Science Of The Lost Symbol


What Are Beliefs?

You’ve heard the saying, “You are what you eat?” What goes into your mouth shapes your body, effecting how it functions and the condition of your health. In the same way, you are what you believe. What goes on in your mind shapes not only your body and health, but to some degree it also influences the very condition of your life and the “reality” of the world. Just as food provides physical nutrition, your thoughts and beliefs provide psychological nutrition.

Your entire worldview arises out of your beliefs. Are you a pessimist or optimist? An extrovert or introvert? What are your fears? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What do you believe is possible for you? Do you believe you are at the mercy of others’ decisions or do you believe you are the master of your own fate? Do you rely more on logic or emotions? Reason or intuition? When you answer these kinds of questions, you begin to reveal your beliefs. Your beliefs are shaped from earliest childhood, influenced by your parents and extended family, your teachers and other authority figures; your socio-economic situation, cultural heritage, and religious upbringing; by what you watch on television, listen to on the radio or your iPod, read or watch on the Internet, read in books and magazine, hear from advertisers, and more. You may be running belief programs that you don’t even consciously know you have, for your beliefs are thought patterns that are stored in your subconscious mind.

Your subconscious mind is like a computer. It is essentially programmed by you in response to your environment, and it stores exactly what you put into it, without judgment or comment. Unlike your conscious, reasoning mind, your subconscious doesn’t mull things over. It follows the rules you set up for it and faithfully executes the program you installed in it. That’s why so many of us make plans to change—as in our New Year’s resolutions—yet quickly find ourselves back to our old ways. You can say positive affirmations until the cows wander home, but if you don’t truly believe the words you are repeating at the subconscious level, you won’t be able to live them. Yes, you can use will to change. But it is not a reliable way of achieving long-lasting change. Will rests on emotions much of the time, and our emotions tend to shift like the wind. This is the reason why so many people fail when using techniques popularized in books such as The Secret. Their conscious intentions seem clear, but in reality they are working mostly at the emotional level, and their intentions are in conflict with their core subconscious belief programs, and so nothing changes. We often undertake change in our life based on a shift in our emotions, but our emotions are not our beliefs.

Christopher Walton, a performance psychologist, uses bioenergetic techniques in his Belief Change Process coaching and workshops. He makes an important distinction between emotions and beliefs in his book, Incredible You: Unleashing the Power of Your Beliefs and Intentions to Achieve an Extraordinary Life:

“. . . to change our lives, we need to go deeper than simply exploring our emotions—we need to get to the level of our core beliefs. Emotions can be clues to our beliefs, but they are not enough in and of themselves to tell us what is really influencing us and our lives.

“It’s important to understand that I am not talking about attitudes here. Our overall emotional template is more than a set of attitudes. Attitudes, as in a positive versus a negative outlook on facing challenges and meeting opportunities, are important, but they are still surface level in terms of the impact they have on our lives, and they are subject to situation, environment, the people around us, and other transient influences. Beliefs go much deeper and form a more or less stable, even if unconscious, ‘palette’ by which we live our lives. The reality is that percolating beneath any of our core emotions is a set of conscious and subconscious beliefs that control our perceptions of life and thus also control our emotions, thoughts, and the quality of our actions and behaviours. The beliefs are the scaffolding that hold our emotions in place, however transient those emotions may be. Our beliefs are the foundation upon which rests the entire structure of our life and its perceived quality.”

Beliefs are essentially thought patterns, and like all thoughts they change the biochemistry of our body. If you think of biting into a lemon, your mouth may pucker and you may produce more saliva. The thought-to-physical response time is almost instantaneous. Beliefs work in a similar way. They drive your behaviors, and so they affect every aspect of your life, including your physiology. That’s why many of the techniques for accessing your subconscious beliefs—so you can actually know what they are and whether or not they are in alignment with your conscious intention—work through the body. One set of techniques for accessing beliefs patterns through your body is Walton’s Belief Change Process, and another is PSYCH-K, developed by Rob Williams. Both rely on applied kinesiology, or muscle testing. Your subconscious cannot be accessed directly, but it is always mediating motor, stress and other responses of your body. Therefore, these techniques use muscle responses (“strong” and “weak” signals when pressure is applied to your outstretched arm) to gauge your subconscious state of agreement with a conscious belief statement you say aloud. They are, of course, more complicated than this, but they both work through the body to access your subconscious mind.

Bruce Lipton, cell biologist and author of the book The Biology of Belief, tells of how after public presentations about the new biology, audience members would come up to him and ask how to work with their beliefs, now that they knew how important doing so was to their health and well-being. He was at a loss as how to advise these people. Then he saw PSYCH-K in action, and he recognized that it was a quick and effective way to access and change beliefs. He collaborated with Rob Williams in several presentations and continues to endorse his program.

You can’t fake a belief. You can fake an emotion, but not the core “truths” by which you form your perception of life. For example, you can put on a brave face as you prepare to meet a challenge, but if deep inside your subconscious you are running an “I’m a failure” program, then you are not likely to meet that challenge well or successfully. We sabotage ourselves all the time through our subconscious beliefs, and we have only to look at the patterns in our lives to discern how our beliefs may be the cause. If you are continually choosing mates who are not good for you, you may be running an “I’m not worthy of love” program. If you jump from job to job, always hired for your smarts but never living up to your potential, you may be running a self-sabotaging “I’m an intellectual imposter” program. And so the show goes. You beliefs shape just about every aspect of your life, from your health to your professional performance to your relationships to your “happiness quotient.” So, when it comes to affecting reality—whether using imagery for healing from an illness or using focused intention to manifest your desires, aligning your subconscious and conscious beliefs is key. 

Belief is at the heart of the placebo/nocebo effects and plays a large role in most systems for using focused intention. However, not all energy healers or scientists claim it is crucial for healing. For example, Eric Perl, the originator of Reconnective Healing, believes no belief is necessary to heal. One only has to get out of the way and allow healing energies to pass through you. You are, in effect, a transmitter of natural energies, and so don’t have to “do” anything at all. Some amazing healings have been facilitated through Reconnective Healing. Another example is the research of William Bengston, who used a form of healing that requires no belief in it to heal mice. Anyone could be trained at it. (See Healing Intentions I—Non-Human in the Healing tab of this site.) Some researchers find that the best way to use intention in healing, or for any purpose for that matter, is to keep your intention generalized, asking simply that the natural order be restored. (See Healing Intentions I—Non-Human of the Healing tab on this site.) Still, most of the scientific research into healing and the use of intention reveals that belief and expectation are important. The fact may be that there are many ways to best use your mind to heal, change your life and manifest your desires, and you simply have to find the technique that is right for you.

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