the presence of beliefs

The same message has come to me three times recently: the universe is living and manifested through me. I am enamored with this quote from the January 2011 Science of Mind: “there is a wholeness, perfection, love, and beauty in the universe that is seeking permission to live through and as your life.”

My intellect wants to examine this message with detached curiosity. My mind wants to convince myself that it is true. My heart would like to feel that belief in all its intensity. My presence is silent on the subject. Perhaps, at that deeper level, I already know this to be true.

And, if I choose to believe this, then it must be true for everyone, not just for me.

In yet another round of dual unveiling of self, Ben and I recently had this exchange in the presence of challenge:

Ben wrote “I notice as I move towards the thing that really calls me I run smack dab into my beliefs, boundaries, and comfort zones. That is why I really don’t believe in beliefs and yet I see I have them — some deeply hidden away. Those beliefs are the boundary I self imposed that I am not getting beyond or is creating the suffering and discomfort. I am holding onto some idea, belief, or concept about how my life is supposed to look.”

I responded: “Beliefs ARE self-imposed boundaries and someone created them — we absorbed them from the adults in our lives when we were very young and created them from our experiences. Not believing your beliefs has two facets: the first is some people don’t believe they have beliefs (they are delusional) and the second is as you say not “believing in beliefs” because they are just those thoughts/ideas we create to make a boundary for ourselves.”

That I received these messages about the universe and beliefs simultaneously made my inquisitive little investigator perk right up. What beliefs am I holding on to that hold me back? That cause me suffering? That keep me from becoming the being I truly am? Can I let go of enough belief to make room for the idea that I can be the universe manifested in wholeness, perfection, love, and beauty? Does believing make it so? Can I disband the boundary that I and the universe are separate and apart?

Like Ben, I am following the bread crumbs that I toss myself as I seek the path that lightens my heart and quickens my breath. I am seeking the magic that will unlock the words, the feelings, the living, the thoughts, the intents, and the manifestations of the universe incarnate. I find some paths are blocked with gates and locked with heavy steel barricades.

But I think the universe just handed me a key.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

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16 Responses to “the presence of beliefs”

  1. ButterfliesGalore-Kimberly Grady Says:

    Thanks for the great insights….I am getting the impression that – thought just have my locks changed and get new shiny keys with a new key ring…..maybe even a new key holder in the kitchen to boot!!

  2. Barbara Kass Says:

    Hi, Kim – get all new shiny stuff! And be discriminating when it comes to who gets keys . . . 😀

  3. ntexas99 Says:

    The truth behind us imposing beliefs that stand in our own way of achieving our highest potential is so simple to see, yet so difficult to unlock. Thanks for sharing the possibility that the universe is eager to hand us the key, if only we are willing to accept the limitless boundaries of freedom.

    Barricades and gates do their jobs efficiently, and shackles can be very effective, but keys ask us to let go of something, and to open ourselves towards the unknown. What if each of us was someone else’s key? It would be such a waste to simply jangle about making tinkling noises, when there is work to be done. Thanks for giving me a fresh perspective.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      I love the idea of being someone else’s key, Nancy. Since I “believe” we are all One, it only makes sense that we can provide opportunity so that others can open doors they perceive as being closed to them. I think of the story about Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan. Annie was Helen’s key to a full and vibrant life. Even more relevant for me is that the universal presence is asking me permission . . . I have a choice and I very much appreciate the respect that shows me.

  4. holessence Says:

    Barbara – This post has been like one of those lush baskets fill with juicy fruit from Harry & David. It’s not only delicious to look at, but it’s even better when you sink your teeth into a mouthwatering piece and start to chew.

    I know I use this metaphor over-and-over again when I read your blog, but it’s oh-so-true for me. Every time I read your posts I get another tasty helping of food for thought.

    Thank you!

  5. Barbara Kass Says:

    I hope you get nice and fat here, Laurie! Taste’s good! Very filling! No calories! You and I should write a book together called “food for thought.” It would be filled with these delicious recipes for creating the life we love and is good for us.

