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On Decision and Belief, and how this relates to perception and experience

Speaker: If we jump down to the second paragraph of Specialness as a Substitute for Love, then we get a little bit deeper insight here into this thing called decision and beliefs.

“Beliefs will never openly attack each other because conflicting outcomes are impossible.”

Conflicting outcomes are impossible because the outcome is the outcome. The mind is seeing something that seems unified on the surface. That is the outcome. Everything that it is perceiving is an outcome.

In other words, one time we were having this discussion and someone was talking about racing this car on a highway and the emotions that he was going through as he was hitting the gas in the sports car, passing one car and then being passed and this and that. You can’t simultaneous be passed by someone and simultaneous be passing them. [laughing] Its one or the other.

It’s what one sees in the world is the outcome. But this seemingly stable singular outcome that the mind seems to be seeing is being produced by this conflicted mind or this belief system which has a number of conflicting beliefs, but the beliefs are unconscious. They are kept out of awareness; all the mind is seeing is the picture that the beliefs are producing. All the mind is seeing is this outcome and yet the beliefs are unconscious. So beliefs will never openly attack each other because conflicting outcomes are impossible.

“But an unrecognized belief is a decision to war in secret, where the results of conflict are kept unknown and never brought to reason, to be considered sensible or not. And many senseless outcomes have been reached, and meaningless decisions have been made and kept hidden, to become beliefs now given power to direct all subsequent decisions.”

There is a lot to that, right there. So the decisions have been made, they have been kept hidden and secret, and now that is what it is to be a belief… an unconscious belief. An unconscious belief is just a decision that is kept hidden.

Let’s start right off the bat with the decision to separate from God. That decision has been kept hidden from awareness, been pushed out of awareness, and it’s become a belief. That is where the belief in separation and all the subsequent beliefs that seem to happen… It’s like the mind has made a chain of decisions, and once it’s made a decision and doesn’t want to see what it’s decided upon it just pushes it out of awareness. So now you have an unconscious belief that directs all subsequent decisions. So the little robotic man on the surface, the person, who seems to be making decisions every day between all these things is just really a projection or an image… an image among images… and those aren’t real decisions at all. Those are just outcomes of beliefs.

Participant 1: I have a question. You know, it is like when I am hearing this, from where I am right now, I seeing this whole communication thing as being at the very, very bottom. There is a belief that my communication has been broken off with God and that is very, very fearful. And of course I don’t want that fear so I am going to project that out everywhere and anywhere I can. And I see…. I mean it seems real simple to me that that’s what’s happening. It just seems real basic. But there are so many other beliefs layered on top of that core belief way at the very bottom with personhood…. Maybe even beneath personhood. I don’t know where it fits exactly, and maybe it doesn’t even really matter but it’s right down there at the very bottom. It seems like there are all these beliefs stacked on top of that and its like… Is there a way to approach that belief directly or does it have to be approached indirectly through all the other beliefs that are covering it over so that it doesn’t seem apparent in the moment?

Speaker: Well, the way to approach it directly is that we have to look at the idea that all the beliefs are really the same. They have taken an enormous variation. They seem to be specific beliefs but they are all the same beliefs.

Participant 1: Because they all spring from one belief, that I have separated.

Speaker: Yes.

Participant 1: Call it communication, call it whatever you want. That’s the one belief. So it’s just a matter of coming to that awareness that it’s all the same?

Speaker: That’s the recognition where the release takes place. As long as you think there are specific beliefs that you have to go through, that’s where…. On one hand we talked about the idea that “To learn this course requires willingness to question every value that you hold.” You have to question every belief, it seems. And that can seem like, wow, that’s going to be a mess. Its going to be a huge undertaking to overhaul my whole mind. And the joy comes in really being able to clearly see that all the beliefs are one. If you can understand… I have talked about it other times…. Kind of like the genetic code or the DNA of the ego belief system, then all of the seeming scraps and the shreds or the ego belief system, you know what the code is, that it is all the same. And that is where the release takes place.

Participant 1: But realizing that it is all the same only happens by tracing it back to that central belief each time until I can clearly see each and every time that there seems to be something out here that is upsetting to me and then I just keep tracing it back to the same place.

Speaker: Another way to come at it is just to say, ‘Why do anything? Why do anything?’

