What Don’t You Believe?

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Recently Kris asked a provocative question. ‘What don’t you believe?

Our focus for many years has been on our beliefs, especially our limiting beliefs, and it is a new twist to consider what it is that we do NOT believe about ourselves and the universe.

Apart from occasional imaginative excursions into dreams or fantasy, what we don’t believe is rarely part of the conversation. We have gotten used to blaming our troubles on what we believe, ignoring this other half of the equation.

But, of course, what we don’t believe is just as influencing, changeable, and revealing as what we believe, and just as transformative.


There are actually two levels (at least) of reality. One is the camouflage physical reality we create and interact with here in this focal experience. Within this dimension, we use beliefs and expectations to physically manifest the experiences we want to have and everything is beautifully set up to support that.

There is another layer though, a background layer if you will, where we are not so involved with beliefs as we are engaged in probabilities and choices, and the consequent projection of our energies into situations that are ripe for shared expansion of awareness – fulfillment.


It occurred to me to consider what the parallel expressions might be in regards to ‘not believing’ in our physical senses. What kinds of things do I choose not to believe, to see, hear, feel, etc.?


Sight – unseeable, invisible, transparent, unsightly, indiscernible
Sound – inaudible, unlistenable, cacophony, interference, unclear
Touch – untouchable, unfeeling, impervious, insensible, cold
Smell – sterile, empty, neutral, customary, mundane
Taste – tasteless, bland, flat, insipid, unpalatable


The revealing thing about these sensory judgments is that while the structure doesn’t change much across cultures, time frames and civilizations, the particulars of the beliefs are all over the map.

In this culture, this thing tastes the best, and this thing tastes the worst. And this thing is not considered as food at all. In this other culture – OMG! – the very thing that was beyond the pale in the other culture is the favorite!

This happens all the time in cultural and anthropological studies. The idea structures are always there, perhaps with some local variation, but the particulars are wonderfully variable.

In some cultures, big, fat grubs are a delicacy, especially when roasted over an open fire and eaten whole. In other cultures (ours) these same grubs are attacked with poisonous chemicals and the idea of eating them is revolting. But the belief structures about what is edible and what is inedible are the same, only the details are different.


Claude Levi Strauss did some wonderful work exploring the inner structures of mythologies, belief systems. Turns out there is this vast and massive template, or blueprint if you will, of ideas about who we are and how things work.

Any given culture or civilization takes up a portion of this template and works its magic on the possibilities involved.

When you add up all the various beliefs and ideas of all the civilizations, you end up with an approximation of the whole thing – the big picture.


So the things we choose NOT to believe or perceive are just as meaningful as the things we choose to focus on. What if we were able to release our judgment about all the stuff we filter out of our perceptions?


What if we allowed ourselves to see something ‘unsightly’ without judgment?

What if we tuned into something that was unclear or unlistenable before?

What if we were able to reach out and feel something for what we had thought was untouchable?

What if we were suddenly able to smell just the air, just breathing and being alive?

What if we realized that ‘good taste’ and ‘bad taste’ were just ideas and we started to really taste things for what they were?

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