Beliefs, Spirituality, and why we believe.

Why do we believe?

I would conclude that state of believing and trusting is the primal and principal state of our mind. The ability we are born with to experience and learn about the world in fastest possible way.
The state of doubt and disbelief is the secondary, “unnatural” and learned state of our mind.

I don't agree with the idea that belief is simply that it is a state of mind.
A lot of people eg Richard Dawkins, say that belief is without evidence but if you try to believe something that you don't accept as true or existing then you find you can't believe it. The evidence may be second hand, eg someone you trust tells you. A child may believe something a parent has told them is true or a student at school or university may believe something that their teachers has said is true or exists. If we are to accept something as true we usually look for evidence and we may use emotion as a way of assessing the evidence. So we may talk about something "feels right". For emotion to be involved the body's state is also a factor. And this is also true in disbelief or doubt. It may be we can't find evidence but we also might say "it doesn't feel right". Again the body is involved.

So we could say that we believe when we have some evidence and that evidence is measured up against an emotional response.
 
Reaching a higher spiritual state through brain surgery? And interesting possibility.

It may be the precursor to enlightenment only. Just before an enlightenment experience the sense of personal self is extinguished and that brings a profound sense of peace. Personal self can be defined as an identification with the mind's activity (ideas and perceptions) and the corresponding bodily reactivity (mainly emotions) so it is a source therefore of both joy and suffering. Maybe in this guys brain there is some relevant "wiring" that has to do with his /her personal self. It would also be one explanation why repeated attempts caused fear. From a personal self point of view the extinguishing may be frightening.
 
I don't agree with the idea that belief is simply that it is a state of mind.
A lot of people eg Richard Dawkins, say that belief is without evidence but if you try to believe something that you don't accept as true or existing then you find you can't believe it.
I'm not sure if it contradicts that trust and belief is a genetic predisposition, natural state of mind. Why do kids blindly believe and fallow parents? On what grounds you believed you parents telling you about Santa Clause? How shocked were you when it turned not to be true?
However I might take back the statement that doubt is only taught and unnatural. It comes rather easy for humans to develop it, so there must be some genetic predisposition for this too.

The evidence may be second hand, eg someone you trust tells you. A child may believe something a parent has told them is true or a student at school or university may believe something that their teachers has said is true or exists. If we are to accept something as true we usually look for evidence and we may use emotion as a way of assessing the evidence.
Emotion is not much of evidence. It is just a feeling which can influence believing or not. This is the base for believing though. I think with time, when we learn how deceiving people can be or purely wrong, we are trying to find something more to confirm or decision to believe or not.
How many of us can understand the theory of relativity? Not many, most of us has to take it as a belief only, helped by many independent scientists confirming it experimentally. Yes, time slows down with speed. Satellites using this correction can give us more precise GPS coordinates. Yes, gravity bends light, and confirmed by astronomical observations. Yes, E=MC2 confirmed in atom accelerators and nukes. It is hard not to believe it in face of so many confirmations. This belief in theory of relativity is helped by logic a lot.

So we may talk about something "feels right". For emotion to be involved the body's state is also a factor. And this is also true in disbelief or doubt. It may be we can't find evidence but we also might say "it doesn't feel right". Again the body is involved.
Yes, I would say our mind (body) is always involved in process of believing, by feeling and by logic.

So we could say that we believe when we have some evidence and that evidence is measured up against an emotional response.
Yes, but mostly as logical adults. Otherwise, when we were children, what evidence we needed to believe in Santa? What evidence we needed to believe in god our parents believed and taught us about? In young age believing is blind and automatic.
 
I'm not sure if it contradicts that trust and belief is a genetic predisposition, natural state of mind. Why do kids blindly believe and fallow parents? On what grounds you believed you parents telling you about Santa Clause? How shocked were you when it turned not to be true?
However I might take back the statement that doubt is only taught and unnatural. It comes rather easy for humans to develop it, so there must be some genetic predisposition for this too...............................
Yes, but mostly as logical adults. Otherwise, when we were children, what evidence we needed to believe in Santa? What evidence we needed to believe in god our parents believed and taught us about? In young age believing is blind and automatic.

You make an interesting point. I held a lot of what my parent said as suspect where as my sisters tended to accept them at their word. I had a poor relationship with my parents whereas they had a good relationship with them. So I didn't trust their word because I held them at a distance. They were hostile towards me.

