The dictionary says that a belief is “an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists”. In addition, it can also refer to trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something. According to Wikipedia,
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.
A lot of questions were regularly asked of me when I moved to the USA – about my religious upbringing and certain aspects of Hinduism that flummox the western mind. In the age before the internet (mid 80s), I had a lot of interesting discussions with good friends about various aspects of Hinduism and what a believed about concepts like polytheism and reincarnation. At first, these questions irritated me because I had never been asked, or myself had asked these questions growing up and living in India. However, once I realized that these questions were being asked in a genuine spirit of knowing, it forced me to research a lot of beliefs that I had taken for granted growing up in India.
So, in essence, all the questions that were asked of me led me back to a study of texts, scriptures and writings of scholars and long discussions with friends – both Indian and American. Looking back, I am very grateful that folks had the courage to ask these questions of me – because it made some of my beliefs stronger and caused me to discard certain beliefs (that were rooted in superstition) over time.
As you grow older and move through different stages of life and experience different life situations, you may be led to question and examine some of your beliefs. This may also be true for some of your sacred, spiritual beliefs. While some may consider that the mere questioning of our spiritual beliefs is blasphemy, it is perhaps a sign of spiritual growth to examine our beliefs, isn’t it?
As we examine our beliefs from time to time, one may ask – Where did this particular belief come from? Did it come from my parents or caregivers? Did it come from a religious authority figure or scripture? Did it come from a good friend or community member who has influenced us? Have I been living this particular belief or have I been holding it on to it because I am afraid to discard it?
I invite you to join us in our weekly #SpiritChat discussion to share your spiritual beliefs with the SpiritChat community on twitter. Sunday, March 18th at 9am ET / 1pm GMT (note new GMT time due to US time-change).
Bring your questions and beliefs with you!
Update: Transcript from the live chat on ‘Our Spiritual Beliefs’ is at http://bit.ly/sc-tr-0318
Q1. What are some core beliefs that form the foundation of your spiritual life? Q2. Where did some of your strongest spiritual beliefs originate? Family? Scriptures? Teachers? Q3. How does one decide - which belief to keep, which to discard? Q4. Could you share any beliefs that you you discarded recently that weren't serving you well? Q5. What is the connection between faith and belief? Q6. What role do our spiritual beliefs play in our online and offline relationships? Q7. What is a spiritual truth that you believe today that you wish you had known ten years ago? Q8. What are some practices or resources that you use to grow your spiritual beliefs? #SpiritChat