While the suspension of disbelief may be an enjoyable experience during a story, suspending personally embedded beliefs in exchange for a contrary value is often an unrealistic request. Many attest to the difficulty of postponing skepticism of a novel philosophical view, mainly when the challenger is its polar opposite.
Here’s a question to illustrate: what color is the sky? This question likely initiates an instant inner message which arrives at your mental inbox. The memo reflects your experiences, memories, your scientific understanding, and accepted folklore or mythology. Ultimately your answer is determined by the mental reflex to the question and is always rooted in the psyche. Therefore, the sky’s actual coloration is a question of relativity.
Let’s consider another example. Wafting smoke from a Fourth of July barbecue can signal another kind of instant mental message. Depending on your experience, the smoke could conjure the image of roasting prime meats dripping excess fats or veggie skewers with roasting tomatoes and garlic cloves. In either case, the briquettes’ wafting scent signals a peak response through the olfactory receptors that food is preparing, and people are gathering. The traditions of cookouts go back to our ancient ancestor’s first open fire cooking. Is this the reason that grilling brings instantaneous receptivity and enjoyment amongst people worldwide? I assert that every experience form in the psyche, not the grill.
Our values, beliefs, or disbelief, and expectations are all intrinsically attached to the psyche. We all walk and talk from the recesses of our minds. It’s the “self” imposing the looking glass of experience upon reality. The psyche receives an automatic invite to every occasion. It makes the world and reality alive. Experience isn’t able to exist without the mind.
Here’s another scenario to illustrate this point. Is walking a dog trained diligently from birth in a loving way, experiencing reality? Or is this dog in a version of reality based on its personal experience? Would this dog have experienced reality the same if it had grown up wild without any training? The answer is, “Bark, bark, woof!” It is up to the dog to answer such a question.
Robert, the dog trainer, once asked me, “Would you like to see my poodle doodle stand upright on its hind legs, balance a large rubber ball on its nose, spin around in circles, and bark?” I was skeptical a dog could do this until I saw it with my own eyes. It was such an astonishing sight that I heard circus music playing in my ears. However, it is not always practical to rely on first-person observable opportunities to distinguish the real from the unrealistic.
Deeply held beliefs can make illusions real, which is a conundrum of the psyche. Convictions have the invisible mental leash that forms the quality of our experiences and expressions. It guides us on where to be and what to avoid. Some moments the belief is quick and constrained, but other moments it is curious and flexible.
Beliefs fall within a spectrum from ideals to firmly set convictions. Unless, of course, a person thinks otherwise, which would be considered a different view. Regardless, the experience of reality and all its relative dispositions are a reflection of the energetic psyche.
Indeed there is more to life than belief. It’s crucial to note that there is consensus belief as well. In general, consensus belief is when multiple personal views combine to get along or possibly drift apart. Convictions are an offshoot of knowledge, a convention of the world, and interpretation of nature and the universe.
Although the psyche seems full of knowledge (e.g., ideas, beliefs, conventions, etc.), there is room to add one more element: innate intelligence. It’s the outlier of thought and knowledge and has the uncanny ability for hindsight, insight, and foresight. Inherent intelligence is what bails out faulty beliefs before an experience gets sunk into the abyss.
The psyche is often referred to as the inner cosmos because there is so much going on within it. Just as the natural universe has ubiquitous features, the mind consists of essential elements that are the same for every living being. For instance, every aspect of the psyche produces an experience of reality. However, there has never been a psyche that makes carrots or poodles since those are different aspects of nature.
While the psyche’s activity varies from person to person, its essential features always orchestrate experience into reality. The mind has a gigantic pool of unique memories that energetically become thought. Thoughts are the most recognized formless feature. An unquantifiable amount of memories but only a cluster of them arise to the forefront in a given moment. Consciousness, another essential element, is the energetic stream that propels thoughts up from the pool of memories and into the forefront of the experience. The mind is the final essential feature which consciousness accesses to retrieve memories, knowledge, intelligence, and insights. These three features within the psyche, mind, consciousness, and thought, are often referred to as the three principles by Sydney Banks and are the nearest link to understanding the inner universe.
So, is the sky blue? Is a carrot a vegetable? Does it matter? There are indefinite piles of factors that validate all angles of the answers to these questions. Each view has a place value held tightly or loosely in the psyche.
Suspension of disbelief is synonymous with holding our breath. We can all do it for a brief moment. Still, it’s unsustainable for more extended periods, no matter how compelling the reason. Likewise, change via knowledge is impossible, but shift via inherent intelligence happens.
A profound moment of self-introspection occurs when a long-held belief shifts to another one. Fascinatingly, insight has the innate ability to place an expiration date upon memory or its belief cluster. The wisdom within innate intelligence has further reach than any belief set in conviction.
So, there you have it: your psyche is a full inner universe and is ready to explore at your own pace.
Let me conclude with a final example. In an ancient proverb, Confucius wrote:
“To reveal the pathway of enlightenment, close your eyes and see with your ears. Close your ears and listen with your heartbeat. Step forward without using your feet. Instead, use your sense of smell and taste. Touch not with your hands, with your breath. You are ready for enlightenment when you let go of seeking the pathway to enlightenment and all illusions of finding it. Instead, enjoy what the journey reveals each moment. In case you find a state of confusion in the meaning of my words, know that you are in good company, and remember, I never said these words to anyone.”