When we are little, a lot of stuff gets stuffed in our heads. Since we start out as little more than inept monkeys, that makes a lot of sense. Someone has to show us how all this human stuff works.
We start out with the basics: what to touch, what not to touch, how to communicate, what to eat, what to drink, how to pee and poop. All very useful and necessary stuff.
Somewhere down the road, we are taught a whole bunch of stuff that we are suppose to believe. If we’ve been raised half way decent, some morals and ethics have been poured into our empty empty little heads. Often that comes with a religious framework of some sort.
Of course, the whole belief thing is reinforced by our community. If we grew up around people who hate or love something, we pick that up too. We might grow up believing in democracy, or theocracy, or the Republican party, and Santa Claus . . . wait, maybe only Democrats believe in Santa. Republicans believe in Satan.
So there we are, many years later, our heads no longer little and no longer empty. We are all grown up and totally programmed. You do know you’ve all been programmed, right?
Here’s where the belief inventory comes in. Grownups can and should self program. Once in a while we should examine our beliefs and see if they still make any sense to us. Just because it might have make sense to our parents and grandparents doesn’t mean it’s still useful to us. Conditions change.
I’m not saying that you have to throw out all your programing. Be aware that it is programing -something poured into a blank mind. Once you assess your beliefs, then you can see if there is any basis for them. Maybe all you’ll actually do is monitor your beliefs to see if they are still useful. If a better belief comes along, you might want to consider going with that.
My dad surprised me when he changed a long held belief that he grew up with. Dad was raised in a strict Catholic household. Now in his 70s, he suddenly believes in reincarnation.
I said, “Dad, where does that come from?”
“From nature,” he said. “Everything in the world is reused. Plants are eaten by animals. Animals die and fertilize plants. Nothing is ever destroyed, only changed. Now I can’t imagine God making a whole new soul just because some chick gets herself knocked up. He’s going to take one that’s not being used at the moment and recycle it in a new body.”
Maybe he’s right. Maybe he’s wrong. The point is, he changed a long held belief. (much to my surprise.) In his old age, this new belief somehow brings comfort to him. It’s useful and doesn’t hurt anyone.
Before you laugh too loud, take inventory of your beliefs and see if they are still useful, or even believable.
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