How Arbitrary Are Your Beliefs?

These days nobody really challenges you anymore when you say the world is what you think it is. We have all come to understand and accept that our perspective influences how we feel — and that our feelings influence our interpretation of what we see.


The world I see is vastly different from the world you see.


But what does that mean?

If we don’t see the same world, does that mean the world isn’t actually ‘real’? 
And… if the world isn’t actually real, does that mean we are dreaming?

As a shaman I would say ‘yes’ to these last two questions. This would not mean that life is an illusion. It would mean that the reality that you are experiencing right now is only one of many dreams. 

That everything is a dream, is what Hawaiian shamans accept as a basic assumption.

They accept that everything is a dream and that the world is what you think it is.


Like me, you can accept these basic assumptions, but we can’t prove them either way.

Scientists may feel they can prove the existence of something simply because it corresponds to what they assume are reliable parameters. But I might consider their perspective too narrow and their focus too limited and so what they claimed as ‘true’ might not hold any meaning for me.

The real difference between our worlds, then, is in how we perceive them – independent of any hard ‘realities’.


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For one person, having a military post in the vicinity may mean safety, while for another it may mean danger! So the military post may be a given, but my assumptions about that post vary according to my beliefs and expectations.

So then what is the meaning of that military post in that spot? What is the truth of that station?


What is the truth of a pipeline? That it will destroy lands – or that it will provide jobs? Or that it will fill the pockets of the wrong people? Those people, incidentally, will consider themselves the right people – it is all a matter of perspective.

What, then, is the truth of a tree? What is the truth of a forefather? What is the truth of future generations? What is the truth of a car? What is the truth of a god?


The truth is a bit of an arbitrary concept at the best of times!

Which, essentially, means all meanings are made up and the Absolute Truth is whatever you decide it is.

You may not agree with that assumption, but whatever you come up with in return, will also be an assumption. You may have accepted yours as truth, and it may actually work for you, but the decision to consider it ‘true’, has been arbitrary. It was, most likely, based on something that people before you did.


You, with your knowledge of the world, a knowledge which has been passed on to you by others, have no way of knowing the truth.

You can only make the decision to hold an assumption as true.


The meaning of anything, then, simply depends on your interpretation of it.

And either you come up with your own interpretation, or you choose to accept someone else’s, but these are your only options — and the decision for either is arbitrary.


Therefore, all systems that describe life and its workings are arbitrarily made up based on certain decisions to accept certain interpretations of experience.

What you believe, in other words, the belief system you choose to hold true, is based on your personal set of expectations and beliefs.

If it is your experience that your parents are level-headed, trust-worthy people, you are more likely to accept whatever beliefs they hold true. And if they said it was so, then you will probably believe that abundance is the result of hard work and that if you choose to be a slacker instead, you will not be rewarded financially for your choices!


If you look at it in that light, what really matters is not whether a particular belief system is true (which is, after all, an arbitrary concept).


What matters is how well that system works for you!

If it works for you, use it; if it doesn’t, then use something else!


Bottom line, a belief system is nothing but a point of view!

And you are free to change that point of view at will, according to the situation at hand!

The only question is: how deeply ingrained are your beliefs?

As long as a deep part of you believes you need to work hard for your abundance, you will have a hard time simply ‘allowing’ it, because that concept is alien to your deeper beliefs.

You may prefer to believe the allowing, you may even mentally know that allowing makes more sense, but until the balance swings in favour of the new belief, you will be caught in the conflict of the two.

This, by the way, is the reason so many of us keep succumbing to the Shiny Object Syndrome:

Something resonates, we know it to be true, but implementing it into our lives takes time.

It requires a change in our thought patterns.

If we do not implement real change then the novelty of our new found belief will soon wear off. And we will replace it with the next notion that ‘sounds about right’, the next shiny object.

But until we stop to implement the beliefs we prefer, we are stuck with the ones we had before. Because they are our default settings.

And we can change them. It’s not all that hard. But you do have to actually DO that!

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