Beliefs 2   

Quotes for
the Journey:


Some things have to be
believed to be seen.

Ralph Hodgson

Our beliefs are so powerful that they color our entire world.  We literally see what we believe, but we can--and most of us do--fail to take responsibility for what we see, especially what we see within.       -Hugh Prather

Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible.  This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs.      -Maxwell Maltz

Believe nothing because a wise man said it.
Believe nothing because it is generally held.
Believe nothing because it is written.
Believe nothing because it is said to be divine.
Believe nothing because someone else believes it.
But believe only what you yourself judge to be true.

the Buddha

A belief which leaves no place for doubt is not a belief; it is a superstition.
-Jose Bergamin

Your beliefs are your reality.  If you don't like the reality you see, change your beliefs!       -Stephen C. Paul

For as long as I can remember, people said I would never be able to do anything.  My parents and I believed I could, and we've been proving them wrong ever since.       -Rick Hoyt (diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth)

Sometimes we adopt certain beliefs when we're children and use them automatically when we become adults, without ever checking them out against reality.  This brings to mind the story of the woman who always cut off the end of the turkey when she put it in the oven.  Her daughter asked her why, and her mother responded, "I don't know.  My mother always did it."  Then she went and asked her mother, who said, "I don't know.  My mother always did it."  The she went and asked her grandmother, who said, "The oven wasn't big enough."       -Charlotte Davis Kasl
The therapist does not treat patients by simply giving them another set of beliefs.  He or she tries to help them see which kinds of ideas and beliefs have led to their suffering.  Many patients want to get rid of their painful feelings, but they do not want to get rid of their beliefs, the viewpoints that are the very roots of their feelings.       -Thich Nhat Hanh
Most philosophies wrap their seekers in a strict belief system.  By virtue of what they include, they exclude everything else, especially some vital realizations.  Periodically revising our philosophy of life as we live it is, therefore, a critically valuable exercise.       -Charles Bates
And this I do believe above all, especially in times of greater discouragement, that I must BELIEVE—that I must believe in my fellow people—that I must believe in myself—that I must believe in God—if life is to have any meaning.       -Margaret Chase Smith


What we believe about ourselves can hold us hostage.  Over the years I have come to respect the power of people's beliefs.  The thing that has amazed me is that a belief is more than just an idea--it seems to shift the way in which we actually experience ourselves and our lives.  According to Talmudic teaching, "We do not see things as they are.  We see them as we are."  A belief is like a pair of sunglasses.  When we wear a belief and look at life through it, it is difficult to convince ourselves that what we see is not real. . . . Sometimes because of our beliefs we may have never seen ourselves or life whole before.  No matter.  We can recognize life anyway.  Our life force may not require us to strengthen it.  We often just need to free it where it has gotten trapped in beliefs, attitudes, judgment, and shame.       -Rachel Naomi Remen

The biggest addiction, and one we least often talk about, is being addicted to beliefs.  We really get hooked into thinking what we believe is true and right.       -Martha Boesing
They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness.       -Louise Erdrich

Beliefs 2

You are what you are
by what you believe.

Oprah Winfrey

Upon this little word belief
hang all your sorrows and joys.

James Allen



Believe nothing, O monks, merely because you have been told it. . . or because it is traditional, or because you yourself have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher.  But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings--that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.      -The Buddha

What we call rational grounds for our beliefs are often extremely irrational attempts to justify our instincts.
-Thomas Henry Huxley
If you have a belief that the people who love you will leave you, then sure enough, it will happen.  Over and over again.  So you had better become aware of your unconscious beliefs.  They are creating your experience of life.  They are based on your past experiences, and mostly they are formed in your early childhood.  As long as these beliefs remain unconscious, there is no way to be released from them.       -Leonard Jacobson
As our beliefs actually change, so do our experiences.       -Carol Sheffield
An extremely important part of our work toward emotional growth and change will come from examining our belief systems regarding all areas of life.  To gain the courage to be yourself, you need to address the beliefs that are keeping you stuck where you are.  What beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes are you holding onto even though they no longer enhance your life?  It is possible to free yourself from worn-out beliefs and acquire ones that bring happiness, strength, and self-esteem.  What we believe we may become.     -Sue Patton Thoele, The Courage to Be Yourself
One of the hardest expressions of self-assertiveness is challenging your limiting beliefs.      -Nathaniel Branden, Self-Esteem Every Day
The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear.     -J. Krishnamurti
To believe in God for me is to feel that there is a God, not a dead one, or a stuffed one, who with irresistible force urges us towards more loving.     -Vincent van Gogh
People are made by their beliefs.  As they believe, so they are.     -the Bhagavad Gita

Beliefs 2

We must here make a clear distinction between belief and faith, because, in general practice, belief has come to mean a state of mind which is almost the opposite of faith.  Belief, as I use the word here, is the insistence that the truth is what one would “lief” or wish it to be.  The believer will open his mind to the truth on condition that it fits in with his preconceived ideas and wishes.  Faith, on the other hand, is an unreserved opening of the mind to the truth, whatever it may turn out to be.  Faith has no preconceptions; it is a plunge into the unknown.  Belief clings, but faith lets go.  In this sense of the word, faith is the essential virtue of science, and likewise of any religion that is not self-deception.
     Most of us believe in order to feel secure, in order to make our individual lives seem valuable and meaningful.  Belief has thus become an attempt to hang on to life, to grasp and keep it for one’s own.  But you cannot understand life and its mysteries as long as you try to grasp it.  Indeed, you cannot grasp it, just as you cannot walk off with a river in a bucket.  If you try to capture running water in a bucket, it is clear that you do not understand it and that you will always be disappointed, for in the bucket the water does not run.  To “have” running water you must let go of it and let it run.  The same is true of life and of God.     -Alan Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity


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