Any cognitive content held as true
A vague idea in which some confidence is placed
Let us accept god and move on.
Let’s us not fight over whether he does or does not exist.
Let us accept that there is a creator and no creator.
Let us accept that he could be a she, or even indeterminate.
Let us accept the possibility that we have created god in our own image not the other way round.
Let us accept that the universe is indivisible.
Let us accept we are alive and have great work to do on this planet.
Let belief come to an end, for it is futile.
Many people have asked me if I believe in god, and whether I have faith (a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny). I have often replied “Do I need to believe in god and have faith to develop compassion and insight, and live a life free of violence filled with joy and love?” “Hmmm, don’t know,” was generally the answer to that question, but at least it shut them up! It’s not that I don’t like questions on belief, it is that they seem to come from the same source as questions such as “why don’t you eat meat?” in that the questioner is not looking for a serious dialogue into the subject, but merely wants to argue their case, and prove are right; because it is very important to be right, you see. Especially in the society we live in.
“How can you not believe in god, alan? Jesus christ was crucified and died for our sins. How can you not believe!”
I have heard it a million times. But why is no one prepared to question this? Why is everyone so scared?
Perhaps because we are the most violent species on earth, and we kill for our beliefs!
The dictionary definition of belief says “a vague idea in which some confidence is placed,” so why is this belief in god so strong that sometimes it makes people kill to uphold it?
We should ask someone who died for it. Someone who took their own life to kill others. They are dead of course, but we can still communicate with them without the use of a medium.
Me: So what made you decide to strap the explosives to your body?
Bomber: To kill the unbelievers.
Me: Did you not think there was a better way in life, than killing innocent people?
Bomber: There was no other way. They were not innocent.
Me: In what way were they not innocent? They were women, and children, and men going about their daily business.
Bomber: But they were infidels (a person who does not acknowledge your god); they deserved to die.
Me: Who said? Your god or your leader?
Bomber: It was god’s will.
Me: Yes, but who told you to do it? What made you believe them; that killing was right?
Bomber: I knew it was the right thing to do.
Me: But you blew yourself to bits and killed people who had families. People who had loved ones, people just like you.
Bomber: There was no other way.
Me: Do you not think god is someone who loves all beings?
Bomber: That is unimportant. What is important is that the infidels were killed.
Me: Do you regret doing it? For the suffering you caused to your family as well?
Bomber: My family is unimportant. What is important is killing anyone who is an unbeliever.
Me: I am an unbeliever would you have killed me?
Me: How did you feel just before you detonated the bomb?
Bomber: I felt great; like I was doing god’s work.
Me: I can’t listen to this any more.
So although that was a fictional conversation, we can see that belief is a powerful force. Belief is all the cells in your mind aligned in an unmovable pattern. How else can we accept that a woman who was healthy, loved by her family, and who was studying at university ended her life by suicide for the express purpose of killing as many others as she could? She was, she believed, a martyr (one who suffers for the sake of principle), and would be accepted into gods kingdom as some kind of hero. But what kind of god would want to cause death and suffering? If a god was so powerful that he managed to create the earth with all its beauty; with plants, flowers, animals, lakes, rivers, and mountains; why would he be interested in someone killing on his behalf?
Would a god not be horrified to see the destruction caused by killing?
Let us go into this carefully. If god, who is known as the creator, wanted that, then why would he have bothered to go to all the trouble to create so much beauty – when violence is the complete opposite? Was he at heart, a cruel god, who liked to see so much suffering carried out in his name? No. I’m afraid this is man’s work. The hand of god had no part to play in it. It is just like men to blame someone else for their wrong deeds. Men are the ones who desire power over others, who need to control and subjugate.
Killing others for belief, lies not in the realm of the gods, but firmly in the mind – the mind of men, not gods. It is convenient to blame some invisible force that everyone believes in for your work, as it adds a kind of eternal authority to the whole thing, leaving you completely blameless (in your eyes).
It is interesting to consider that this creator of all things (who looks like us of course) is actually extremely intolerant of anyone who says a bad word against him! It seems childish that one who is capable of making mountains and oceans is afraid of someone not believing in him or believing in a different god! He obviously never heard the children’s rhyme “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me!”
I am asking you in all seriousness now. Why would this powerful, eternal, omnipresent being be afraid of people saying something he didn’t like or not believing in him? He is the creator of all, including love and compassion; surely he shows compassion, love, and tolerance to all things?
You may think this is a stupid discussion, and the belief in your mind is urging you to put the book down in case it reads anything else it doesn’t like, but I ask you to continue with me. Is the belief in your mind planted there by god or by man?
Don’t think, just answer.
If it was planted in your mind by god, why was it not planted in the mind of the ones you call infidels or unbelievers? Are they worse people than you; are they not worthy of believing in your god? Does your god not like them, or was it just that they were born in a different part of the world with different traditions, and different conditioning? What is your answer?
Why do I believe?
Why? Because when you were born your parents told you were a christian, a sikh, a jew, or a muslim; for no other reason. Do you follow?
As you grew up you were forced to read texts which were written by prophets or disciples of god, and you followed them. You had to. You were forced to. You had to obey your teachers and your parents, or they would punish you. You were indoctrinated into this by men.
Powerful men who only had their own interests at heart. Do you see? As you got older, your brain started to believe this conditioning, after all, you had no other information to go on. So you started to believe that it was you who decided to believe in god. You thought there was personal choice in this, but it was already predestined for you – not by god, but by those who conditioned you.
Underneath the conditioning you are free – free to explore any theory that comes before you. But until you release yourself from this conditioning, you will be like the suicide bomber we had a conversation with a few moments ago. Unmovable, unshakeable from her position: brainwashed into belief.
I feel sorry, not only for those who feel they must kill on behalf of their god, but those of us who suffer as the result of belief, which is just a conditioned pattern in the brain; nothing more. I am sorry to shatter your illusions, but find out for yourself; do not believe me. I am not telling the truth, you can only find out what the truth is for yourself; through insight, not by reading books, however sacred you hold them to be. If you feel scared, there is always one person you can believe in, and that is yourself; because it is the only authentic belief that there is.
Belief in yourself as a compassionate loving human being, free from violence and turmoil in the mind, filled with joy, living in the moment. There can be nothing more beautiful than that.
Belief is only the gate keeper that stops you from experiencing it.
Find the key.