Belief is a word
whose meaning has been usurped
by doubt and uncertainty.
These days it has become fashionable
to disparage those who take a position.
So only some dare to do so.
The rest say, "I believe..."
when what they really mean is
"I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about,
but I have a good guess, but I could be wrong
and don't want to be held accountable."
It's time to recover the meaning of the word,
Here's one commonly used usage:
ex: "I believe the correct phone number is . . . [ ]".
ex: "I believe that it's next Thursday, at 7:30 p.m."
In both cases, the person is correctly casting doubt
upon her information,
since she isn't sure, herself.
But she want to be helpful,
and so fills in the gaps of memory with guesses
based in faint traces of memory.
"I believe" isn't filler for,
"I'm not sure, but here's my best guess."
That isn't belief.
The word, belief,
"having an experience of".
If you don't have that kind of direct clarity,
what you have is not a belief,
but perhaps a guess,
perhaps a good idea of something,
or perhaps it's something you believe you should believe
or something you think others or someone else believes,
but you don't have a belief.
What people take as "belief"
is really a watered-down version of belief,
adulterated by -- mixed with --
conflicting and irrelevant notions,
and plain-old incomplete education in
the actual experience.
It's shabby belief,
not well-tailored belief.
So, when we say, "believe",
we'd better mean a matter-of-fact disclosure of an experience,
whether actual lived or vividly intuited/dreamed,
or of knowledge without doubt -- or insistence --
and instead of the shabby version of, "I believe,"
we say, "I think,"
or "I guess"
"we surmise" or
"they speculated aloud," (instead of "they believe")
and we never claim to know
what another believes,
but only say, "we think (s)he believes,"
or "we guess (s)he believes"
or "we intuit (s)he believes"
or "we feel (s)he believes",
or "we believe (s)he believes".
Beliefs can be sticky wickets.
Trying out that perspective may help make them less sticky
by being more accurate and more honest.
We may not know what certain beliefs we have are,
and still experience our beliefs' effects.
Uncover those hidden beliefs,
Get unstuck from the Sticky Wicket.
Whack that mole.
(If you've done The Gold Key Release and The Memory Matrix Fair-Mindedness Ritual for any period of time, you know what I mean.)