Thursday, May 31, 2012


“Beliefs of any kind are false. There [are] no true beliefs and false beliefs.  Any belief, by definition, is false. It’s only a story”. Dogo Barry Graham
I, believe that, he, she, it, we, you, they believe this or don’t believe that. No end exist to the stories that we have created for ourselves. Believers, non-believers, un-believers…we have defined ourselves by what we believe or not. I believe in God, Jesus, the Devil, Buddha, reincarnation, heaven, hell, love, world peace, the Bible, the Koran, the Constitution, America, democracy, freedom, big or small government, fundamentalism, liberalism, conservatism, libertarianism, atheism, organic food-ism, traditional and non-traditional-isms; this ism and that ism; bunnies, ice cream, chocolate (I really like chocolate —the Church of Chocolate — is god a chocolate bunny????), veganism, vegetarianism... beliefs ad infinitum — up and out the wazoo. Or, I don’t believe. Not believing is just another belief, labeled as a non-belief.
All beliefs are stories to conflate, castrate, debate, debilitate, define, eliminate, empower, forbid, intimidate, incinerate, instigate, imitate, and separate; make you better, stronger, faster, sexier, richer, thinner, more attractive; more spiritual, smarter, transcendent, enlightened, Buddha-like, Christ-like, saintly, sage, calm, peaceful… yadda, yadda, yadda.
We kill, preach, destroy, protest, molest, immolate, obfuscate, contaminate, congregate, constipate, inflate and deflate to protect our beliefs and ideas about how things should be created in our image and after our likeness. Who or what the fuck do we think we are anyway? What are we really thinking here — or not?
 I don’t believe in this or that— just more beliefs.  Not believing in God is a belief system (BS) — and fits any definition of a religion. When the object or “god” of the belief is no belief in a god or religion —the ‘god’ has become no god — and no god, God. This is a ‘no god’ religion. Hmmmmm… A religion that does not believe in religion… cognitive dissonance! Actually all beliefs are cognitively dissonant.
None of what we hold to believe is true. We believe in justice, world peace, and what do we observe — not just in the world but in ourselves — Jesus or just-us? Does our belief make us just, loving, caring, merciful, or free? Or just reveal that we are a dissonant, muddle of inconsistencies, contradictions, half-truths and paradoxes? We want to save the planet, but our very existence is destroying the planet and our very existence is inextricably connected to the planet. There is nowhere to run and hide and no one to run to or from — which includes our-selves. We are here now — believe it or not, like it or not — in fact don’t believe it, live it.
Our beliefs obscure and keep us from the very hopes, ideals, and “Truth” to which we aspire. Our beliefs are just ideas — empty idols, sacraments, sacerdotal self-impositions, that clutter the sanctuaries of our own delusion and distract us from what we truly are and cloister us in what we believe we are.
What have beliefs got us so far — world peace, salvation, enlightenment, democracy, liberty and justice for all? We do get global warming/climate change, pollution, religious wars, despotism, places of worship — churches, temples, mosques on every corner; chocolate, ice cream, chocolate ice cream, burgers and fries, shakes and smoothies and bars on every corner; convenience, contrivance, and river dance, sports and movies and endless pursuits of knowledge and speculations.
Heart and mind diseases, cancers, disorders of every imaginable biological and psychological system plague us and our world. Our beliefs harden our minds and arteries and inflict pain and suffering on ourselves and our world. Pharmaceuticals, herbs, exercise, mediation, yoga, prayer, worship and devotion (don’t forget chocolate, bunnies and ice cream) do not protect us from our delusions, because all these beliefs are a part of our delusion, and our delusion a result of our beliefs. We have become the sum of our beliefs and ideas which have disconnected from our true selves — whatever or whoever we truly are.
We suffer, not for a lack of beliefs, but as a result of our beliefs, and our belief in beliefs. Our ideas and ideals keep us from our ideas and ideals. Our belief in God keeps us from God. If you really want to be "one with God", don't believe in God, but live God.
At best, a belief is a momentary snapshot of something that never existed except in our self-written story — self-centered dream (Joko Beck) — a transient sensory ghost in our mind machine to which we cling to for meaning and purpose.
Plato quoted Heraclitus in Cratylus ( ):
You cannot step twice into the same river; for other waters are continually flowing in.
You cannot step twice into the same stream. For as you are stepping in, other waters are ever flowing on to you.
You cannot step twice into the same river.
You cannot step into the same river twice.
It is impossible to step into the same river twice.
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.
Our insecurity and fear has driven us to define the universe, which has closed our hearts and minds to the infinite possibilities and wonders available to behold. “We see through a glass darkly”, as the Christian scriptures say. We as humans only experience a minute spectrum — less that 1% — of what we call the physical universe.  Our hubris and arrogance blinds us from 99.9% of the 1% which we do perceive. We really have created an unreal reality and call it the “real world”.
The Zen teacher Wei Wu Wei was once asked “Why do we suffer?” "Because 99.9% of everything you think and everything you do is about yourself and there isn’t one.”
We are living our own stories, fictions and convictions alike — no matter how lofty, powerful, insecure, terrible, abused, misused, rich or poor, good or evil. A belief based on a belief is just a belief and a delusion. Don’t believe me, anyone or anything else.
Listen to sounds and see the sights of from which you have no comprehension, ideologies or definitions that exist around you, in you, as you — “put your lights on, you gotta put your lights on” (“Put Your Lights On" Erik Schrody, Everlast and Santana).
Allow the specters of beliefs, dogmas, ideals and ideas to pass over and through you as they slowly fade into the mist of delusion from whence they came — like water flowing under the bridge.
The Shakyamuni Buddha is quoted as saying:
 Don't blindly believe what I say. Don't believe me because others convince you of my words. Don't believe anything you see, read, or hear from others, whether of authority, religious teachers or texts. Don't rely on logic alone, nor speculation. Don't infer or be deceived by appearances.
Do not give up your authority and follow blindly the will of others. This way will lead to only delusion.
Find out for yourself what is truth, what is real. Discover that there are virtuous things and there are non-virtuous things. Once you have discovered for yourself give up the bad and embrace the good. Shakyamuni Buddha Quotes
You are not what you think, you are thought. It might be scary, but observe the scary and the reassuring alike. Perhaps you will find yourself in the middle where you always are. Observe. Allow the wonders of the Universe to unfold and speak to you, open your perception — “this too is wonder” (Joko Beck). And sometimes…"sometimes a pipe is just a pipe" (Freud), smoke one yourself.


  1. What a delightful and thoughtful take on belief and non-belief, which is also a belief, so I now know. I found myself nodding affirmatively and effusively between chuckles. This stays with me: "You are not what you think, you are thought."

    Reminds me of my favorite aught-used word, 'reification', the incessant mental interpretation of our direct living life experience. We live an imagined life, a filtered life, a second-hand life.

    Which reminds me of the word 'presence', which I "believe" and perhaps know is the antidote to second-hand living. Right now, right now, right now. Each now, now. Isn't there an electricity of aliveness when we begin to be here, fully, now? It feels like falling into the moment rather than looking upon it or feeling it or comprehending it.

    Thanks, John, for provoking my mind so deeply and with your consummate out-there humor.

  2. Hi Melanie, Presence is presently your ever-present present reified in the moment. Enlightenment, awareness, direct experience... is is not a phenomenon or an objectified occurance, it is being that is unattached to thoughts, beliefs, icecream and chocolate bunnies. Thank you so much for your gracious commentary. I appreciate you feedback. But don't believe a word of it!


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