I have great trouble with the word believe. The definition is to accept that something is true, especially without proof. So, the problem is that we are taking a concept and accepting it without all the facts.
So, I set myself a challenge, the “believe” challenge.
Now let me challenge you; can you remove the word “believe” from your vocabulary altogether?
Your first response is probably, ‘Why?’
Because when you believe something is true, it closes off all other possibilities. I asked of myself who am I to assume I know enough to discount that which I do not know? Who are we to assume we have enough information to know everything?
Let’s get this right though: the next time you are crossing the road, don’t “not” believe there is a car coming when you see it, that’s not what I’m talking about.
Philosophically, we should have an open mind on what is true and what might not be true. There is a level of reality that you should accept, but that doesn’t mean there is not a lot more out there that we can’t yet perceive. Getting this balance right is often misjudged by alternative believers and spiritualists who recognise that there is a grander existence, but then tend to ignore some of the more obvious facts about living in today’s world.
So how does this work?
The universe is made up of particles (matter) that in turn is made up of energy that vibrates on frequencies. At the base level matter and energy are interchangeable.
So nothing is absolute or how we perceive it in its truest form, not only can we not perceive it as it really is we alter it even if we do. The simple act of observation at quantum level changes what we observe.
When we alter patterns of our own behaviour, we are changing the universe in some way, no matter how small, the complexity of this is incalculable and we don’t have the ability to mathematically predict the future by measuring all cause and effect.
We cannot know it all. We have a limited physical brain after all, and we don’t even use what we have to its full capacity.
So, we should accept the facts in our reality (logic) and explore the rest, learn, and remain open about the very nature of our universe.
In the spirit of what I have said above then we know there are many people in the world who believe in religion and God. They take on as gospel the teachings without all the required facts. We call it faith.
Most say they have faith and faith is important, for example I need to have faith that the bridge is not going to fall down before a cross it.
I use my own reference points from the past to test this, the bridge has never fallen in the past, so I have faith that it won’t this time either.
I don't do structural tests and inspect the plans every time I cross, life would be impossible to live that way. However, I do need to apply critical thinking to these decisions throughout my life.
Science is a magnificent discipline as it applies testing, experimenting, calculations and a multitude of peer reviews, before any theory is accepted and even more before a theory can be proven.
Until then it remains a theory and available for further discussion and exploration. I feel life would be far easier if more of us were to apply the same discipline.
So my challenge to you is to refrain from using the word believe as much as possible, instead be honest with those you speak to and say you feel this might be true or going on past evidence it seems apparent that.
Besides being more accurate with your words this exercise will train your mind to remain open to possibilities you have yet to see and explore.
Acceptance in life is important but in equal measure I suggest you also maintain your interest and curiosity.