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Why I’m not a believer

I am not a believer.

That is, I don’t believe in having beliefs for the sake of having beliefs.

I am a thinker, a doer, an explorer, a creator, an adventurer.

I don’t believe in ideas. I contemplate them, I compare and contrast them, I use them, I wrestle with them, I write about them, I sing them, I paint them, I embody them, I play with them, I pretty much do everything but believe them.

I work with concepts in the same manner that an artist works with his materials or that a construction worker works with his tools; I pick them up and put them down according to my own interest, convenience, pleasure, and pragmatic consideration.

I have no loyalty to any paradigm or school of thought. My loyalty is to the felt experience of love, bliss, peace, harmony, and creative freedom.

I rendezvous with ideas towards that end.

Practical effectiveness and recreational usefulness is my full gamut of concern.

If you have “The Truth”, let’s see what I can do with it: Can I make music with it? Can I write poetry from it? Can I sing it? Can I improve my relationships with it? Will it make me feel happier, more content, or more peaceful? Will it make me more compassionate? Will it take my mind on an interesting trip? Will it connect me to God, The Universe, The Transpersonal Essence, or whatever term you use for Ultimate Reality? Will it expand my freedom? If not, you can keep it.

I have no use for detached dogmas and arbitrary abstractions regardless of how “truthful” their advocates deem them to be.

Give me possibilities with which I can play and I will choose them over a belief on any given day.

The potter and the observer

The potter works diligently with the clay and the observer sees nothing more than a grown-up who plays frivolously with mud. But in time, useful and beautiful pottery will be made. Then the observer will praise the potter for his persistence.

Keep molding the clay and do not allow the fluctuating concerns and shifting sensitivities of observers to lead you astray.

The observers need your creativity, but they wont be able to recognize it until you give them something to see. And you can’t give the observers something to see if you’re too busy looking at the same things as them.

Don’t observe. Focus!

There’s nothing here to believe

Please don’t believe in me.

Please don’t believe in anything I have to say or share.

Don’t give me that kind of authority.

Don’t allow my thoughts to become a burden to your spiritual path, your psychological unfoldment, or your personal development.

I have absolutely no clue what is right or wrong for you.

I have nothing to offer other than my own experiences, reflections, and subjective convictions.

Don’t take MY WORD for it. Take YOUR EXPERIENCE for it.

May your inner guidance ALWAYS trump the confidently asserted views of ANY teacher.

Instead of being jealous, become a student

Have you ever met someone who seems to have it easy?

What if, instead of automatically dismissing them as a lucky person who gets all the breaks, you considered the possibility, however slight, that their ease was the product of superior efficiency, superior stress-management skills, superior competency, superior networking, superior study habits, etc.?

In other words, what if you cultivated the practice of looking at yourself as an ever evolving entity who always has something to learn from the people around them?

This wont always be true, but you have a much better chance at developing your full potential if you learn from the people who are getting better results than you, as opposed to just assuming that the Universe likes them more than everyone else.

Sometimes, when we conclude that life is uniquely and insurmountably tough for us, that’s just another way of saying “I have nothing to learn. I have no need for improvements. I’m doing everything perfectly and all my difficulties are solely the result of life’s intrinsic unfairness towards me.”

Even if that’s how it really seems, that’s not the kind of perspective that’s going to take you anywhere worth going.

Personal Development: Belief not required

I don’t believe in therapy.

I don’t believe in positive thinking.

I don’t believe that church communities, 12-step programs, or self-help groups will benefit me.

I don’t believe in western medicine.

I don’t believe in alternative medicine and holistic health.

I don’t believe in New-Age mumbo jumbo like creative visualization, chakra energies, and the law of attraction.

I don’t believe in behavioral psychology, attachment theory, gestalt therapy, or neuro-lingustic programming.

I don’t believe in the seven highly habits, the silva method, or EST.

I don’t believe in that author, or that expert, or that book, or that person’s testimonial.

I do not believe!

I hear statements like this all the time from real people who are hungry for practical solutions to their problems.

When confronted with a suggestion (not necessarily from yours truly), they immediately go into a monologue about what they don’t believe.

For many of these people, a lack of belief in something is, all by itself, enough reason to dismiss most new proposals without discussion.

When people declare their list of non-beliefs to me, my response is usually, “well, luckily, personal development is not a religion and there are no belief requirements you need to meet in order to qualify.”

The willingness to experiment and explore is far more pivotal than is the ability to make oneself believe in the objective absolute truth of a particular theory, philosophy, or therapeutic technique.

If we truly want to learn and grow, we don’t need unwavering faith as much we need a sense of wonder, a spirit of adventure, and a mild dissatisfaction with the status quo.

Belief is nothing. The courage to try something new is everything.

Believing in exercise wont make you physically fit, but going to the gym and working out, even if you’re a skeptic, will.

When a scientist goes into his lab, he doesn’t say “hey I believe in this stuff with all my heart; rather he thinks “let’s investigate and see what happens.” Then he measures, probes, mixes, dissects, and so on, until he stumbles upon some observation worth noting.

In the end, he may or may not have a belief, but he definitely has a result. And that’s all he needs.

And that’s all you and I need.

Instead of trying to make yourself believe in something bigger and better, try taking more chances on activities and practices that offer you the opportunity to make new discoveries.

At least that’s the way I do it.


T.K. Coleman

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