COURSE of STUDY, foundations for using mind
BELIEF, MEMORY and ATTENTION
by Jay McCormick
One of the powerful forces that helps shape our beliefs is what occurred in our own past. What we caused to occur in our experiences through our choices, whether they be conscious or unconscious. Your experiences stand as empirical evidence to support your claims. These claims may be for your benefit and upliftment, or they may be for your detriment. The thought 'Well that's they way I've always done that!' may be equally applied to your successful enterprises as well as your worst failures. Watching your favorite sports team every week on TV, you form of the team's record. This can lead to "Oh. the last two weeks my team lost at the end!" when determining your belief about the team's chances for success. The only true failure is in not learning from experience.
Memory is meant to be used for learning. It is one of the three components of reasoning, attention and imagination being the other two. It is meant to be used to the extent that you draw from positive or productive images combined together in new an innovative ways to produce something different and greater than any one of the component memories. It is indeed activating the imagination in that instance to produce a vision of what can be had that is more than the sum of the parts of what has come before.
What a person becomes, does lie in a re-combination of individual elements that consist of what they have already experienced in the past. This new creation, way of being, or formulation is much like the ancient process of Alchemy, the formation of a precious metal from individual base metals. There were 14 alchemical processes that could be used to produce a substance, through refinement that is substantially different and greater than what it was before.3 On a spiritual level, change and growth of the character occurs through refinement and a drawing upon the combination of many different experiences toward the creation of a consciousness greater than the sum of the individual experiences.
Believing and knowing causes a positive mutation in your consciousness. An evolutionary advancement. The Tao says 'Our future comes from our past' reflecting the knowledge that our imaged future comes from the feeder stock of our valuable experiences of our past.
Our past experiences are what got us to where we are today. Failure to give them proper credit is like trying to chop down the roots of a tree that your in. Not a smart thing to do. Your background is what got you to where you are today, in the now. Do not betray yourself by judging your own past as without any redeeming value or worth. You must value all of the experiences you had, pleasant and unpleasant. In staying true to yourself, in honoring all of your experiences, you build security and strength. You experiences all served some purpose of learning. There can be much understanding built by pursuing and achieving awareness of this.
Our experiences, which we receive utilizing our five physical senses of sight, taste, touch, and sound, are a great source for forming clear images in our mind in the present. Everybody's beliefs are stimulated differently, however and you need to be open to discover what your particular manner of forming beliefs has been throughout your life leading up to today.
Beliefs are formed in a moment of time. They are formed in the moment of now. Beliefs are formed in the conscious, waking mind of the individual. Remember back to the most influential experience you have ever had. Remember the most influential teacher, or the most influential anything. In recalling that past experience or series of experiences, if you remember closely enough, you will be able to recall when you adopted or accepted the belief into yourself that made that experience influential. In some way, it shaped your being to experience life differently. Positive or negative. In some way, it altered your beliefs about yourself to look at the world differently.
It is in that moment, in that moment where a change in belief occurred. A light bulb went off. You saw the light. You got it. You saw it. You felt it. It all just 'came together' (kind of like a puzzle, eh?) and everything relating to that area of life, or area of life, was mobilized on the road to change with seemingly little effort.
The brain, storing memory, being a function of the animal body you as a soul inhabit, serves creates relative associations in the present with other similar experiences in the past. This is one the functions it was designed to do. It is your duty and responsibility, and indeed in your own best interest, to train the brain to work the way you want it to. Through the conscious mind, which is energetically connected to the conscious mind, is your tool for accomplishing this. With your thoughts, you imprint the brain with pathways that push to guide you in the direction that they were programmed in. So for you to go where you want to go in life, program wisely for indeed beliefs do guide our direction in life. Like Newtons' third law of motion, an object will tend to stay in motion until another force opposes it. Our beliefs will continue unchanged, until new beliefs are formed. Sometimes a teacher can help you by opposing your limited belief about yourself, assisting you in changing the direction of the limited belief about yourself.
How you use your memories can either distort or clarify your movement toward your goals and ideals. Beliefs can be anywhere from really weak to really strong and solid, the latter being what is required for knowing to occur. For experience to occur. Bringing past memory thoughts into the present you can superimpose onto the present your colorations, and judgments, or just take a fresh perspective and let the present be what it is and then go from there.
You are the lens of the perception of your experiences. What you see comes from your perception, which is colored by your beliefs. Since the nature of the physical is change, and the nature of mind is growth and movement, stay with the program. Outdated beliefs are like used tires, they need to be discarded and recycled. They served a valuable purpose for a period of time, but need to be changed and made new. Do not let the past color you, making your prejudiced and closed. Say open, willing to release attachments to the past and allow yourself the wonder of fresh experience, opening the door for another positive memory to be used later to build your enlightenment.
Be conscious of how you use memory to form your beliefs. Choose your beliefs wisely and deliberately and draw for the many, many experiences you have had. You have a wealth and abundance to draw from, no matter who you are. Everyone is rich with experiences. Live each day a new, so you can form new beliefs every day, and this will indeed make you feel alive every day.
Know all your beliefs
It is yet further the dictionary includes a definition for the verb 'believe' or 'to believe' in the infinitive. It is: "To consider to be true or honest." Self-awareness implies honesty. What a person can believe about them self, what a person can believe about another person, or group of people, or any other imaginable thing, is indeed based on individual perception. A perception can be accurate or inaccurate, depending upon the objectivity of the individual. To what degree a person is accurate with their perception of them self, is to that degree they can wield an honest conscious ego.
It is of the utmost importance to honestly acknowledge your belief at any given time. Take a personal inventory. A fearless investigation into what you think about just about everything that has happened to you. Everything that exists for your right now. Everything that is possible for you. Like I mentioned earlier, you have beliefs about everything in your life, even if they may be vague.
Examine by taking time to think about then accurately write down several beliefs about what you think about such things as: human nature, science, spirituality, friendship, communication, sexuality, money, power, family, health, success, failure, emotions, authority, learning, love, god, death, life, etc. When you can honestly look at all these different beliefs that you hold, you look at your self again, or re-spect yourself to a much higher degree.
Many people are unconscious of many of their beliefs, and becoming aware of your beliefs is truly a process worth pursuing. It is a constant process. This practice is a great way to build security. The more you do it the more security you will have. You will become more comfortable with who you are, have greater inner authority and be an attractive force. Your awareness of them must attain a level of clarity before you can decide to keep them, or change them into something better. Then you can be free to use the law of Believing and Knowing.
Judgments and misunderstandings about self or others cloud our perceptions and thus impair our ability to form accurate perceptions, and thus beliefs. They are always based upon limited information and a failure and thus need for compassion. The worst judgments are the ones we place on ourselves. Honestly without judgment acknowledging your beliefs, good or bad, is a path to freedom. It is only through purification of our thinking and honesty with compassion that you may accurately identify where you are and gain the real security of knowing 'where you stand on that' and 'what you think about that' in any and all areas of life's great tapestry.
Belief works best when you have a continual image held in mind - consistently. When you keep a still mind and maintain the picture of what you desire you set into motion the laws of creation. When you interrupt your thought forms with scattered attention and doubt, it becomes difficult to cause continued movement toward it, because your mind moves off of the object of desire, and you dilute the manifestation with other thought that prevents a full manifestation from occurring. Creations in your life that are more short-term in nature or immediately manifest - able are so because the belief is so complete and there are no doubts the experience is free to manifest. This is the only reason you experience them like that. The difference lies within your thoughts and your perceptions.
©2002 School of Metaphysics
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