Back to Back Issues Page
Soundings, Issue #27
July 25, 2013

News from the Unscripted Self

If you live with a lame man you’ll develop a limp.

Plutarch (45 – 120 CE)
Classical Greek philosopher and historian)

big beliefs and little ‘uns

Our thoughts are closer to us than anything else, that’s why we think they are more real than anything else, but they’re not.

Everything around you is simply a belief. That’s all. But to uncover hidden material in our beliefs we need to examine the little ones. Our big beliefs are made up of several little beliefs. These are carrier beliefs on which the big assumptions we have rest. When we chip away at enough of the little beliefs we take the legs from under the big ones, as it were, and they collapse.

Beliefs become attached to other beliefs like gum to the sole of your shoe. Occupation is one. If I drive a bus or work as a doctor, I may identify with that role. Then I say, ‘I am a doctor’, or, ‘I am a bus driver’, which is of course completely false. I merely make my living that way.

The hundreds of smaller beliefs that make up the big one will determine how I behave. Suppose I decide it’s wrong to drink alcohol. This can cause me to be judgmental about others who do, or to feel bad about myself if I have the occasional lapse. It may filter down to where I adopt attitudes around consumption that can create a life too spartan or too indulgent. It’s good to examine the subtexts to our beliefs, the beliefs hidden beneath the bigger beliefs. When we uncover these and clear them, the bigger ones just seem to take care of themselves.

There was a man once who used to drink a lot of coffee, even late at night, and it had no negative effects on him whatsoever. Then he read in a magazine that research showed drinking coffee before going to bed caused insomnia. From that day on he couldn’t sleep if he had coffee late at night. Before it didn’t affect him, but when he got the information, based on an “authority” his belief changed, his mind adopted a new belief and his body acted accordingly. He couldn’t sleep if he had even a single cup of coffee!

Your literally are what you think.

This Month’s Reading

The Gnostics
Looks at the pre-Christian sect, their beliefs, mythology, etc. They were eventually declared heretical by the church and driven into obscurity.

A little more on Valentinus
The second century philosopher and theologian who brought Platonic, Zoroastrian, and Gnostic thought to the fledgling Christian movement.


Enthusiasm – a great intensity of feeling, great excitement about something. Feeling of getting totally immersed in some venture.

Did you know the word comes from the Greek word entheos, meaning “inspired by God”, or driven by God from within.

What will you be enthused about today?

I’ll leave you with a quote I heard recently which I like:
“Unless the Lord keepeth the city, the watchman watcheth in vain.” Richard Devereux.

Happy reading,

Talk to you soon.

Back to Back Issues Page