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#405118 - 10/12/08 12:42 PM Re: the belief mechanism [Re: Ed_Morris]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Rather than offer my homespun beliefs regarding belief (!), here are some more eloquent than I, articulating sentiments that ring true to me.

"What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way."

Bertrand Russell.

"One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have whole-hearted enthusiasm. One needs to feel that one's life has meaning, that one is needed in this world."

H. Senesh.

"Habits of thought persist through the centuries; and while a healthy brain may reject the doctrine it no longer believes, it will continue to feel the same sentiments formerly associated with that doctrine."

Charlotte Perkins-Gilman.

"Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true."

Demosthenes.
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
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#405119 - 10/13/08 10:36 PM Re: the belief mechanism [Re: harlan]
jkdwarrior Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 341
Loc: belfast, Antrim, Ireland
I agree Harlan.

A post like this would usually only have been written by a person who has had direct experience beyond thoughts/ego (unless of course you are relaying a teaching). Would I be right in believing that you are one of the true meditators? A rare thing indeed to have experienced death of ego even for a second. If only it could be experienced by the masses, they would stop thinking that we are insane, and realise that they are the insane ones.

I, amongst others have had the experience of death of ego during deep meditation. It feels like you actually die or disappear. Since then, my fear of death has diminished considerably as I have felt my mind disappear. Death now is no big deal, just the process of bodily death still creeps me out a little.

I'm expecting some criticism for this one, but expressing this simple truth seems more important than getting a bit of agro from random people from across the globe who I will never meet.
_________________________
Sticks n stones'll break my bones, but if I land the first one, you're in trouble!

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#405120 - 10/14/08 01:00 AM Re: the belief mechanism [Re: jkdwarrior]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
I think that one can accept the inevitability of death whilst retaining a healthy fear of it.
After all, if you truly felt no concern over your demise, you would stop looking before crossing the street, not check you were about to dive into the shallow end of the pool, not care if you were drunk driving etc etc.

If your rational about avoiding some of these acts is to prevent death of others through your own negligence, then you still fear death- after all, if its not a bad thing for you, then how can you see it as a problem for anyone else?

Remove fear of death, and you remove sanctity of life. Accept that death will happen, and you create a mindset geared towards squeezing the last drop out of every minute of life.

I'd take that over your outlook anyday.
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#405121 - 10/14/08 07:49 AM Re: the belief mechanism [Re: jkdwarrior]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Welcome to the forum. Nice to meet a fellow travelor. Thanks for sharing.

Quote:


I'm expecting some criticism for this one, but expressing this simple truth seems more important than getting a bit of agro from random people from across the globe who I will never meet.



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#405122 - 10/14/08 07:59 AM Re: the belief mechanism [Re: Cord]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Probably a semantical difference, but personally, it's more like one develops a high degree of appreciation of each moment/life.

Quote:

Accept that death will happen, and you create a mindset geared towards squeezing the last drop out of every minute of life.



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#405123 - 10/16/08 08:35 PM Re: the belief mechanism [Re: Cord]
jkdwarrior Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 341
Loc: belfast, Antrim, Ireland
You say you would rather have the outlook of accepting the inevibality of death so that you could develop the mindset of squeezing the most out of life.

"Squeezing" the most out of life sounds like the actions of a person living in fear of death, not in acceptance. Accepting death brings peace, not the desire to squeeze more.
_________________________
Sticks n stones'll break my bones, but if I land the first one, you're in trouble!

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#405124 - 10/16/08 09:39 PM Re: the belief mechanism [Re: jkdwarrior]
dandjurdjevic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 844
Loc: Australia
I'm not entirely sure whether people actually "believe" in things when they say they do. I think often enough people WANT something to be true and then block from their mind any critical analysis of it.

So it's not so much a "belief mechanism" so much as it is a "suspension of critical analysis" mechanism. Such a mechanism is, I believe, very much rooted in our biological make-up; if we were to keep confronting certain uncomfortable truths on an hourly basis we would not be able to function as a species. Blocking them out is useful from a evolutionary perspective.

I've been confronted many times with: "why don't you believe in X - don't you like the idea of...?". My answer is: "wishing don't make it so".

Hence I don't "believe" in the theory of evolution, for example. It is merely a theory that makes inductive sense to me. I incline towards it on a strong balance of probabilities - like the theory of gravity. If something comes along that logically displaced evolution as a theory, I'd incline towards that new theory without any hesitation, qualms or sadness. In other words, I have no emotional or other "investment" in the theory of evolution; no biological impulse/mechanism has operated to inline me towards it.
_________________________
http://www.dandjurdjevic.com/

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#405125 - 10/16/08 11:22 PM Re: the belief mechanism [Re: jkdwarrior]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Quote:

You say you would rather have the outlook of accepting the inevibality of death so that you could develop the mindset of squeezing the most out of life.

"Squeezing" the most out of life sounds like the actions of a person living in fear of death, not in acceptance. Accepting death brings peace, not the desire to squeeze more.




Not so. Keeping death in mind, knowing that it will happen, accepting it as part of natural law, has nothing to do with fear, it is merely a reminder that existance as you know it will end, and so, it is in your best interest to make the most of it.
It is a positive force, that influences you to do your best, enjoy every moment, and to never take your loved ones for granted.
Your way would appear to offer nothing I would want. Apathy, be it justified in spiritual, or academic terms, is never a good thing.
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#405126 - 10/18/08 08:31 PM Re: the belief mechanism [Re: Cord]
jkdwarrior Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 341
Loc: belfast, Antrim, Ireland
I think you misunderstand me. Apathy does not play a role in my life. Maybe its not what you would like, but I view my life like a fantastic adventure and I love every minute of it, even the hard times. I just understand that death is not as big a deal as most think.

Your view is very similar to mine Cord. Just an unimportant difference. You are figuring out how to enjoy your life as best possible, and I'm doing the same.
_________________________
Sticks n stones'll break my bones, but if I land the first one, you're in trouble!

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