When I look back on my many years of learning about life and about spirituality, I see how my views have developed over time, altering sometimes quite markedly as I learn from people, experience for myself and ponder the different perspectives of others. In my enthusiasm and commitment to the early days of my spiritual work, I developed a set of wisdoms which I recognise now was limited and even rigid: some of the beliefs I hold still; they have stood the test of time and challenge, but others have been replaced by new (to me) ideas but which themselves may prove to be passing.
It is easy to fall into the trap of become dogmatic: I have been looking at some spiritual forums recently and have been quite startled by the vehemence with which some contributors present their views. They are so sure they are right they reject any differing opinion – perhaps they are afraid that they will be proved wrong, or that without their cherished belief they will be left with nothing? The reason does not matter, and I do not criticise their approach, for I expect I have done the same in my time, and they help me see how a light approach to wisdom serves me well.
Beliefs can be comforting, like a security blanket. God, life after death, the Bible teachings and so on are supportive ideas without which some people would find life very difficult, particularly those who have not learned that everything they need for fulfilment is within themselves. Challenging your beliefs can be very helpful, to see if they have become a cliché without your noticing, or if, genuinely, they are part of your perception of the world and beyond. When was the last time you questioned if you have a soul?
[caption id="attachment_2507" align="alignright" width="200"] Helping you fly...
Today and yesterday and perhaps tomorrow I believe in God and souls and past lives, but I do not claim to myself that I will do so forever, for I do not know. For me, wisdom is having the discernment to recognise that there is so much I do not know, and that what I believe, today, may not be true. I try to carry my beliefs of today lightly and to honour the right of others to think differently, and when share my beliefs with others, as I do from time to time, I hope it encourages independence of thought and action in them, certainly not obedience to what I say.
Beliefs change, values change too. See them as feathers on your shoulders helping you fly, not stones to weigh you down. Like water wings, they are helpful but ultimately not essential to standing in your truth. Be who you are, but only if that is what you