From the evidence I see we can't really attribute any of it to genetics. Genes are really only a parts l list/ blueprint. Cells will modify genes to suit. For example if there is hyperglycemia then the cells will modify some of their insulin receptors to help keep the excess glucose out. So even behavior at the cellular level must involve a lot more than genes.

Emotion is not much of evidence. It is just a feeling which can influence believing or not. This is the base for believing though. I think with time, when we learn how deceiving people can be or purely wrong, we are trying to find something more to confirm or decision to believe or not.
How many of us can understand the theory of relativity? Not many, most of us has to take it as a belief only, helped by many independent scientists confirming it experimentally. Yes, time slows down with speed. Satellites using this correction can give us more precise GPS coordinates. Yes, gravity bends light, and confirmed by astronomical observations. Yes, E=MC2 confirmed in atom accelerators and nukes. It is hard not to believe it in face of so many confirmations. This belief in theory of relativity is helped by logic a lot.

You might be interested in a short 3-4 min video interviewing Dr Damasio, you can find it if you google Damasio on youtube and emotion and reason. I can't post a link yet. He is a neuroscientist that has specialized on emotions. He says that emotions are critical in assessing reason and thus the decision making process.

As a lay person I would have believed relativity and gravity etc. But as a scientist I am always aware that these are based on observation and reason and both of them are subject to change. A scientific theory is defined by it being falsifiable. I have seen some youtube videos arguing for a flat disc shaped earth and moon. It has challenged my belief based on what I was taught at university. It has made me suspend my belief until I get more evidence.



Yes, I would say our mind (body) is always involved in process of believing, by feeling and by logic.
Do you see mind as the brain or the brain's activity? I see mind as a non-physical reality that is intimately one with the physical. So an idea is completely immaterial whereas a sub-atomic particle, which continually pops into and out of existence, has some physical nature. Of course physicists get around this by saying that nothingness is physical, LOL.
 
You make an interesting point. I held a lot of what my parent said as suspect where as my sisters tended to accept them at their word. I had a poor relationship with my parents whereas they had a good relationship with them. So I didn't trust their word because I held them at a distance. They were hostile towards me.
That's terrible. Anyway I was describing a trust in your parents in very early age, let's say from birth to age of 5. I would have hard time to believe that they gave you hard time at this young age.

From the evidence I see we can't really attribute any of it to genetics. Genes are really only a parts l list/ blueprint. Cells will modify genes to suit. For example if there is hyperglycemia then the cells will modify some of their insulin receptors to help keep the excess glucose out. So even behavior at the cellular level must involve a lot more than genes.
Sometimes genes are expressed or shut down by way of epigenetics, environmental factor. Although it happens it is not a very active phenomenon, like overwriting all genes at will, sort to speak. By way of genetics we all have two hands, legs, head, eyes, brain, etc. By way of genetics our brain architecture is done basically same way. There is a compartment for vision, hearing, logical thinking, etc, and in same place in brain in all of us. There is also a compartment for feeling feer, the amygdala. It is interesting to know that there are clinical cases of people who lost amygdala or nerve connection to amygdala. With amygdala they also lost feeling of fear.
http://www.wired.com/2010/12/fear-brain-amygdala.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100208154645.htm
By these examples of patients there is a prove that fear is located in our brain, and released to feel it upon certain stimuli, like seeing snakes, spiders, angry person with a knife, a scary movie, etc.

You might be interested in a short 3-4 min video interviewing Dr Damasio, you can find it if you google Damasio on youtube and emotion and reason. I can't post a link yet. He is a neuroscientist that has specialized on emotions. He says that emotions are critical in assessing reason and thus the decision making process.
I agree, emotions are primary decision making tool.

As a lay person I would have believed relativity and gravity etc. But as a scientist I am always aware that these are based on observation and reason and both of them are subject to change. A scientific theory is defined by it being falsifiable. I have seen some youtube videos arguing for a flat disc shaped earth and moon. It has challenged my belief based on what I was taught at university. It has made me suspend my belief until I get more evidence.
Did I get you right? You believe more in untested hypothesis by way of YouTube video than theory of relativity which is being used in our GPS system, not mentioning positively tested by many independent scientists?


Do you see mind as the brain or the brain's activity? I see mind as a non-physical reality that is intimately one with the physical. So an idea is completely immaterial whereas a sub-atomic particle, which continually pops into and out of existence, has some physical nature. Of course physicists get around this by saying that nothingness is physical, LOL.
Can you say the same about logical processes in computer CPU?
 
