever it is that provides it. Like a drug, feels good for the moment then we have to go back and get to that feel good moment again, the High; addiction.
A drug addict feels good for the moment while under the influence. Pain killers, tobacco, really anything addictive make us feel great for the moment, isn’t that the root of addiction? The need to get back to the feeling great moment?
Hope is one of our non physical drugs which we also get addicted to as much as we get addicted to the providers of that drug. The ones who help us believe and give us hope become our Gods while we become fanatics, slaves. We shape our lives, our actions, our choices based on the interpretation of our Heroes, the ones that make us Hope, Believe and Dream. The same way a heroine addict becomes a slave to the needle, we are slaves to our “heroes” and we worship them.
We now know for a fact that drugs are bad for us in the long run, and if we look into it, most short term pleasure are harmful in the long run. That’s debatable, but one thing for sure is that anything that makes you want more is addictive and addiction is the ultimate enslavement. The need for those emotions are terrible for one who wants to be in power and make no mistake, when I say in power I mean, in control of the self, in control of ones own life.
Bob Marley certainly understood this concept, in his famous song “Get up, Stand up” : “ Preacher man don’t tell me, heaven is under the earth, I know you don’t know what life is really worth, (…) if you knew what life is worth, you would go get yours on earth”.
When I started this chapter my goal was to prove that our ability to believe is a weakness, I haven’t been able to prove that notion, it is just not that black and white, but while debating and thinking in my head, I found that, that same ability can be both our greatest strength as well as our deepest weakness, depending on how it is used. In some instances, believing in the self, in your capabilities can be very constructive, although, I "believe" that application is key in anything. Meaning when someone does something long enough, He/She gets good at it, there is no secret magical belief that makes them good, just the application, the practice. Belief comes into place as a way to keep practicing through all the pains and failures, we need to believe in order to carry on.
I Believe that there is a level above believing, for the sake of communication, I’ll call that level, the knowing. Knowing that it takes time to be great at something, and just practice, apply your knowledge and become great, no need to believe because you know you'll face tremendous challenges, it's just part of the game of life. With that mind set one doesn't need to hide behind belief, one become the master of his/her life. I am certainly not saying that believing in yourself is bad, I am only saying that if you go that route, you become a slave of your ability to believe, a slave to your level of belief. If something tougher than expected happens in your journey, something stronger than your belief, you might quit. While the individual who knows that it's all about paying dues, no secret, just application, the individual who doesn't need to make him/herself believe, the one who just keep practicing whatever it is they doing through thick and thin, that individual is guarantee to be great at what they doing. Being great and getting recognition is certainly different. Some greats were never recognized until long after their deaths. Vivian Maier is a great example, she was a maid that loved to take photographs in her alone time. Her astonishing work wasn't discovered until long after she died, but she took so many pictures, over a 100.000, she mastered the art of capturing images.
I am aware that this notion of application can seem quite a bit heartless, what about love? In Vivian Maier's case it must have been the Love for capturing images. Love of doing something will certainly get you to keep doing it through any challenges; so What about loving what you do? Isn't love enough to keep you focus? Emotions are such a source of energy. Can we control those emotions, could they possibly be programmed by us or others into us? I want to share a story that will answer these questions.
This is the story of Joan and Scott Bolzan, Joan was the director of Marketing for her husband's business, a private-jet management comapany; the mother of a son, Grant, 19, and a daughter, Taylor, 16. They lived in Gilbert, Arizona. Scott was a 46 year old former NFL player, professional pilot, and owner of his company, Legendary Jets. "Suddenly he was a stranger, a man who looked at me blankly from his hospital bed, no flicker of recognition" Joan.
Joan and Scott have been together for 25 years. At work one day, Scott slipped, fell and lost consciousness, he woke up with a profound retrogade amnesia. In that accident he lost all 46 years of his memory. From that moment Joan became a caretaker. Some of her testemony goes as follow:
"As the weeks wore on, I spent every day by his side, while working from home. Scott often expressed his frustration with his loss of emotional connection to the past. He wanted to know what he was feeling in those moments of his life that we captured in photos or on video. He was also trying to understand his role in our family. I did notice that he watched me while I moved around the house, relentlessly questioning doctors and making sure Scott was as comfortable as could be. He was affectionate toward me. But I wondered: Would I forever be just a friendly face to him, or could we once again be something more? (...)
Over the months, Scott never regained his memory. As he needed to know his world more, I thought it was vital for our relationship for me to share who I am, my emotions about things that had occurred in our past, and my thoughts about how we could get through this difficult time together. I shared details of our previous loving relationship; I showed him piles of family photos that I had saved, sorted, and stored.
I wanted to fill in the lost memories and at the same time to exhibit the depth and substance of our loving life together, as well as the amazing selfless father he was to our children.While I was creating some reality to our years together, I think I was etching in him the depth of my love for him, and he was realizing what “love” was. I don’t believe that I was reprogramming his love for me back into his heart. I believe, now reflecting on why he fell in love with me, that the fact that I kept loving and supporting him as I had always done helped, along with pure instinct. His heart began to remember what his brain had lost."
She says : "I don't believe i was reprogramming his love for me back?"
Here is a great loving grown family man who loses his memory and suddenly doesn’t know who he is anymore but most importantly how he feels. To the point where his loving wife is hoping that she isn’t programming an emotion of love into him by creating some reality to their years together. In this case, The strongest emotion can be programmed into someone if the appropriate reality is created in order to trigger that reaction.
This is the proof that emotions are the result of the mind, their is no spirit, or if their is one it is the mixture of chemicals the mind creates or triggers, those chemicals that mix together create emotions, biochemistry. The same chemicals that are created when one is under certain substances.
So Emotions are created based on the reality we perceive, we filter that reality through our experiences and knowledge(Most of the time what we've been thought), and an emotion is created. Those emotions are the motivator for our actions. Can we make people do what we want them to do? Abviously. Are we doing what we really want to do, look again.
Why do we need hope, Why do we need belief. Because most people are weak and lost in a world without any explanation, looking to belong into clicks, crew, gangs, groups, cults etc... only to empower them and validate them. This is where the separation begins, this is why people are easily ruled. People need to compare themsleves with others and feel superior for validation, so they join crews instead of uniting.
The need to believe is like the Fin needing his/her fix. Hope, dreams, Faith are the examples of Highs and the Arts, politics, Religions are the Drugs. Humanity is the consumer and have been for Generations. It is a very lucrative business, and just like any business, the people running it, want to keep it going. How?
By keeping people in Fear, Fear of danger, that’s how you can form armies and make it ok to kill, Fear of not belonging, The Fashion industry would be nowhere without that, Fear of failure, only because a definition Success have been set for everyone to reach.
We are being told what is cool, and what is success, which bring the Fear of being unworthy, and the constant chase for approval and one of the strongest, the Fear of not belonging anywhere. I don’t want to dwell into that because the purpose here is not to point fingers, I applaud those who figured it out, used it and are still using it to build their lives for them and their loved ones. The purpose here is to focus on Choice, nobody can make you choose, once you know yourself. That is the true definition of freedom.
You can choose to believe in what you wish, but know why you need that belief, why do you believe, "The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates, also "The unexamined life is painful" Malcom X. It is extremely empowering to look into the self and learn the truth about who we are, why do we want what we want, why do we believe in what we believe in, why we are who we are. One can not truly be free without knowing him/herself. It is a painful but extremely rewarding process. Make the Choice to live an examined life. And that is what we will be focusing on in our next chapter, Choice: A notion of Freedom.
Chapter 3: "Choice: A notion of Freedom"