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KNOWING vs. BELIEVING

A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Saturday, 7 January 2017

SUSPEND YOUR #DISBELIEFS - AND YOUR #BELIEFS

I am told that I exited my latest #Saturn return on my birthday last year. I don't really know what that means, but I am given to understand that when one is in a Saturn return period (which seems to happen every 28 years or so and can last for at least two years), you can expect Life to really give it to you. Challenges abound and you are called to deal with tough life lessons in a way which will launch you onto a new path in your life. Or something like that. In any event, to put it into more understandable language, it can be quite a crap time for a couple of years in your life. 

I have no idea whether any of that is true or not. I think I disbelieve it. (I don't disbelieve that you can face more challenges than you especially want in your life over a long period, just that Saturn has anything to do with it.) In fact, it could be a complete crock. However, if I were to suspend my disbelief and simply accept that it were so, the question is whether I would then try and live my life some other how during the time of my Saturn return. The tricky premise is that whatever happens to you during that time (indeed during any time) is somehow pre-ordained by the stars. So, suspending my disbelief would open me up to accepting that whatever crap Life delivers to me during the time of my Saturn return is simply offering another big Life lesson to be learnt. (This is also known as an 'AFGO' - Another F*ing Growth Opportunity.) By suspending the disbelief, I might then approach all AFGO's from that very point of view: not that something awful is happening to me and I should be angry/ sad/ despondent, mad at G-O-D or whatever, but rather that there is a piece for me to learn about myself, or Life or others.

The point here is that, by suspending disbelief, we can always open up the realm of possibility. For instance, what if atheists could suspend their disbelief in God for a while? What might be available to them then? Maybe nothing, but maybe a different experience of their lives. What if racists could suspend their disbelief that coloured people can be honest, compassionate, empathetic and engaging? Or, looking at it from another perspective, what if Trump supporters could suspend their beliefs that Mexicans are rapists and murderers, or that Muslims are terrorists, or that Democrats at some level represent the anti-Christ. How might people then start connecting with each other? What if we could suspend beliefs that if we tell the truth we might hurt the feelings of others, or that we have to be a certain way in order for people to keep liking us? We might then actually start telling the truth and behaving authentically and congruently. 

The point is a simple one: if we cannot (or do not) test our beliefs against verifiable facts, we cannot ever know if they are true or not, so if we simply suspend our disbelief or beliefs, we then open up to all sorts of other possibilities, because disbelief and belief keep us stuck in boxes which are defined by our beliefs. 

So that is the invitation: unless you categorically and verifiably know that what you believe is true or untrue, suspend your disbelief, suspend your beliefs and see what possibilities open up.

For the meantime, good luck for your next Saturn return...


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