“I’m totally made up” – Interview with Beliefs

“I’m totally made up” – Interview with Beliefs

Hey Beliefs! Who are you and what do you do?

Hello everyone. My name is Beliefs. 

You humans see me as some kind of special thing. But I am just thoughts, which are thunk over and over, becoming a habit. 

Is thunk a word?

I’m not sure if it is a word but it’s fine with me. So you’re a special thing huh? What do you mean by that?

I’ve been assigned special importance by the humans. I am just like all the other thoughts, but the humans have elevated me as some kind of ‘thought royalty’. This means I get extra attention. I get played with, scrutinised and investigated. 

Why have the humans chosen beliefs as ‘thought royalty’?

I don’t know for sure, you’ll have to ask them, but I think it’s because I look really compelling. Like, humans can generally have a feel for some thoughts being false or exaggerated or silly. But no, not me. 

I am a thought that is believed, hence the name Beliefs. Because I am believed, the humans no longer think of me as a thought, they think of me as something which is true. 

Then they think me over and over and over again. So I become a habit.

Beliefs are said to shape the entire life of a human. Can you believe that? Shape their entire life!

No pressure then [rolls eyes]

Yes, I’ve seen that on the internet. So are you saying that Beliefs don’t shape our lives?

You know what? I guess they will if you believe they will! The belief that Beliefs shape the life of a human is just another belief [giggles]

And a belief is just a thought, that is thought so much it becomes a habit… as I already said above but I really want to emphasise that point. 

Tell me more about the ‘just a thought’ thing. Aren’t thoughts pretty important too?

Oh Siobhán [shakes head sadly]. Where do I begin with this? Thoughts are uncontrollable, arbitrary, ephemeral, impersonal little wisps of imagination. But you humans take them WAY too seriously.

You all think they are important. You think your thoughts are necessary for navigating life. You think you need your thinking to make decisions, do work, know what to eat, who to hang out with, how to spend time. 

Are you saying we don’t need our thoughts to navigate life? 

That’s exactly what I’m saying.

Then how on earth are we supposed to …do stuff? And decide stuff? And live? If not from our thinking?

You know how nature just unfolds? Enormous trees grow from tiny seeds, flowers point themselves toward the sun, human babies grow in a womb from a smattering of cells, planets spin, birds migrate, and about a billion other cool things?

Well those things happen without thought as we know it. 

You humans are part of that nature. There’s a …something….within you all that’s driving you to thrive. Some people call it intuition, wisdom, an inner knowing, or many other names. 

That….something….allows you to navigate life, not your thinking. In fact, it’s my opinion that your thinking gets in the way of all that cool shit and can stop many of you from thriving. 

OK. I do like what you’re saying here, but we are getting off the topic of what Beliefs are and what you do

But maybe that’s not a bad thing, Siobhán, because what I’m alluding to is that messing around trying to figure out what I am and what I do could be unnecessary and irrelevant. 

What if you humans stop trying to make thought more complicated by elevating some of it, like Beliefs, in importance, and instead look toward the amazingness of what’s happening BEFORE all that human thought? 

Look, I get you Beliefs. But there’s a lot of humans out there who are being told in no uncertain terms that their Beliefs are important, Beliefs shape their lives, they need to uncover their Beliefs and change them if necessary in order to have a better life. Can you speak to that?

[sighs] Yes, if it helps. 

All of the chat around Beliefs – their importance, the need to change limiting ones, to believe new, cool, shit – is rooted in a misunderstanding about thoughts. 

When humans think that WHAT they think is really important, that what they think will inform their actions in life and their overall happiness and all of that stuff, then no wonder there’s such a thing as Beliefs. No wonder people go to such efforts to examine and change beliefs, IF that’s what they think is shaping their experience as a human.  

But here’s the thing. As I said above, thoughts – which include Beliefs of course – are just an ephemeral, impersonal energy that we think look important and meaningful. But they aren’t. 

When the humans see that for themselves, it doesn’t make sense to look for and change beliefs, create and practice new ones and all of that. 

