“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”
The beliefs that we hold literally create our reality right in front of us. Anything down to your career, your relationships, your goals and aspirations and even your sense of self as a whole are all really subjective belief systems, a sort of amalgamation of the constant influx of stimuli you’ve been exposed to since day one. understanding this not just as some ideology but at an experiential level is going to allow you to see how your mind came to be the way it is, how your points of view and opinions have been formulated the way they have, how your decision-making ability has been formulated the way it has and in a big way how your value systems and motivations have been formulated the way they have.
So, what really makes up a belief system? What makes a belief what it is, and how does it get there? To explain this I want to use an analogy of a sponge. Imagine that as a baby your mind is like this sponge, completely dry and untouched you literally know nothing, your whole experience of life is nothing but a sort of existential emptiness, but some time goes by and as it does your sponge mind is dipped little by little into various puddles (Belief systems) a dab of this here, that there and overtime those liquids in the sponge begin to change the makeup of the sponge, in the sense that it no longer exists as that same dry empty state, but now as a variety of different stimuli that over time becomes your “Personality” your “point of view” or “world view”. This can be a beautiful thing and it is literally the stuff that makes you up as a person, this is beautiful in the sense that it can teach you right from wrong, it can teach you how to take care of yourself, how to pursue interests and passions, to build worthwhile and empowering relationships, and overall to create the life that you want to live, the life you were meant to live. Now obviously that all sounds wonderful and something I’m sure we all absolutely love the idea of and who knows maybe your sponge was dipped in all the right spots at all the right times, maybe you absorbed just what you needed to become a healthy and well-balanced human being who is capable of creating that life that you want to live. But now for the catch, the chances of that are slim, really slim, in fact, the odds are way more likely to be in the favour of you absorbing all sorts of very limiting and unhealthy belief systems, coming from family, friends and society as a whole. So what to do about this? How can one break out of a cycle like this? In a nutshell Awareness. The way you would break out of these traps and these confines, is awareness, you become aware that this is your situation and that a whole lot of your belief systems are corrupt and for the most part reflections of the belief systems of those around you. So start with the little things, taking the time to contemplate over what it is you want out of life, figuring out the steps you would need to take to achieve these things and then yes for the most part coming to the realisation little by little that the only thing stopping you is your own belief systems!
Another way of saying this would be, imagine a prisoner with multiple personalities and in this particular case, this guy is the prisoner, the guards and the warden. Now as the prisoner this guy feels trapped, depressed, confused and he wants out, and he’s gonna spend all his time here talking about how his life sucks and how he’s trapped and there’s nothing he can do, and in a certain sense, he’s completely right! As the prisoner, he is completely trapped and completely confined, because that’s what he believes! But what about as the warden? When he’s the warden, well when he’s the warden, of course, he doesn’t feel trapped, of course, he doesn’t feel confined or bored or whatever else, because as the warden he understands that he has control over the situation and that those metal bars have nothing to do with him. If you don’t want to be in that cage it’s as simple as that… Just realise that you’re not trapped and that what you think is real and what you feel is set in stone, may not be absolute truth. Or I could be full of shit, maybe you are completely confined and this is all just mumbo jumbo, who knows?
Rambled on for quite a bit there, let me know how you feel about all this jazz, and thankyou for reading.