Here’s a riddle for you: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it did it make a sound? I’m sure you’ve heard that one before. ‘Reality is merely an illusion,’ Einstein once admitted, ‘albeit a very persistent one.’ Someone or something must perceive a sound before it can become a reality. Interesting. But I’m sure you’re asking, “How does this apply to me?”
It strikes me that beliefs are much the same. The definition of a belief is a thought you keep thinking. There is no mention of truth in that statement. But let’s take this even one step further. What is the definition of truth? A fact or belief that is accepted as true. What??? Didn’t we just say a belief is just a thought you keep thinking and if you think it over and over it becomes true for you. If that’s true and I believe it is, how can we possibly expect other people to accept our beliefs as absolute truths. Beliefs are rooted in life experiences. To a coal miner in Tennessee coal is the life-blood of his family. To someone else it is polluting the environment and something to be eliminated.
Think about your own personal beliefs, do you believe your body can remain strong and disease free well into your nineties? Do you believe that we can grow new limbs or that there can be peace in the world? Back in the fifties no one believed the human body was capable of running a mile in four minutes until Roger Bannister did it. Then within months people began running the four minute mile all over the world, with no knowledge of Roger’s accomplishment. Is it possible that our personal beliefs and the universal beliefs are limiting our lives, our accomplishments, our relationships?
So if beliefs and truths are all acquired through personal observations, why do we spend so much time and effort, creating so much angst and division, trying to get others to conform to our beliefs? Ask yourself which set of beliefs is right? Who gets to decide? The president? The army? The church? Every president, army and church has a different set of beliefs and rules. It’s all very confusing. Perhaps the answer lies in the acknowledgement that others beliefs might be right for them and not necessarily for you. Perhaps we should allow them the freedom to believe what they believe. Perhaps if we didn’t focus on the differing beliefs but rather choose to regard each individual with the eyes of God….with love and respect. How about if we choose to believe in the inherent goodness that lies within each person. Focus on that. Keep thinking that thought over and over in our mind. If a belief is a thought you keep thinking let’s begin examining our thoughts more closely. Ask yourself does that thought make me feel good or does that thought make me angry or fearful or powerless. Does that thought make me like my neighbor or become angry or unhappy with my neighbor. Proverbs 23:7, As a man thinkest….so he is. Your thoughts have creative power. You are constantly in the process of creating something. You can create a life of love and joy or a life of fear and anger. You can create a world of hate and animosity or you can create a world where we respect others beliefs. We will never change a person’s mind by trying to convince them of their wrongeness. So instead to thinking of our differences think of how we are the same. Instead of hate or anger….think kindness and tolerance. We are creating something all the time whether it’s a stronger body or a better world for ourselves and our children. So start guarding your thoughts. Start creating personal beliefs that make you and society better. In other words start…….attracting magic!!