“Questioning one’s beliefs requires courage. As the late, great Christian singer/songwriter Rich Mullins stated so beautifully in his song “Creed,” “…I believe what I believe/Is what makes me what I am.” If his assertion is a universal truth, the simple act of questioning your beliefs has the potential to strip away your very essence. The process may entail discarding some or all of your beliefs and spiritual constructs, such as God, saints, angels, Heaven and Hell, as well as adopting new ones that are completely alien to you. Moreover, the Seeker’s path can be agonizingly lonely. Leaving the religion in which you were raised can eliminate a support system that you may have taken for granted, including clergy and congregants, family and friends. It may even lead to being ostracized by those same people, including loved ones who believe that abandoning your faith will condemn your soul to eternal damnation.
In light of all this, why would anyone choose to embark on such a spiritual journey? While everyone has a different answer to that question, some common reasons include:
● Rejection of the premise that the Bible or other religious texts were divinely inspired or are the “literal Word of God”
● Repudiation of doctrines that you find personally objectionable or abhorrent, such as the inequality of women in many religions, condemnation of homosexuality and gay marriage or the assertion that anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their specific theology will be damned
● A sense that your current religion’s theology doesn’t resonate with your innate belief system. For example: The concept of being “saved” would be meaningless to someone who doesn’t believe that mankind requires salvation.
● Aversion to organized religion
● Exposure to other faiths and belief systems through education, social contacts, travel, the media and the internet Every spiritual journey is unique and intensely personal.” ~Judie Sigdel and Shu-Hsien Lee
In many cases, it is a realization that we need to question our beliefs that is the first step in our spiritual awakening process. But when that isn’t the first thing that sends us on a path of enlightenment, it is an important step in awakening. Some will say that the only things they believe are those which are true. Both spiritual and psychological studies say otherwise.
Even if we are not aware of them, we have far more beliefs than we realize. It is not just beliefs about religion and politics. We have many beliefs that we don’t even think of as such.
Our everyday beliefs are just as much a part of the problem of being limited by beliefs as major ones. We loved to sing when we were small children. At some point, however, we may have been told that our singing was bad. Maybe more than one person said that. It is now recorded in our subconscious mind and we believe it completely, even if it isn’t true. So you now avoid singing in front of others.
You may have been told in art class in grade school that your art left much to be desired. With good art lessons, you could have become a good artist. But you accepted the teacher’s opinion and it became a belief. So you didn’t study art even though it was something you enjoyed.
Some other things we might hear that become everyday beliefs include: “Your not pretty enough to be a cheerleader,” “Your not strong enough to be on the football team,” “You dress like a homeless person,” or “Your too lazy to ever make anything of yourself”. The people who say these things don’t realize they are programming beliefs into your subconscious mind, but they are. These beliefs, as with the major ones, need to be reevaluated if we wish to become spiritual. We may not have to get rid of all such limiting beliefs, but the more we remove, the fewer obstacles we have to jump over.
It is commonly taught in psychology that in order to change our limiting beliefs, we must first dig down into the subconscious and find them all. But there is some strong evidence that this is not truly necessary.
As a retired software engineer, I can assure you that it isn’t always necessary to know why a computer program is not doing what you want it too. Sometimes, the best way to fix it is to simply replace it with a new program. There is evidence that the same idea works with the subconscious mind. This method is usually a lot faster than digging into the existing beliefs/programs and fixing them.
Suppose you believe that you are a poor singer. Using visualization, you could practice seeing yourself singing in front of others, and they think you are a good singing. If you can do this convincingly, this program will eventually replace the false belief.
Perhaps you have a fear of public speaking. This may be because of some incident that happened when you were just a child and you don’t remember it. You don’t have to know why you have the belief if you can simply replace it through visualization. This has been scientifically proven to work. But sometimes, we can’t get rid of these long-held beliefs by ourselves. We may have to get assistance from a hypnotist or a form of applied Kinesiology. I have personally found the programs of Psych-K to work well. I took one of their basic seminars to rid myself of a fear of heights and it worked well.