Does belief make me dependent?

Contribution by José Parés Pérez

Concepción, Chile.

Our reactions in life, when faced with the multitude of stimuli that we constantly receive, are born of our perceptions and emotions as they combine with the memories, beliefs, urges, habits, attitudes, states of mind, instincts etc. present in our inner beings.  What I have described may be considered as a framework that structures all of our activities; what we really are.  It might seem very materialistic but it serves as an example, for our present purposes, to say that we are like a machine that constantly receives “inputs” (stimuli) and randomly responds to the outside world depending on the position of those inner pieces, controlled by variable mechanisms at unknown speeds.  Such a machine does not exist although it might easily be simulated with a computer or piece of IT equipment that generates random numbers.

Our basic needs and our desires for freedom, pleasure and to be acknowledged, as well as our beliefs, fears, yearnings and instincts help to form a complex framework but one that ultimately guides our lives.  It is what we really are.  Our brain/body and our mind form our essence, what we really are.  We are completely at liberty to learn about ourselves and to channel our reactions towards the life that we dare to lead. With the exception of the urges and fears generated by our instinct for self-preservation, everything else can be completely controlled by us.  However, there are paths in our inner beings that lead us from worries to fear about death and the unknown.  From that very place stems the need for security as well as dreams or hopes of a better life.

All of the above makes us adopt beliefs of all kinds because we are not at peace with the life we lead or that we are obliged to bear.  We resist life and create future paths that do please us.  But all of that makes us dependent on our beliefs.  I consider that if I obey everything ordained by what I regard as authority, I will achieve what I want.     

The reality that we know in our day to day lives, based on science, shows us that we have to sort things out on our own and that our lives need to be harmonious, consistent and peaceful in a way that makes any kind of authority unnecessary.  The power that we surrender to have our lives directed, always causes corruption.  It is true that faced with fears, beliefs can provide us with some kind of calm, but we will have lost part of our freedom.