  6. passionatepresence Says:

    I can tell you that finally seeing how beliefs can rule my life… unconsciously was such a long time in coming. Why? Because I believed that I knew something and that what I knew was the right thing to know and true since I had so much experience. (tongue embedded in cheek)

    But experience with what? Experience with being who I thought I was. Experience with being who people said I was, or trying to live up to their ideas of who I should be…

    I can remember that up to the age of 5 I was so happy. Life was just open play. I started school, and to age 11, I had no good idea of why school was important or why I should do school work. I was just living in a open space… and falling behind the GRAND plan whatever that was.

    I got in so much trouble because I wasn’t conforming. I was punished, moved next to the teacher, spent time in the principal’s office, sent to my room, teased and ostracized by other kids, grounded from outside play, and just plain beaten to name the primary conditioning strategies.

    Finally at age 12 I thought enough of this. I will do what they want and I will try really hard so I can get everyone off my back. Well it worked. I started to make honor roll, getting positive attention, and I was to stay out of trouble most of the time. ;o)

    Here’s the sneaky thing. All that attention and conforming, and I concluded life was soaking up the ideas of others, repeating them in the way that was right, and then I would survive… gloriously.

    Shew! What a prison I built, and the pressure I have put on myself has been laser intense. What was at the foundation of all of it? Yep! Beliefs! It doesn’t even matter which ones. I have tried on beliefs from the extreme conservative to the extreme liberal and right down the middle.

    Somewhere and in some circumstance each belief broke down. It didn’t and couldn’t cover all of life. Life could not be controlled and grasped from the conceptual place of beliefs. Scott Kiloby wrote and I paraphrase. Living life through the conceptual filters of thought is analogous to petting a drawing of your dog on a piece of paper. Not the real deal.

    http://www.kiloby.com/

    And Yet…. I continued to try when in fact life has been tapping on the window with the most obvious invitation ever. The invitation to freedom. The invitation to be myself undefined and unknown. I don’t have to know. I just “be” it from the heart and it doesn’t have to look a particular way.

    Are there really any rules in how life should be? Not really, AND Yes. It is nice we have some agreements that allow us to live together without harming one another even though they don’t always work.

    So, do I really have to mind the beliefs of others? Yeah! I am coming full circle here. Everyone is welcome to all the beliefs they want. They will anyway. Who or What is to say they shouldn’t? Beliefs have been a great teacher, and I have been a slow learner. They teach me directly in each moment, and I get immediate and direct feedback. I don’t always pay attention to it, but paying attention to it is so helpful.

    So when I get tweaked with some suffering or start feeling bad about myself and circumstances I stay with the feeling or emotion and ask myself what am I believing? Sometimes I am believing something healthy and it just isn’t serving in that specific situation. Usually, I am believing something that just isn’t so. Seeing that is freeing from it albeit sometimes slowly. ;o)

    So I will wrap up with a poem. Unmani asked us in the online retreat this week to contemplate the question “Who Are You?” I thought Yuck! I can’t answer that. I have no idea. There is so much unseen. I have heard that one for years. I still can’t answer it.

    Then I thought. How do you FEEL when you are most like yourself? I can get into feeling. So I felt what it is like to be me when I am feeling most like myself. The word that popped up (surprisingly) was freedom. I feel like FREEDOM. That was surprising. I kept feeling and other aspects of feeling my truest self arose, and then the bomb dropped. This is a poem. I have learned to write it out so I could see more clearly. Here it is….

    Feeling like Freedom
    leaping like an excited child
    from the school house steps,
    into the moment,
    the biggest adventure possible,
    happening now.

    No rules, limitations, or borders
    doing anything, everything
    all is possible,
    and yet,
    nothing is needed,
    nothing is wanted,
    all is given
    perfectly,
    AND
    instantly forgiven.

    Feeling like…
    The Wild Jungle Cat
    ever watchful
    on the prowl
    always poised and alive.
    ON!
    willing to die
    any moment
    as it is
    rather than being
    anything
    less than itself.