So what should a human do if they do have ‘limiting’ beliefs? 

Humans don’t have beliefs. I mean this to be helpful, so please listen and don’t just think I’m being a pedantic old crone, which I know it kind of sounds like I am. 

Beliefs, again, are thoughts. Thoughts taken as true, thoughts assumed as facts. But thoughts are just energy. You can’t pick them up. You can’t hold them. A Belief – a thought – is only ‘true’ while the person has it in their mind at that moment, believing it is true. 

Ok, Ok. But let’s say someone experiences this thought a lot. What can they do about THAT?

Great question because this is where some cool shit can happen for a human. When they insightfully see the nature of thought for what it is, the so-called ‘Belief’ just looks and feels completely different. 

The thing that they were thinking habitually just falls away. 

So, if someone kept thinking they weren’t brave enough to change careers because they are ‘a fearful person’, and that person saw how thought works and behaves in a completely fresh way, they wouldn’t have to do anything about being fearful… or about being brave. 

They would see that they are having habitual thinking, and that the nature of thought is fluid and transitory. 

How do humans see the nature of thought in a new way, then?

The first thing is to come to this with curiosity and fresh eyes. 

Don’t try and make too much sense of what I’m really saying. I know, that sounds silly huh? Humans are always trying to figure things out and intellectualise. Just relax.

Consider that how you thought ‘thought’ works is not true. Having space for seeing something new can come from throwing out what you already know. 

Notice how thought comes. All thought, regardless of the content. Notice how it slips away. Notice how you innocently hold it in place when it looks compelling, or looks like it needs a solution

Notice the nuance around your ‘sticky’ thought, or Belief if that’s what we’re calling them. Notice how on one day it looks like a hard fact that you are too fearful to change careers. Notice how on another day, there’s a teeny, tiny dot of doubt about that and you wonder if you might be able to with the right support. 

Notice how you may dismiss that second one and go back to the first one. That’s the habit at play. 

What is this telling you about the fluid nature of thought? 

I saw you interviewed Insight, Siobhán. People could read that for a bit more direction into seeing thought in a new way. 

Yes, they could, I’ll link that above. What’s a popular belief doing the circuit right now that would make a big impact if seen as just habitual, untrue thinking?

Oh good one!!! This would be the Belief around what someone’s behaviour means. 

This is enormous! 

It’s when someone thinks a person would be behaving in a certain way if they thought a certain thing. 

Examples: A boss would tell an employee they liked their work if they did like their work. 

A potential partner would always return messages that day if they liked the other person. 

A friend would check in on another friend if they truly cared about them. 

What if none of that was true? We have no idea why other people do or don’t do things, but we make up what they should/would/could and it causes humans a lot of unnecessary pain. What if you all just stopped making it all up and just see how it unfolds? 

Hah! That would be interesting, especially around dating. OK, what’s the best thing about being Beliefs?

The best thing is actually when I stop being Beliefs! I love it when a human sees the nature of thought and realises that the only thing holding their ‘belief’ in place was their belief – which is a habitual thought. 

It changes everything. 

And what’s the worst thing about being Beliefs?

It’s frustrating to see people innocently keep themselves miserable by continuing to believe thoughts which may have been informed by past events. Like things that happened in school, things their parents told them, difficult times they went through. 

People are not a product of their past. 

There is incredible freedom from people seeing the nature of thought for what it is – fluid, arbitrary, impersonal, ephemeral. 

What’s your favourite way to relax after a long day of being Beliefs?

I like to play the trumpet in my underwear. 

Oh…good for you. If you had to leave the humans with just one message today, what would it be?

Beliefs aren’t a thing, dear human. Look away from WHAT you are thinking about to the fact THAT you think. Get curious about the nature of thought. 

That’s more like two things but I’ll allow it. Thanks for joining us today, Beliefs. See you soon I guess! 

What do you think about what Beliefs had to say? Good points, or total rubbish? Let me know here.