Quote of the Week
“Beliefs are the determinants of what one experiences. There are no external ’causes.'”
— David Hawkins: Internationally renowned psychiatrist, physician, researcher
This quote embodies the essence of the phrase “taking responsibility.” Notice I didn’t say “Blame.” There is enough blame in the world without us blaming ourselves for our experience of life. I am no David Hawkins, but here is how I believe the process works:
Upon entering the world, we each begin to accumulate a unique set of beliefs. These can be as basic as fire burns, or as complex as the prejudicial beliefs we tend to develop toward certain groups of people (the Irish drink whiskey, Germans drink beer, college students drink anything). Throughout our lives we add and refine these beliefs based on experience. Ex: A man being chased by a rival comes across an apple tree. He picks up a handful of apples from the ground and throws them at his pursuer. He makes a decision that apples are weapons. Attracted by the smell of crushed apples he takes a bite. His belief is now modified to apples can be weapons or applesauce.
This long list of beliefs is the basis of our perception, the complex filter through which we view the world. If there was one human perception, there’d be no conflict – but here we are. Since our perception is made up of our beliefs, we tend to see what we expect to see and filter out what we don’t. The old phrase “You’ll Believe it when You See it,” would be more appropriately stated, “You’ll See it when You Believe it.” In summary, the entire process flows like this:
1. Beliefs form our unique perception.
2. How we perceive the world directs our actions.
3. Our actions create our experience of the world.
4. Thus: “Beliefs are the determinants of what one experiences.”
Viewed in this manner, we understand that it is our choice of beliefs that ultimately dictates our experience, not external causes. This understanding is helpful because it allows us to not only stop blaming others for our circumstances; it is the source of our power, what allows us to change our lives for the better.
By changing our underlying beliefs we alter our perception, modify our actions and, therefore,
transform our experience of the world.