We make assumptions that belief is something we create based on what our family passes on to us and what we create on our own. While this is true it is only a small portion of the wider scope of belief. Perception and belief are ordinarily blended because of the limitations human perceptual abilities that does not sense what is beyond them mainly – histories.
Essentially belief is “a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing” or it is “something that is accepted, considered to be true, or held as an opinion” or “conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomena especially when based on the examination of evidence.” from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Consciously held beliefs are not direct experience or “knowledge” (knowledge denotes direct experience or a body of direct experiences). However one may have a direct experience that later becomes a part of a belief. We may feel that beliefs based on direct experiences are immutable. The building blocks of belief begins with assumption and may form into a priori reasoning, thus all information is screened through an assumption or premise which is deemed to be a truth.
Some basic human assumptions or beliefs – such as “When I fall asleep at night I will wake up to a new day and everything will appear as it was before I went to sleep except it will be morning and light outside.” or “The Seasons will bring usual weather and at times will be be severe.” The first assertion is based on experiential evidence we gather. The second assertion seems to be changing with climate change: an increase in severe storms and hurricanes, and increasing fires in the west. A belief is being altered bases on new evidence.
Belief is how we are trained through our biological and genetic heritage to perceive the world and truths. Culture itself is a belief. The meta-rules of social interactions in a variety of nations and ethnic groups are beliefs. Belief springs from the technology of language, which is a symbol of reality. The interface between humans and a direct perception of reality are the words and concepts that words represent. Language is hard-wired into our brains and inescapable, just as ego is a point of view that is fixed in us. Reality is 99.999 percent belief and the 0.001 percent are some basic laws of physics. Conquer all beliefs and bend the laws of physics.
Most of the ways in which we perceive our consensual reality are based on belief. I learned this when I became aware of a teaching. (See link at the end of the text/bottom of the page)
Perception |pərˈsepSHən| noun
the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses: the normal limits to human perception.
- the state of being or process of becoming aware of something in such a way: the perception of pain.
- a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression: Hollywood’s perception of the tastes of the American public | we need to challenge many popular perceptions of old age.
- intuitive understanding and insight: “He wouldn’t have accepted,” said my mother with unusual perception.
- Psychology & Zoology the neurophysiological processes, including memory, by which an organism becomes aware of and interprets external stimuli.
From the New Oxford American dictionary
Once we include beliefs as a structure from which perception operates we can begin to learn how to leave ordinary reality for alternate realities. The key to operating from a wider perspective and opening up new ways to perceive alternate realities is through attention. Attention when practiced can lead to greater or wider states of awareness. It could be said that attention is a building block or tool for consciousness and with greater states of consciousness comes enlightenment.
We are often trained to focus our attention along the lines of associative thinking, focusing on item A then item B and so… Divided attention is misunderstood and is, therefore discarded as a waste product of an undisciplined mind. Focused attention allows for a deep connection between observed and what is being observed fostering identification or attachment. Attachment blurs the boundary between self and non-self and sets up a possible pattern for addictive behaviors to develop. The demands for undivided attention begins in a Prussian Militaristic model of education and continues throughout life to keep citizens / consumers in a linear caste system.
Training in dividing one’s attention creates three or more possibilities for wider more diverse perspectives. Identification or attachment is part of how we learn and grow, however divided attention allows a space within us for the neutral to flourish. It creates a way of thinking that allows for choice and creativity between three points that is more accessible that undivided attention portends.
In dividing attention one cannot put 100% of our attention on either one or two points. Divided attention requires variable attention one a major and a minor point. A good exercise in dividing one’s attention is the following:
Sit. —— Stare at a fixed point opposite you. Continue to stare at it and shift your attention into your periphery. Pay attention to what is in your periphery without looking at it directly. This is an example of active divided attention that is outwardly focused. Receptive divided attention in a visual field requires a neutral inner point or observer to receive the incoming information that becomes more obvious than active divided attention. While staring at the fixed point and paying attention to the periphery while softening attention at the two points.
We can then receive information from the field between the periphery and the center point.
Belief partially constrains our flexible creativity to expand beyond our primary perceptual ability or abilities. If you are a visual or picture thinker it’s likely that you incorporate other fields of perception other than the visual through learning ordinary cognitive and associative thought processes. Cognitive thought through the technology of words is the common denominator for primary communications of all humans on the planet. Emotive and empathic perceptions is another way many people navigate the world, which may include hunches or intuitive perceptions. Language and cognitive thinking is needed to interpret emotional perceptions. Kinesthetic perceptions that come in the form of movement through a space often involves an intuitive sense akin to emotional perceptions and linked to sensations of the body (combinations of perceptions) and cellular memories. Kinesthetic perceptions may also be called “a learn-by-doing approach ” or “hands-on” methodology.
Once we can cognitively identify each of the kinds of perceptual fields and observe the differences we can see which type or combination of types predominates our lives. By knowing and exploring what we have we can begin to experiment with techniques that open us to other fields of perception.
One reason why autism may be so daunting to those diagnosed with the disorder may be due to the amounts of information flooding the system. If autistic and dyslexic individuals are visual thinkers then the information contained within a picture is at once amorphous and ambiguous at best, loaded with emotional elements, cognitive data, kinesthetic, tactile and perhaps olfactory sensual information to name a few. The first experience of data from a visual/picture – time / spatial orientation is most likely incredibly overwhelming, akin to having an atomic bomb of visual, mental, emotional, tactile and olfactory data exploding simultaneously. The individual response for control of this data stream might be to narrow the focus as to screen out that which cannot be processed in favor of a very narrow bandwidth of data, much smaller than that that is experienced. Perhaps this is one reason why the time-visual / spatial perceptual field is over-looked as something incomprehensible to cognitive perceptions. Cognitive perceptions limit the amount of data that can be received and as a result is a reductive and highly symbolic mode of perception.
Worship of rational cognitive perceptions are often rigid and exclude all other modes of perceiving as irrelevant or nonsense. The rubrics of Science and Technology are organized in predictable ways that allow us to feel safe within its logic. The reductionistic nature of rational-cognitive thinking that excludes other fields of perceptions can provide surety in an uncertain world, but like the autistic or dyslexic it is a codified way of keeping reality in a narrow and controlled bandwidth encouraging addiction and slavery.