of the Belief Overview
This could easily turn into a self-indulgent journal entry on my experiences of the last two days but I will do my best to avoid that—especially considering that it’s 10 P.M. and I need to post soon if I’m going to live up to this 30-day write every day trial.
I think I will also try to resist the temptation to evaluate this belief from the outside, though considering that I’ve only focused on it for 2 days such resistance may be impractical.
There are two main questions which I really wish to focus on here: (1) What perceptual points will best take me back to this belief? (2) What do I take this belief to mean?
To clarify, the first question asks, How can I recreate the perception this belief gives me? I could also state it as, What stands out when I hold this belief?
What I am trying to do is provide a basis for recreating the image of the world this belief (well, and the others behind it) has produced. Perceptual points are the most important parts of that image—in particular, what makes it unique and distinguishable from other images. Metaphorically speaking, we could also say that perceptual points include the colors, depth, resolution (quality/smoothness), and apparent textures of the image (and other aspects which I’m forgetting).
What I hope to achieve, then, is to break down the image into these basic parts and lay the parts aside in such a way that I can piece them back together into the original image later. Man, I wonder if that’s what they do in art school. ;)
The second question really asks two things: (a) Where/how this belief logically fits into my current belief system (if it does so), and (b) If and how the belief is important to me: what I have learned from it, how it has led me to behave differently, etc.
It seems like (2) is somewhat redundant in relation to (1)—they could probably be mushed together well enough. But, for now, let’s say that I’ll start with (2a), then address (1), and finally (if needed), (2b).
What is the Context for this Belief?
I’ve basically addressed my context for this belief already in Belief Experimentation (under the section, “An Overview: My Beliefs About Reality”) and Holes in the Belief System, but I will reiterate here.
Context for the Belief: Consciousness is the primary stuff of reality. My purpose is thus to elevate my level of consciousness. I believe that reality unfolds as it needs to in the name of this purpose. If I will retain anything after my physical death it will be consciousness. The known entity which has the highest potential to be permanent is consciousness, which includes my contributions to the collective consciousness.
The Belief: For these reasons I am essentially safe here. All things that I experience will occur as I need them to and only if I need them to, based upon my beliefs as well as my purpose. This does not mean my body will not die—indeed, it will. But it may be that my spirit, if it can be called that, never will (spirit is really just the true identity, which is awareness itself).
Perhaps it’s a cop-out to copy-paste myself multiple times (as you shall soon see), but I feel I did a good job of explaining this in Holes in the Belief System:
“The first belief I am testing states that I am unconditionally safe in this reality (planet Earth) because everything in it is interconnected. This means that everything is part of a larger whole which both dictates how reality plays out and which transcends reality. This larger whole is consciousness—that is, awareness itself. This means that my core identity is unchanging, because my core identity is the same as the core of reality (i.e. everything).
It also means that, metaphysically, I will always exist, because consciousness will continue on even after I die, just as the body still lives even after the damage or death of an individual cell. Because consciousness is not an object I can be and am more closely connected to it than a cell is to a body—in fact, we are one in the same.” (Man, this is something of a whack formatting decision)
Good golly, I worry that I throw around the word “consciousness” too much. It’s as if Timmy from South Park was renamed Consciousness. But ain’t that what all these words ultimately add up to anyway? :P
I would like to clarify quickly that this belief isn’t about some need for an afterlife to keep myself from fearing death. I addressed this in Belief Experimentation:
“…An individual’s contributions to collective consciousness are retained, but that person does not explicitly return to this Earth in some physical form. For instance, if this was a fairly intelligent or enlightened individual reality may reflect this thereafter, but the effects will be more widely and subtly distributed than a return as a new individual.”
In other words, I can get along just fine with the thought that I may simply return to dust (or starshit, as Stefan Molyneux calls our material origins) after all this is over.
What is the Experience of the Belief?
I should mention here that this 30 day trial arose out of A Scientific Method for Exploring Consciousness by Steve Pavlina. In accordance with that piece I have taken notes on my experience over the last several days (hence the journal entry note at the start of this article).
What I will attempt to do here is provide an overview of the most poignant parts of my notes and perhaps the more intense parts (“highs”) of my experience.
Sometimes when we learn new things or adopt new beliefs (which are really the same act) the mind becomes more disorganized, which is the opposite of what we expect to happen. Perhaps this piece of information challenges part or even all of our current paradigm- that is, our ways of looking at and doing things. Joel Salatin said that when a paradigm reaches the brink of perfection it breaks down (Steve Pavlina’s Raising Your Consciousness illustrates this quite well).
Taking on the belief of unconditional safety didn’t exactly destroy my world, since it makes sense in that world (i.e. my context). However, as I’ve written previously no belief system stands, within an individual, totally solid and unchallenged. Certainly I still have many thoughts, feelings, and behaviors which are not (from what I can tell) in accordance with my belief system, but they gradually weaken over time.
Today, as I periodically do, I got upset over “doing everything wrong”—in particular, avoiding getting a job and not wanting to finish school (I know, boohoo Kim).
But after a while I thought to myself, “What if I told you that you’re fine, and nothing is wrong with you at all? Then how would you feel? How would you act?” Whoa. That was a game-changer.
As usual with these things it was hard to clearly define my response. But from there I decided that I can be any way that seems right and that I trust in. In particular, there isn’t some certain and restricted trait set that living consciously must lock me into.
