Updated: Jan 24, 2021
BATTLE OF BELIEFS
I often have felt like George Carlin who said (I’m paraphrasing) “I don’t feel like a member of the human species. I feel connected to protons and atoms, though…”
What is it that makes me feel separate?
When it appears the world is going to “hell in a hand-basket,” why don’t people believe what I tell them? Why don’t they store food and get prepared like I do? Why do they not even want to listen to me anymore? I feel alone on a street corner, holding a sign that proclaims “Doom!” and what’s worse is I sound like some nutcase. Chicken Little. The sky is falling. “Look,” I beg them, “here’s a piece of the sky. It fell down yesterday ….”
Or as my son Nathan complained to me poetically:
“The financial collapse, coming sooner than you think.
Don’t watch CNN, MSNBC, or Fox, because they all stink.
Get out of the cities and buy a farm.
A psychotic government intends you harm.
First goes the euro, then comes the dollar.
Buy silver and gold, this I must holler.
Coming soon, food riots and civil unrest
Will put our Constitution to the test.
Or just watch football and Dancing with the Stars.
Take your anti-depression pills and fill up the bars.”
But then, on the opposite spectrum, I warn of impending miracles. We can make a change in consciousness. One person can make a difference. Together we can help our beautiful earth recover, endure, and heal. Our species can survive, along with all the other wonderful species we’re joined with.
What makes me feel as though I’m “blowing in the wind” as Bob Dylan sang?
I think it’s because the main war on this planet seems to be a Battle of Beliefs.
Christian versus Muslim versus Jew versus Hindu versus atheist versus pagan.
Conservative versus Progressive versus Green versus save-the-whales versus save-the-corporations.
MSNBC versus Fox News versus The Daily Show.
Female versus male.
Young versus old.
Conservation versus keeping-all-your-lights-burning.
Rich versus poor.
Name brand versus thrift store.
Organic versus agri-business.
Us versus them.
But it’s worse than that. We’re having a Tower of Babel convergence of Beliefs – a Bottleneck of Beliefs, a Bombardment of Beliefs, with so many people simultaneously saying so many different things, it’s dizzying and confusing. What’s true? What’s not?
My belief is better than your belief.
My belief is real. Yours is shit.
You must be crazy to believe like that.
You’ll go to hell if you believe in that.
You’ll go to heaven if you believe in this.
You’ll be miserable if you believe in that.
You’ll be happy if you buy this.
You’re doomed if you don’t believe this.
The Battle of Beliefs makes ordinary people, even friends, into enemies. Enemies are dehumanized individuals who are easy to devalue, push to the sidelines, even murder. How do many Americans think of Iraqis and Afghanis? Or Middle Easterners or Muslims? Remember Bosnia and “ethnic cleansing?” How do Israelis think of Palestinians? How about Rwanda, where the Hutus regarded the Tutsis as cockroaches. How difficult is it to squash a cockroach?
But --- what if all feelings and thoughts and beliefs are created equal?
What if nobody’s wrong?
What if everyone’s right?!
That would be a relief.
What if each of us lives in our own separate reality? And in this reality, a separate universe that each of us inhabits, everything is true and correct and real.
I can believe in a horrible collapse of our civilization. And I’m right.
I can believe we are creating a wonderful, miraculous shift into a golden age. And I’m still right.
Which reality do I choose to live in?
Or do I straddle the fence?
Weighing my options?
Hedging my bets?
That means that no matter what a person says to me, I can simply reply, “You’re right.”
Is that mind-blowing? Can I do it? Do I need to do it?
That means that:
Mother Theresa was right.
Saddam Hussein was right.
G.W. Bush was right.
Ghandi was right.
That means that all my enemies and all my friends -- and all those 8 billion people I don’t even know – are right.
That means I don’t have to fight over, argue, debate anything. I don’t have to fight my own Battle of Beliefs anymore. I’m not better than you. I’m not better – or worse – than anyone. I am purely, simply, distinctly equal. The same as everyone. Existing in my own wonderful (or awful) universe, as each person lives in his or hers. Whatever my universe is, I’m right.
That means that peace exists out beyond the field of battle. In the verdant meadow beyond the Battle of Beliefs lies peaceful co-existence. Co-operation. Harmony. Community. Oneness. Absolute equality.
Scientists and quantum physicists have done experiments over the last decade or so and have concluded that “everything is connected to everything.” Many ancient religions and spiritual traditions concur. That means that even if I believe I’m separate from everyone, every event, every blessing, every awful tragedy, I’m not. My personal universe is connected, invisibly and un-detachedly with every other personal universe, whether I want to be or not, whether I like it or not.
That puts a different spin on my world. The “blame game” comes to an end. There is no one to blame for the world’s problems: climate change, pollution of water, earth and air, too many people, too much money and power in the hands of a few, or economic collapse. “Somebody else will fix those problems,” I can say. “It’s not my worry.”
But – if everything is connected to everything, while I live in my own universe of beliefs, then the only one to hold responsible (not guilty) in my universe -- is me. And the only one who can fix my universe is me. And the only one who can alter my beliefs is me. And changing my beliefs can change my universe. Changing my beliefs does change my universe. I’ve tried it, and experienced miracles.
Miracles live in a peaceful pasture outside the Battle of Beliefs. Come join me.
Originally posted at galdepress.com April 2014
Excerpt -- Copyright COSMIC GRANDMA WISDOM 2018