The mind is a believing machine and many have argued that it needs to be just that in order for our survival. The mind makes up stories about everything and everyone, so not only is the mind a believing machine—it’s a story machine as well! It is constantly interpreting and reinterpreting stories about everyone including ourselves. The mind must believe in order to prepare for the moment and plan for tomorrow. The mind makes mistakes, however, but it never informs us of the errors. It makes mistakes in our perception, in our cognition, in our recollection, and so forth. It forms beliefs as a result of the information in our environments and often this information is simply not correct. We may be told that we are stupid or fat or ugly or that our genes destine us toward this or that and so on, and we form causal beliefs based on this dis-information.
Our believing machines store all of our emotional memories as well as those so-called facts of life that we are all taught. In fact, our brains generate emotion so it’s no wonder that when you challenge someone’s beliefs they may become agitated and emotional. It can be difficult, to say the least, to dislodge self-sabotaging, self-destructive beliefs, or for that matter, any belief. Knowing this should warn us to be vigilant and constantly challenge our beliefs.
False to Fact
When I attended University I was taught all sorts of non-sense in the name of truth. For instance, I learned that brain cells begin to die in your early thirties and are never replaced. Indeed, this was the scientific fact for more than 100 years—but it’s really false to fact. Today we know better. I was taught very many falsehoods under the guise of the latest scientific knowledge that turns out not to be true today. That said, some of what we learn today undoubtedly will turn out to be just as untrue as what we learned yesterday.
Since our minds need to believe in a future, in a past, in some certainties like gravity, we continue to adapt some of our beliefs throughout our lives. My Father laughed at the idea of putting a man on the moon—how ridiculous that idea was! His beliefs had to adopt a new script when Neil Armstrong took one giant step for mankind. Unfortunately not all of our erroneous beliefs are flushed out this way. No—in order to truly cancel the effects of some life beliefs, we must diligently search them out and vigilantly replace them. For if I believe that brain cells die and do not replace themselves, what sort of future based on my belief and expectation have I just created? It’s certainly not the one I want—that’s an absolute certainty!
Just think about some of those beliefs that are not necessarily true that have been fostered as doctrine, like our genes determine everything including the diseases we might fall prey to, or any of those less recognized false beliefs that give rise to limiting our expressions in life.
Again, the brain needs to believe and it will invent beliefs when necessary, but we do have the ability to train that lovely believing machine of ours and if we will take the time to do so, it’s amazing what a believing machine can do for you when it’s totally on your side! I flesh this all out in my book, “Choices and Illusions,” where I state something we should all remember, and that is this: The Genie in your life is in your mind!
Thanks for the read and as always, I truly appreciate your comments and feedback.
NY Time Bestselling Author of Choices and Illusions