    Knowingness in an instant
    not from book,
    not from a memory,
    from a mysterious,
    long forgotten,
    ancient place,
    previously unknown,
    yet
    instantly clear,
    only when ready
    and
    at the same time,
    continually released
    for the fresh space
    of the wind,
    the cool breeze,
    on the sizzling hot,
    heat of the day.

    Stillness…
    Both transparent
    and solid,
    impossible to imagine,
    ever penetrating
    the opening
    of
    a genderless bride.
    S\he
    IS
    the
    wise watcher.

    Beloved!
    a wild wanton lover,
    making love,
    from the inside out,
    nothing is safe,
    nothing lasts,
    naked,
    and free
    no place to hang a hat,
    no costume
    to wear.

    All that Beloved,
    even more
    and some how
    nothing
    as the space
    where it all appears
    and passes away.

    No hesitation!

    Who
    Do YOU
    Say
    I
    Am?

    ~z~

    Of course words can’t capture it, and truthfully I feel pretty screwed up at times. I feel angry, lost, tired, confused, etc… Who is to say there is anything wrong with that?

    So maybe I am everything that the appears and the open space that contains it just as it is. I still don’t know and that is just fine. There is the freedom to be all of it and none of it.

    Who do you say you are?

    My apologies for being so lengthy today! Didn’t mean to be a Blog Hog! Just an excited school boy leaping away.

    Lots of Love,
    Ben

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Be a Blog Hog all you want! You have explained beliefs in a way that I have only begun to look at. Your belief that “life was soaking up the ideas of others, repeating them in the way that was right, and then I would survive” is probably true for 99% of us. I am aware of beliefs that I adopted for the sole purpose of survival and I was well into adulthood before I could let them go because letting go threatened my survival so severely.

      As adults, our interactions with others is mostly (if not all) by agreement. As children, we had to buy into the belief systems of the grown-ups who had charge over us. Some of us bought into a belief system that works for us. Others of us are still pretending if we just try a little harder, we could get it right and live happily ever after.

      I will have to check out Scott Kiolby. Living life within our heads and the conceptual structures we imagine help organize us is a make-believe existence. Real life is still happening to us and all around us . . . we just cannot feel it to embrace it.

      I like the idea of asking myself “what am I believing about this?” when something happens and results in my feeling bad. Then, I need to check and see if the belief is true or just a story I am telling myself.

      Your poem is awesome . . . especially the part about the jungle cat willing to die rather than be anything less than who it truly is. What a wonderful place you have found yourself to be.

  7. holessence Says:

    During this small window of opportunity between clients I am THOROUGHLY ENJOYING reading this dialog!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      It is pretty cool, isn’t it? My mind starts out in one place and then all of this wonderful feedback and growth and integration and assimilation comes together into something new and sends me off in another deeper direction.

  8. passionatepresence Says:

    It certainly is cool Barbara…. and it took me a long time to see that it was o.k. to not know where everything was leading. And the big kicker in some experiences I have had was they turned out to be NOTHING like I imagined or predicted.

    I certainly wasn’t walking on air, floating, or levitating. Every little seed that resonates is something I can follow. I am loosening my grip and personal investment on results or knowing why or where what resonates leads. I can actually follow the seemingly most quirky intuition that my reasoning and thought processes don’t get, but my heart wants to pursue.

    However I can see….

    I have had my heart on a leash, and worshiped my mind as a God.
    That started to relax (not completely) when I saw how much of my thinking was based on beliefs, points of view, stories about the future and the past, biased perceptions, etc…. I wasn’t just petting the paper dog, I was living in a paperback novel, and I was the only one reading the story line. I still get caught by that.

    I really had a tough time some years ago understanding the Buddhist concept of Maya or the Hindu ideas around our living in an illusory world.
    When it started to sink in conceptually, I thought Oh! I get it now! Actually, I got the concept, but it hadn’t really sunk in. I decided somewhere along the line that understanding something conceptually was the same thing as knowing it.

