Burning Bibles: Our Beliefs May Be the Source of Our Problems

September 14, 2010 | By | Add a Comment

Don’t believe everything you think. Our collective beliefs create the equivalent of a bubble that surrounds us. This bubble represents our conditioned past and it gets in the way of us experiencing life as it unfolds in each moment. It occludes our vision and prevents us from experiencing the world objectively.

We naturally tend to surround ourselves with people who support our thinking. Given this tendency, with time, our bubble grows thicker and we selectively take in information that supports our beliefs. As we age, our eccentricities accentuate and we become more rigid.

Our bubble causes us to think dualistically. This is the thinking that sorts things into judgments of good or bad and right or wrong buckets. To perceive non-dualistically we must transcend our bubble. When we do, we are able to see the big picture. We can empathize and see others’ perspectives.

Transcending our bubble takes practice. The best remedy for bubble-think is to question everything. By examining our beliefs, especially those we are very attached to, we can check to see if they are true.

How many times have you thought you were right and later discovered you were wrong? I have found that my unchallenged or unquestioned beliefs are what take me down dead ends in my life and cause me to react rather than listen.

I was convinced that happiness came with financial success. Later, I discovered that what was a terrifying financial set-back opened my heart up in a way that enriched my relationships, pointed me in the direction of greater meaning for my life, and allowed me to see and use gifts I forgot I had.

People want to burn Korans or Bibles because they believe this is the right thing to do. I don’t think the Koran or Bible are the issue. The issue is our thinking. We’d be better off burning our beliefs; asking ourselves why we believe what we believe to be true and tuning into the emotion that’s triggered when another challenges our thinking. Emotions point us toward our unexamined beliefs.

After letting a belief go and perceiving without the distortion of a bubble, you are no longer driven by unconscious thinking. It’s better to know something deeply (for me it was that relationships define my unique success more than money) than to simply believe something because you think it’s true.

Today’s business and social challenges call for leaders who see the big picture, those who can practice a more global-centric view.

Filed in: Musings, Personal Growth

About the Author (Author Profile)

Executive coach, top team facilitator, author and speaker. I work with individual leaders and their teams to help navigate personal and professional transitions and to increase leadership capacity and improve communication and relationship skills. I founded my coaching firm in 2001 following 12 years asa CEO. Check out more on me and my coaching process in my book “The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don’t”

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