The typical idea of a saint isn’t necessarily saintly. I can strive to embody that bodily-pleasure-denying figure when I feel I ought to, but if there are times when other ways of being seem more challenging and potentially rewarding to me then I can choose to take on those forms instead. And, yes, that can include a bodily-pleasure-embracing figure (out of my typical pleasure-deprivation conflict, I wrote, “… I think your resistance to eating shows that you ought to do it.”). I will spare you of descriptions of such a person for now. ;)
I think I overall feel more accepting of my role within reality. Perhaps it sounds paradoxical, but I think I’ve become more comfortable with challenging myself (well, as much as one can improve in a matter of two days), which is basically what this role consists of. My socially conditioned assumptions have particularly come into question (not that this is new), such as that I indeed must get a job to make money and that I ought to continue my schooling (which I feel more ambivalent about than jobbing).
I feel that I’ve generally improved at settling questions and concerns that are stressful and at reassuring myself. For example, in observation of my apparent and overall directionless-ness (typical of someone my age, I would think) I wrote, “I am limitless. There are many directions in which I am currently pulled. In each moment I have a number of viable choices. To that I say: You’ve got it, baby. Life is in your hands.” Perhaps you can tell that my conversations with myself have a bit of spice to them, to say the least. :P
The words of my notes don’t all seem particularly reflective of life-changing thoughts, but for me these words bring me back to the feeling of revelation that I had in the moment—and it seems that I’ve had quite a few revelations and/or reinforcements of past revelations in the last 48 hours. And all from one belief. I dig it. J
Again, this is not to say that I have been free of negative emotions—that would be a disgusting lie. Things I disagree with (my own thoughts, feelings, and actions above all else) seem to have stood out more in my attention than usual. On top of that, I sometimes experience various pains in my body when I feel distressed, and these pains have likewise been more frequent and noticeable than in my previous experiences.
What has changed for the better, however, is that I have been able to respond to them from a broader perspective (“higher self,” if you like) both more consistently and more strongly. In short, when I get upset I more quickly remember that I am responsible and able for doing something about whatever may be bringing me pain. I have a more proactive outlook.
More responsible and able I do feel indeed: I’ve had a generally stronger sense of possibility than usual. In particular, my faith in my body’s ability to heal is steadily being restored, and I’ve more readily recognized the physical strengths I already do have. I also tried out a minor belief experiment at the casino today: it should suffice to say that $11 of free-play no longer exists (at least, not in my reality!). J
At least yesterday, I was more civil than usual. Normally where I might be hostile to other people for apparently trying to get me to act in their self-interest, I thought, “Well, I don’t have to agree with her. If she’s trying to persuade me to a certain action or viewpoint I can merely recognize it—I don’t have to battle it.” I wondered if my ego seems less at stake now.
Just as some seemingly-negative things have stood out more to me lately, moments where I feel overwhelmingly positive have increased also. Noticing the small details of things, such as the stitching in the lampshade next to me, can be enough to amaze me and make me smile. It’s interesting that as my perspective broadens I become more attentive to tiny things. I wrote yesterday, “For a moment, I feel blessed with abundance and love.” Tear-jerking, darling.
And I’ve also been more of a smart aleck than usual in my writing! Pretty fabulous, eh? So much so that my attempts at humor are failing now.
It’s been at least a bit easier to contend with my subjective experience. Perhaps that’s not the clearest way to put it (heh). What I mean is that, instead of having to logically think word for word about something, I’m more content to simply let thoughts arise on their own and go minimally-processed. I wrote, “To make a decision I laid down for a moment, cleared my mind, and let the thought arise.”
What does the Belief Mean to me?
I feel that I can keep this section short, but… We’ll see.
On Day 1 I wrote, “It makes sense to me now that this belief is key to being a lightworker. If you want to make a quantum leap to the side of love this belief is crucial.” In Belief Experimentation, I wrote, “Love is based on the collective interest, so it can be called subjective or subject-based self-interest. It focuses on elevating collective consciousness and is thus dedicated to the service of self and others together.”
It does indeed make sense that feeling more secure (which logically follows from this belief) would allow someone to experience and express general feelings of love more.
When you feel insecure you are concerned primarily with your immortality (and the possible meaninglessness of existence that may follow), and are thus trying to protect yourself.
But when there is a meaning to your life that entails contributing to and existing in some entity that is beyond your physical form that life becomes more fun and curious than brutish, and you will more readily dedicate yourself to exploration and to love.
I suspect that at the logical end of this belief and similar others I hold there is boundless joy. Interestingly (and perhaps obviously), it seems that I can use these beliefs to contend with the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors I have which defy these beliefs. In this way beliefs are self-perpetuating.
I know what you’re thinking—that sounds powerful, yet dangerous. Isn’t that just silly ol’ belief confirmation? Shouldn’t I constantly be looking to test my beliefs?
No fear, my dear—just because I claim to have a belief doesn’t mean that I will never examine it again. It is through experiments such as these that I put beliefs to the test. My hope is that I will try on perspectives from which I can challenge my current belief system, though first I would like to test, potentially strengthen, and expand that belief system from the inside.
On that note, I will next take on a belief which is more low-level, seemingly selfish, and likely irritating to the socially conditioned perspective: money has no power.
And I’ll just throw out there that I entertained the idea of taking on a bear’s perspective for two days, but decided it would not be in the interest of society. Perhaps another creature will be more socially fitting. Hm…