That's terrible. Anyway I was describing a trust in your parents in very early age, let's say from birth to age of 5. I would have hard time to believe that they gave you hard time at this young age.

I have recollections from about 3yo when my grandfather spent a lot of time with me and he was very good to me. At about 5yo or so my mother forced my father to take his old age pension off him to stop him from buying things for me and my sisters, eg paints and toys. My mother, who later said she hated me from the first moment she saw me, was hostile and caused my father to be hostile. But I had spiritual experiences at that early age and I was aware from that time of my spiritual allies. I also have strong recollections of earlier lifetimes. All of these played a far bigger role in developing my belief systems than my parents.

It is hard for most people to believe that some people are hurt or harmed and some very badly from a very young age, even from birth, but that is because most people don't see the evidence. It is what helps abusers get to abuse and as far as earthly law goes, many get away with it. But if you read legal cases you will find that there are also many that become convicted felons.

The point though that this discussion makes is that belief may be influenced by a child's relationship with a parent or caregiver.

It also gave me a lot of confidence in myself because I survived those times and now working as an activist I am confronted by a huge army of toxic people, some in government positions or professional positions, who are working hard to destroy me and thus shut me up and I can confidently stand against them because I believe in myself and in Justice, "the law above the law".
 
Sometimes genes are expressed or shut down by way of epigenetics, environmental factor. Although it happens it is not a very active phenomenon, like overwriting all genes at will, sort to speak.
Epigenetics plays a big role but this becomes more obvious when we are stressed or confronted by harsh environmental conditions. Cancer is one area that I see epigenetics involved. The idea that we get cancer cells all the time and the immune system kills them is garbage IMO. The big evidence is that in metastasis, where a number of cancer and associated stromal cells leave one site and go to a new site, they cannot do this without the immune cells involvement. The epithelial tissues of the blood vessels need to become permeable for the cancer and other cells to pass through and enter the blood stream. This means mast cells release histamines in the local area to cause vessel dilation and tissue permeability.

On the other end the cells have to exit. The blood is screaming through the vessels at 70mph or more so the cells need to become "sticky" at the right spot to enable them to be stationary enough to pass through. This is again achieved by the help of immune system cells releasing interleukins and again mast cells to get tissue permeability. So the reality is that cancer cells come into being from stem cells and there are typically 30,000 to 50,000 genetic changes most of which are epigenetic. And I found those changes are fully reversible. And the most incredible thing is that one can deliberately effect cancer remission, NOT by doing anything but by knowing why the cancer developed, why did the epigenetic changes come about! The ability to discard manufactured beliefs and walk away free. I can say this because of my own experiences with cancer. Cancer is a paper tiger!
 
There is also a compartment for feeling feer, the amygdala. It is interesting to know that there are clinical cases of people who lost amygdala or nerve connection to amygdala. With amygdala they also lost feeling of fear. By these examples of patients there is a prove that fear is located in our brain, and released to feel it upon certain stimuli, like seeing snakes, spiders, angry person with a knife, a scary movie, etc.

These the patient cases are nothing more than anecdotal evidence AND the scientists' own prejudices. I laugh when I read them say "the woman was not fazed by the poisonous snakes" as if fear is some sort of weakness. Even trained snake handlers, who have little fear, still treat the situation with care. The reality is that fear is the mobilization of the body for rapid and strenuous action. And it also includes maintaining that mobilization as long as the danger persists. It is a natural, normal response to danger. The problem here is that all this smacks of "purpose-driven" and the scientists in this article want to believe the "body is a machine" paradigm or are paid to believe it.

I have listened to many neuroscientists and they all have a different slant on things. However I think that Dr Damasio has the best explanations. The amygdala are involved in many interactions with about 10 or 12 different areas of the brain. And they are also involved in emotion based memories. But I don't think they are "emotional centers". The emotions are complex processes that take place in the body. The amygdala help trigger the autonomic nervous system to accelerate the heart rate and in the sweating mechanism etc. We are born with the ability to abruptly raise our metabolism so mobilize our body for action almost in an instant. Then we learn about dangers and we use this mechanism.

After the emotional reactivity in the body the person will appraise their bodily reactivity. This, according to Dr Damasio, is feeling. IMO when we think about emotion, we tend to think about the entire experience, some of which is initially in the brain (the perception of danger), some of which is in the body (the emotional reactivity) and some of which is again in the brain (the appraisal or feeling). So we tend to think about the experience as a whole but it is not all in the brain.
 