    Not even close.

    My God I thought I was so HOT spiritually! LOL!

    Not until I really saw how much of my reality was based on some story line, beliefs, points of view, survival strategies did I have to concede that there was some truth to these concepts in this life I am living. It was humbling enough that my investment in a personal self could loosen and see something beyond its own filtered personal world view.

    I had to see what it was I was doing to myself for myself. I don’t know why anyone would want to do that except there is gold and it is not at the end of the path. It is here right now. So, that is wonderfully beyond my expectations.

    To realize I was making up most of my views on life or buying into someone’s else’s made up world view was humbling. To see how embedded they are is coming up now.

    I have to laugh at how ridiculous my supposedly advance spiritual self would look today. I am actually finding out the living meaning of the Bible phrase “The Meek shall inherit the earth.”

    Until I “became willing” to stop worshiping the God of my mind and became willing to see and confess how I have been blind did I really start to see that what I thinking wasn’t true. Now I am “starting” to enjoy the process “slowly”, and you know what? The veil starts to drop and in my case rises again. It can go any number of ways. For some the veil drops and stays that way. It can happen any way it needs to AND I don’t have to argue with it one way or another because life seems to resolve everything in its own way and in its own time.

    Just so I am clear, being able to think conceptually is a beautiful thing. There is nothing “wrong” with it. It can create some of the most beautiful, healing, supportive, advanced, evolving, and loving aspects of life. It does have its dark side when grasped too tightly and worshiped as the only way and not allowed to develop in the dynamic flow of life.

    I am learning there is nothing wrong. Life supports us and we get the course corrections we need in the way we need them for those called to them. And for those not called they give their lives to it as well whether they know it or not. So really my role is no better or no worse than anyone else’s. And Yes, it is a role. That’s fine. And it is not who I really am.

    Unleashing the heart and following the resonance no mater what IS it! Giving myself permission… HUGE.

    Wonderful Topic!
    Thank you!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      You are so wise, Ben, to be aware of your ego AND to not give yourself grief about it :-). I am learning lessons of humility, especially as I witness how amazing the universe is and will continue to be with or without my help. You are growing in such amazing ways, too. I am very grateful that you are sharing your process with me and others who read here.

      I had to laugh at your comment about being “hot” spiritually. For a time, I was enamored with becoming spiritually pure and wonderful . . . it did not last long. I argue too much. I question too much. And, I am far too human to put up with my own perfection for very long! There is always something that needs fixing, and I am comforted by the same thought you have above. There is nothing wrong. Even with my imperfections, I am perfect.

  9. sandiwhite Says:

    Barbara, you do open up some interesting windows, some I’ve never noticed. So while we work at reinforcing our walls and barriers to protect and nurture our sacred beliefs, the Universe is steadily and quietly eroding them to bring them down, at least enough so we can peek out and see what we are missing. I see it.
    I can’t believe that I am seeing this a week after it was written! My subscription notifier has taken a vacation it seems, or maybe just skipped town.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Sandy — it has been a whole week!!??? Oh, dear. Time to get writing again. This discourse has set me off in a few different directions and I haven’t decided which one to write about next. I need to just pick ONE and move on it. I like what you say about how we struggle to guard our beliefs as if they were the absolute truth and we cannot live without them while the Universe is “quietly eroding them” trying to get us to see what is right before our eyes. I think what I might write about is what I see is possible. Of all the things we could create and make happen, look at what we’ve done.
      I will be glad to send you personal notifications 😀

  10. kig her Says:

    Howdy! I know this is kind of off-topic but I needed
    to ask. Does building a well-established blog like yours take a
    lot of work? I am brand new to writing a blog but I do write in my journal daily.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my personal experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, kig her — if you write in your journal daily, you can blog daily. The work is a labor of love, attention, and nurturing relationships — the internal relationship you have with yourself and the ones you have with others. Facebook is a great place to make connections. I make sure to follow other people’s blogs, too.

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