What If You are Wrong?

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What if you are wrong?

What if your view of the world is wrong?

What if every assumption you hold tightly as reality is wrong?

What if your idea of love is wrong?

What if your view on relationships is wrong?

What if your beliefs are wrong?

These are difficult questions, I know.  I wrestle with them daily.  With each new day I make assumptions about what I believe to be right (i.e. to be true), and I also make assumptions about what I believe to be wrong.  These assumptions wreak havoc with my mind and can create an internal hell if I’m not careful.

Simply have a conversation with anyone about politics, religion, sex, racism, refugees, or heck even a little red cup; and you will come to realize that everyone holds tightly to their opinions and beliefs.  At some point, we have believed something to be true and made a decision to not waiver from that so-called truth.  But…..

What if you are wrong?

Alan Watts weighs in on this in his book The Wisdom of Insecurity and it’s appropriate to share here:

We must 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 [desire] 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.

Quite some time ago without even realizing I was doing it, I let go of belief and allowed myself faith.  It has been a long and arduous journey–one I’m still on.

bucket-of-water

I especially like Alan Watts’ description of trying to walk off with a river in a bucket for a few reasons.

  • I’m intrigued by the mysterious flow of rivers and the parallels our lives have with water.  Along those lines, I think faith is similar to flowing down the river as with the mystery of life, while belief is like willingly stepping out of the river and standing on the riverside.
  • Holding a river in a bucket is similar to the idea of “having” versus “being.”  Once we make our minds up about something, we hold tight to our belief and attempt to own it as our possession.  We put our bucket of river on a shelf  and proudly display it to our friends and neighbors.
  • Along the same lines as my previous blog I Don’t Know, I began to realize much of my frustration in life was coming from my inability to accept reality and simply allow the river to flow.  Instead of grasping tightly to a belief that wasn’t even mine in the first place, I saw that faith was malleable just like the water in a river.

Do you have the courage to let go of all belief and accept a life of faith?  You may mistake my talk about belief and faith as purely religious, but I’m talking about so much more than religion.  In every area of our lives, we must let go of certainty and be willingly accept faith.

When you talk about faith, is it really a belief?

What if you are wrong?

 

Peace my Friends!

 

~Travis

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