Understanding how beliefs work is key to separate the wheat from the chaff, fiction from fact, truth from true, useful from useless. These metaphors serve as rational contextual guides; given that belief self-reinforce agnostically, they can be helpful.
It’s the agnostic self-reinforcement attribute that gives beliefs its incredible power. It’s important to understand also, that there has never been a human that was operating without beliefs. That means every single human that has ever lived has always been operating from beliefs that predate their existence by a minimum of 60 years (per the science of epigenetics, “The Biology of Belief”, Lipton, 2005).
Epigenetics is key to understanding your beliefs, something that I repeatedly bring up in conjunction with ‘agnostic self-reinforcement’ (“Gravity of Beliefs”, me, 2018) because it provides the background story.
From my previous story, “Epigenetic beliefs are responses to stressors in life and are passed via DNA. Everybody’s life began in their grandmother’s womb when their mother developed all of the eggs she would ever have. The grandparent’s response to stressors in life, combined with other environmental influences, were determined by their grandparents responses. These generational responses are hardwired into the mother’s eggs which are then passed onto the her progeny (Lipton, “The Biology of Belief ”). These epigenetic beliefs are 90% developed by age 7 (Lipton, 2005).
Beliefs are rooted in the physical, thus all feelings are the physical expression of one’s epigenetic beliefs. This physical aspect of beliefs is an accurate predictor of how one will respond to stressors and thus create the self-reinforcements that create the lens and mirrors of one’s perceived reality.”
Even if you didn’t know your grandparents you can have at least of vague idea of their beliefs. It’s simpler than you think. Think on your first memories, how they made you feel. Think on the things that you’ve always thought you can’t possibly change because you’ve tried and fail. Think about those things that made you feel bad. Those are the epigenetic beliefs that are hardwired into your DNA.
That’s why I write that all beliefs are stored in one’s feelings which are physical manifestations of epigenetic beliefs. Emotions are the very best source of epigenetic beliefs. Emotions are your friends. Emotions are the source of all motivations for better or worse. Everyone feels before they act, and depending on the context it can be for better or for worse.
While most epigenetic beliefs are negative, not all of them are. Key: how do you respond to stressors? What is the nature of those stressors? In most cases it’s a perceived “lack”. Lack of money, lack of safety, lack of love. And not all stressors cause one to feel bad. For example, when I’m faced with a physically stressful situation, my response feels like a quickening, a sharpening of my senses. I find myself breathing deep, creating a calm space in my heart and head, with calm rational decisions moving me forward, overcoming whatever the obstacles are. This is almost exclusive to my rock climbing, but includes my off trail adventures in wild places.
I used to think it was just me, but there’s an epigenetic belief in myself that jibes with my experience.
My grandfather was 16 when his father died in a railroad accident. 4 days later that 16 year old kid took on his dad’s job and worked it incident-free for 49 years. What’s more heroic is that he, the eldest of 7 kids, put his 4 brothers and 2 sisters through college before doing anything for himself. This was 1900! College for his sisters!
I have many epic outdoor stories where my grandfather’s belief in himself allowed me to do the same, I have no doubt that most readers also have a relative who has done heroic feats as well. I bring it up because we are literally saturated in epigenetic beliefs and we can work through them, overcome them just by believing that it’s possible to do so.
The latter is why I write about all of the ramifications of how beliefs work. It’s far easier to believe the negative things that have always been a part of your life. We’re all experts at that. Far more difficult is to believe that we can overcome those hardwired beliefs simply by choosing to believe that it’s possible.
Is there something that you feel is impossible? Something that has gotten the better of you every single time. Something that you judge yourself about since as long as you can remember and would like to forget? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. The stuff you’re ashamed of.
Listen. Read this carefully. Meditate on this until you can start breaking down that fortress around your heart: In order for something to be impossible, it first must be possible.
Speak out loud to that so-called impossible thing. Believe that impossibility will be removed and it shall be done. No catch, no reason, no qualifications necessary, nothing for you to do, just remember that all things possible for no other reason than it had to be possible to begin with. Believe in you.