The other night I watched an interesting documentary called, “The Nature of Existence”. The movie follows director Roger Nygard as he poses 85 tough questions about God, religion and spirituality to hundreds of people all over the world. The movie claims to “explain the mysteries of human existence”, but instead it left me confused.
What confused me about the movie was the sheer amount of conflicting beliefs in the world, and the fact that everybody thinks that their belief is the “right” one. Doesn’t everybody know by now that clearly “I” AM RIGHT?
I also felt very judgmental of beliefs I find disturbing (like Christian wrestlers. WTF???). Which led to the realization that Christian wrestlers probably find MY beliefs disturbing. Curiouser and curiouser.
Eventually, I had an “A-HA” moment:
“What if everything I believe is “wrong”???”
It wasn’t the first time I had asked myself this question. In fact I think it’s a good question to ask on a regular basis, regardless of what you believe. Questioning your beliefs helps you consciously choose your thoughts rather than allow them to be conditioned into you.
Since talking beliefs can be a heavy topic, I’d like to lighten the load a little by encouraging you to picture the world’s belief systems as a variety of choices at a buffet. Kinda like Sizzler, Old Country Buffet or perhaps The Mandarin for my Canadian homies in the audience.
So here we are in front of this big buffet of beliefs, and we get to choose whatever the heck we want to. How does one decide between the Christian cheesecake and the Taoist dumplings? Which one is “RIGHT”?? And can we have BOTH???
When you compare beliefs to food in this way, you eventually realize that there is no “right” or “wrong”. There are simply choices. And part of the fun of being a human being is having the freedom to choose your beliefs.
How to Choose Your Beliefs
The first thing I want to mention here is that you can try on beliefs the same way you try on pants. The Universe is kind of like the Gap in that regard. If your pants are too tight, too big, too long, or too corduroy, you can easily exchange them for another pair. In fact this process of experimentation may be the only way to decide which beliefs are best suited to you.
Secondly, there are some questions you can ask yourself in the fitting room that will make it easier to decide which beliefs are a fit. The most important question of course being, “how does my butt look?” but other crucial questions include:
A) Does this belief improve the quality of my life and the quality of lives around me?
B) Is this belief helping me to become a better person? (more loving, peaceful, considerate, compassionate, peaceful, playful, fun, happy?)
I came up with these questions after comparing my life before and after I implemented my current set of spiritual beliefs. Years ago, when I had no solid spiritual beliefs, I was depressed and self-centered. I often felt a lack of purpose in life and spent most of my time just working and watching TV. At one time I was so depressed that I found it difficult to get out of bed each morning.
Compare yesterday’s “me” to today’s “me”. I now have a solid set of spiritual beliefs and a spiritual practice to back them up. I have a sense of purpose and passion. Because I am happy, I enliven the people around me (most of the time). I am excited about my life and because of that, easily spring out of bed each morning.
Whether or not God exists is really not the point. Whether my beliefs are “right” or “wrong” is also not the point. What IS the point is how much AWESOMENESS I’m expressing, through me and as me.
Therefore, my suggestion when choosing beliefs is to use the AWESOMENESS GAUGE as a fitting room. Are you healthy, happy, peaceful, and loving? If the answer is yes, then your beliefs are a perfect fit.