Participant 1: I had that thought for a while! [laughing]

Speaker: You would do well to hang with it and to use that and follow it in. That is what I did when I was on the spiritual journey long before finding the Course. I believed that life had to be purposeful and that I didn’t just want to do things because people told me to do them or because I learned it in a book or…. I just kept questioning and questioning, ‘Why do anything?’. Why life a finger, if there is no purpose in life, why go forward with anything else?

So what I ended up doing with that ‘Why do anything’ idea was looking at all these concepts. I found out that I was doing a lot of things to please other people. I found that I was doing a lot of things because of responsibilities… responsibilities that I had to fulfill. But I kept questioning those. It kept going deeper and deeper into it.

Its kind of like as you perceive yourself in the world, its kind of like you are wound into it and it seems like you have to unwind out of it. That is the seeming process of questioning all the beliefs. Why work? Well, I listed things about needing to eat. Also, I really wanted a relationship and I couldn’t imagine having a significant other type of relationship without having finances to support that. I couldn’t conceive of it. So I had to questing that too… questioning everything.

You have to question it all the way to being able to approach the possibility that this world is just a world of ideas. There are not real, concrete, objective things. You don’t have to play the game so to speak to have the chips, to continue to play the game. At one point the Course says that you just made one error but its become so multiplied and so splintered and so subdivided over and over and over.

I always think of this enormous mirror that has had a piercing point from a rock or pebble. Just like a pond when you drop something, how the ripples go out like that. Think of a clean smooth mirror with one point of pressing down on it and shattering and fragmenting it into millions and trillions of pieces. That is what the mind perceives. When the mind perceives through the body’s eyes and the body’s ears and hears lots of different sounds and sees lots of different images. And it just seems to be continual. There just seems to be more and more and more. More and more images, multiplying.

The whole point of everything we do is to pull the mind’s allegiance and identification away from those images. As long as it thinks that it is one image among other images. As long as there is that split that seems to be out in the world between the subject and the object then there can be no peace, there can be no unity.

Its almost like they do in AA where they ask you to take a searching moral inventory. It would be good to sit down and journal on a belief inventory. I have done a lot of those and I have also searched the Course on belief. It has helped get in touch with some of the things that I have believed in that I didn’t even know that I believed in.

The belief in levels. Jesus says at one point that all conflict comes from the belief in levels. Levels? I believe in levels? I didn’t know that I believed in levels. I have experienced conflict and now you are telling me that conflict comes from a belief in levels. He says that you have splintered yourself into different levels. And if you perceive yourself as a person in this world… even to talk about mind and body, that would be two levels. Then you could talk about some of these realms like the astral plane and the causal body, the mental body, the emotional body… you may have heard of some of these different metaphysical systems where they get into these different intricacies. Or you can use Course terminology; it seems as if there is the world that is perceived through the body’s eyes and ears and the Jesus says that right below the surface of the world that you see through the body’s eyes is a ring of fear that you can’t see. It is kind of like the underlying program that produces all the images; mountain ranges and oceans and trees and everything, that is the just the surface of it and underneath it is all the ring of fear. And you can’t see the ring of fear with your eyes. It is analogous to the self concept. There is the underlying self concept made up of all these unconscious beliefs that are unquestioned… very fearful… the mind feels very guilt and very fearful. And then there is the surface which seems to be a fairly kind, benevolent lid that is placed on to of this black undercoating. It seems like I am a pretty decent person and I have got it pretty good….

Participant 1: I try to do my best….

Speaker: ….there are a lot of people worse off than I am, I have a pretty good education, health…. There is just this sugar coating that is on the top which the body’s eyes can see. And then there are the underpinnings that have to be questioned. So it would be helful just to do a belief inventory.

Participant 1: Whenever I have done that I have written stuff that I had not a clue was there. Then you can see how that is a weird thing to believe, it doesn’t make any sense. And then I can see that I have been making decisions based on that. So, guess what? When the underlying belief doesn’t make sense, then what comes from it makes even less sense.

Speaker: The robot just continues and yet you have to see that you have to start questioning beliefs and where you perceive yourself as being. When we talked about that it’s the thing that comes up about jobs or paying off loans or responsibilities to family and so on. You start where you perceive yourself to be and in my case I had all these things to take care of and I took the steps necessary to meet the obligations so that I wasn’t trying to run away from or yank out of it. As soon as I seemed to meet those lacks, those obligations and responsibilities then the questioning just continued.

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