Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense – Buddha
I’m sure we have all experienced a shift in our opinions about some things over time. But this quote is a real challenge to check on what you consider to be self evident truths (and I’m not going to get into a post constructionist debate about the nature of truth… well not now anyway).
When you hold something to be a self evident truth then the reality is that you are unlikely to be open to anyone challenging the validity of that “truth” and there is a very good chance that the “truth” comes from some form of dogma. How much trouble is there in the world at the moment because of a rigid adherence to a self evident truths, and rigidity of “beliefs”?
Why do I love todays opening quote?
Rather than being told it is this way, and only this way here is a teacher who challenges you to think about what he says and challenges you to examine it in the context of your own life. How many teachers or systems do you know like this? Not many I bet.
In the post who are you? I dabbled with this question previously by providing a quote from Oscar Wilde and discussing what other peoples beliefs and opinions do to you without examination.
How long can something be self evident for?
Beliefs can be held to be self evident for a very long time………
Want some perfect examples…..
for how long did people “believe” that the earth was flat?
for how long did people “believe” that the universe revolved around the earth?
what about some more recent examples…
in medicine…. how long did people deny that stomach ulcers were caused by a bacteria?
in space exploration….for how long have people believed that there was no water on the moon?
What do you “believe” to be true?
The only firm opinion that I hold (based on my experience to date) is to use another quote “that the greater the circle of my knowledge, the greater the circumference of my ignorance”. WHAT? Let me explain.
The more that I learn in life about anything and everything the more I realise simply how much I do not know, and in reality can probably never know.
So I work on maintaining an open mind, I’m prepared to look at any and all evidence in relation everything in my life, I will form an opinion based on (as much or as little of) the evidence that I can access, and work hard to remember that the opinion (or belief if want to put it that way) is limited by a multitude of factors and should remain open to change based on interaction with new evidence as it emerges.
What Beliefs have you or are you willing to challenge?
I’d love to know what things in life have facilitated a change in your “beliefs”…… I’d love to know how they changed and what it meant to you………so lets discuss it below in the comments.