“I discovered that it is necessary, absolutely necessary, to believe in nothing. That is, we have to believe in something which has no form and no color--something which exists before all forms and colors appear... No matter what god or doctrine you believe in, if you become attached to it, your belief will be based more or less on a self-centered idea.”To hold a belief tightly is to fall prey to your own ignorance. Beliefs are what divide us from one another.
― Shunryu Suzuki
I have tried to hold beliefs of various kinds throughout my life - through holding them I thought that I might attain some state of happiness or peace within myself. I clung to the idea that in order to be fully alive as a better human being I would have to find something outside myself that could come into me and change me.
A lot of Buddhist practices are this way. They teach the way to happiness or enlightenment is through a path of practice - as if happiness is a skill that can be learned or remembered. Christianity, Islam, Baha'i and other religions all profess a means of attainment of God-consciousness, or God-realization; referring to this state as a kind of union with divinity. But, the truth CANNOT exist anywhere in time. It cannot be located anywhere other than right here and right now. The truth or reality is always present. Reality is the wholeness of existence happening each moment as now.
But, I have realized that all religions fall short in their expression of the indescribable - as would be expected. All human communication falls short of expressing the divine.
The divine is non other than THIS - the very ALLNESS of everything. Moment by moment the divine reality that is the very BEING of life unfolds itself through diverse manifestations of itself. Endless expression through diversity is the very nature of the divine that is ONENESS itself.
Beneath the surface of life expressed through time is the timeless reality that is Being; the very source and existence of all consciousness.
Awareness of this timeless, formless reality occurs in meditation. Not as a progressive unveiling - but rather as a constant presence that is constant, unchangeable. It defies words to define it. It simply IS.
I have abandoned formal belief systems in preference for complete openness - Faith.
Faith is the complete trust in the nature of reality. To have faith above belief is to look at all things with a "beginner's mind;" a mind that sees things as they are with no interpretation based on prior conditioning.
Faith is not a belief in the hope of truth - faith is the complete willingness to accept all that is, on its own terms with no interpretation, as full-on moment by moment experience.
Self-denial is considered to be an important part of happiness. There is no greater self-denial than to deny that there is any permanence to the character that I claim as me beyond the integrated life that is ALL OF THIS happening right now.
Bye Bye Belief - Hello Happiness