‘Beliefs lead to violence’.

Vishal Chauhan, 26/02/2019
‘Beliefs lead to violence’.

The mind, for ages, has been fed with information born out of experiences that got recorded unconsciously. These experiences gave birth to thoughts that were not simply stored, but became the foundation for a belief system. On the basis of accumulated thoughts, one jumped to conclusions and passed judgements to avoid pain and move towards pleasure. These opinions gave birth to belief systems.


Why Does One Believe?

Our beliefs, therefore, are nothing but a bunch of thoughts that carry momentum of emotions. Passion, will and obsession are the primary ingredients in the recipe of belief systems. Many belief systems evolved from such a recipe, religious, economic, social and political. These beliefs have also manifested into forms: religious schools, professions, knighthood and many more.

One simply believes, because one finds security in holding on to a bunch of thoughts. This psychological security breeds attachment and eventually dependency. Without the belief to rely on, one feels unsafe and isolated. Man, from time and again, has struggled with isolation.

One does not have the ability to stand alone as this was never encouraged. The mind is always conditioned to exist in groups and that’s where one finds security. Human bonding is a prerequisite for coexisting in a group so that one can protect oneself from external natural threats; this gradually became psychological dependency.
How does the mind react when this belief is questioned or challenged? The mind sees this as a threat and reacts in an emotional way, which we term as violence. Either one threatens to hurt himself or the other, to safeguard his belief. The behavioral consequence is violence. Can violence thus exist without a belief? The answer is simply ‘no’ as there would be nothing to defend.

 

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Let us also differentiate between belief and faith. Beliefs are defended whereas faith needs no defense. The faith got displaced with beliefs. We rarely have faith, but we all have strong beliefs.
One would ponder if the belief in non-violence is a form of violence, too. One questions why the peace-making missions use violence to succeed.

Violence exists in the mind. The mind that is completely free from conflict alone has the capacity to radiate peace. A mind that is struggling with its own thoughts cannot bring peace to anybody. What one is, one builds a society with it. The chaos that is seen in the outer world is actually a reflection of the inner world.


What is the solution?

The solution is not easy, but if we sow the seeds now, we may undo what took 40,000 years, in maybe 400!

1. Address insecurity and encourage others to stand firm by assuring that one will survive without anything to rely on. The mind-body coordinate is equipped to defend itself against any threat for its survival, and it need not weave a fabric of thought-system to envelope itself in order to safeguard itself.

2. Understand that non-violence is a concept and what exists is violence. Once the mind perceives this fact, it would drop the struggle to be non-violent and thus, turn inward into questioning one’s belief system rather than propagating the ideological projection of what is ideal.

3. Educate that courage lies in not holding to a belief, but letting it go.

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