Bruce Lipton wrote a book some years ago called The Biology of Belief. He describes how our beliefs influence our physiology, including gene expression. This came out of early research on epigenetics (gene expression).
We can describe beliefs as mental structures. They’re a framework on which we hang our stories about the world. The mind likes to have explanations for whatever happens so it can feel comfortable and in control. But how well do these stories and beliefs serve us?
We receive a massive amount of information through our senses. Our stories and beliefs become part of a pre-filter to prioritize all that information. A tiny percent is then shuttled to the conscious mind. For example, we’re interested in buying a certain model car. Suddenly, we’ll notice that model around us a lot more.
But more concerning is if we believe something like all dogs are dangerous. Then we’ll notice whatever arises around us and in news stories that confirms our belief. We screen our contradictory information as not relevant. They call this cognitive bias. There are quite a few types.
In modern culture, we collect a lot of beliefs that don’t serve us. The Internet brings us lots of ideas but there’s a high “noise” factor. For example, you can find hundreds of web sites talking about the chakras in simplistic ways. Spiritual practices and beliefs are sometimes built on poor understanding like the use of force or chasing experiences.
As well, life is evolving and the rules are changing. Because of our pre-filters, we’ll tend not to notice or not see clearly. Many think things as getting worse in the world. Even the idea that things are changing is scary for some.
If our beliefs go against nature or the trends of time, they will be less supported. We’ll experience more friction and difficulty in life.
Recently, Dorothy Rowe observed that modern teens are experimenting with beliefs. Some are conscious enough to try editing their blueprint. They’re exploring new definitions of self, changing their appearance and even gender. Because they’re still growing, they’re more pliable. We can hope they make wise choices before things become more established. Yet this possibility remains for all of us.
I can note that the mind does not operate on the causal level so our beliefs are not fundamental. But they are laid over the deeper structures of our form so have a significant influence on our experiences. It matters what we believe.
I’d encourage you to look beyond self-definition and discover your deeper nature, beyond mind and belief. Changing our reality causes discordant beliefs to fall away.
This echoes the work of George Lakoff who works with cognitive frame theory. I am also reminded of Paul Simon’s succinct summary in The Boxer:”Yet a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”
Yes, there are many who have worked in forms of cognitive therapy. We can’t really avoid it but its useful to be conscious of.
Although this does play to the mechanics of karma producing a shadow, what we can’t see.