“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found in writing in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” ~Quotes of Wisdom – 99 Buddha’s Quotes by Raja Vishuoadi
Do Not Believe What You Hear
Thee are several reasons to not believe something simply because you heard someone say it. Have you ever walked into a room where some people are having a conversation? You try to guess what it is about when you have heard only a small part of it. Later, you find out your guess was completely wrong. Or did you ever try the exercise in school where the teacher whispers something to the person in the front of the room, who then turns and repeats it to the person behind them until it reaches that last person? If you have, you know that what the last person heard is very different from what the teacher said. This happens even when you know what the exercise is about and make a concerted effort to be accurate. But the biggest reason is that just because people are saying something doesn’t make it true or right. Rumors often spread faster than truth, and with more believers. As the quote says, simply because many are talking about a thing doesn’t make it true. Then, of course, there are those things that are true but are none of our business. We love to gossip about others and look down on others, at least a majority of us, but it is unwise. We neither improve ourselves or others by gossiping about them.
Do Not believe what You See
We also know that the eyes can be tricked so just because we see something doesn’t make it true. One of my favorite examples of this is the works of street art that make it appear as if there is a great hole in the sidewalk, or a monster crawling out of the ground. It is all illusion, none of it is real. The pat so few of us understand is that even those things that are not intentional illusion nevertheless are. Virtually nothing in the material world is what it appears to be. This is backed by the science of Quantum Physics which teaches that the entire physical universe is but a hologram.
Do Not Believe in Traditions
If you have never watched the movie, Fiddler on the Roof, you should make the effort to do so. It is more than a musical about a poor Russian Jew and his family. It is a tale of a man who lives by tradition and when his daughters and friends start to bend and even break those traditions he has a hard time adjusting.
We may not call them traditions, but we all have beliefs that we got from our parents who got them from our grandparents and on back possibly several more generations. These beliefs may have been true at one time, but no longer are. Others never were true, but we have stuck with them anyway. We need to question them all. We need to be open to proof that what we believe is simply not true. Atheists cannot find any proof of God no matter where they look. It is not because the evidence doesn’t exist, but because their beliefs don’t allow them to see the evidence. If you do not believe it, you will not see it.
Do Not Believe Teachers
This is especially true of materialistic teachers. But even with spiritual teachers, we should only believe so much. If they try to tell you in detail everything that you will find in the spiritual realms once you have truly awakened your spirit and soul, they should not be listened to. These are things that no person, no matter how enlightened, can tell you. You must learn them from experience. The job of the spiritual teacher or guru is to teach you how to awaken your spiritual faculties and how to protect yourselves from the demons that are likely to be after you when you do. What your awakened soul sees in those realms should be open to your own experiences. And any firm beliefs you hold about them in advance will block you from seeing spiritual things as they truly are.
Do Not Believe Others
In summary, we should not believe the experiences of others, particularly in spiritual matters. We can accept that they had those experiences, but that doesn’t mean we will have the same experiences. We have to stay open-minded when approaching the spiritual and gain knowledge and wisdom for ourselves, not from others.