Did I get you right? You believe more in untested hypothesis by way of YouTube video than theory of relativity which is being used in our GPS system, not mentioning positively tested by many independent scientists?

I didn't say I believe more but that some evidence cited causes me to question what I have believed. For instance there are flight paths that are straight lines or almost straight lines but on a globe would be a triangular path. For example Johannesburg to Dubai to Perth. Also Sydney to East coast of USA to Chile. How to explain this?
Also no one has ever succeeded in flying around the globe over both poles. Plenty have flown over the north pole and there have been expeditions to the north pole but none in the south. There are impenetrable walls of ice and extreme weather conditions. This doesn't say that antartica is not an island continent of ice but it also doesn't dispute that it might be the edge around a disc.

On the other hand there is the evidence of satellites. The ones that orbit the earth I can see can be indistinguishable from circular paths above a disc. But the geostationary orbits are not explained by a disc but would be explained by a globe. So where is the reality? (BTW The space pics and the "man on the moon" IMO is a poorly made movie by NASA scientists so I discard it as trash.)

Scientific theories are put forward after observation and evidence and they can stand for many years but can still can be replaced when new evidence arises. Newton's laws work as far as the mathematics is concerned but Einstein put forth that the curvature of spacetime caused objects to fall in a particular manner so gave the appearance of a force we call gravity.
 
Can you say the same about logical processes in computer CPU?

Logical processes in a computer can be influenced. I used to use a game program that ended with steams of different colors appearing on the screen. I can cause the computer to select one color until I chose it to display a different color and so on. The game programmers would have used some routine to chose colors at random. It is done by mental selection.

All events that take place in the physical realm are preceded by mental /non-physical selections. It appears different but really it is a giant matrix and we can, when we have the "right credentials" toggle the selections.
 
I have recollections from about 3yo when my grandfather spent a lot of time with me and he was very good to me. At about 5yo or so my mother forced my father to take his old age pension off him to stop him from buying things for me and my sisters, eg paints and toys. My mother, who later said she hated me from the first moment she saw me, was hostile and caused my father to be hostile. But I had spiritual experiences at that early age and I was aware from that time of my spiritual allies. I also have strong recollections of earlier lifetimes. All of these played a far bigger role in developing my belief systems than my parents.
That's really awful. My sympathy goes to you, and I'm sure many Eupedia members.

It is hard for most people to believe that some people are hurt or harmed and some very badly from a very young age, even from birth, but that is because most people don't see the evidence. It is what helps abusers get to abuse and as far as earthly law goes, many get away with it. But if you read legal cases you will find that there are also many that become convicted felons.
I believe that's the case.

It also gave me a lot of confidence in myself because I survived those times and now working as an activist I am confronted by a huge army of toxic people, some in government positions or professional positions, who are working hard to destroy me and thus shut me up and I can confidently stand against them because I believe in myself and in Justice, "the law above the law".
What can I say, you are a fighter!
 
Epigenetics plays a big role but this becomes more obvious when we are stressed or confronted by harsh environmental conditions. Cancer is one area that I see epigenetics involved. The idea that we get cancer cells all the time and the immune system kills them is garbage IMO. The big evidence is that in metastasis, where a number of cancer and associated stromal cells leave one site and go to a new site, they cannot do this without the immune cells involvement. The epithelial tissues of the blood vessels need to become permeable for the cancer and other cells to pass through and enter the blood stream. This means mast cells release histamines in the local area to cause vessel dilation and tissue permeability.
I stand enlighten. Any idea if cancer can travel by means of lymph node system, and avoiding difficulties of vascular permeation?

On the other end the cells have to exit. The blood is screaming through the vessels at 70mph or more so the cells need to become "sticky" at the right spot to enable them to be stationary enough to pass through. This is again achieved by the help of immune system cells releasing interleukins and again mast cells to get tissue permeability. So the reality is that cancer cells come into being from stem cells and there are typically 30,000 to 50,000 genetic changes most of which are epigenetic.
Perhaps in all types of known cancers so many mutations were recognized. However these are not necessary in any one type. Basically it needs mutation(s) to ignore division restriction of telomerase, few more mutations to be invasive and malignant. Correct me if I'm wrong, but most cases of cancer are done by molecular damage to the genome, mutations or deletions and not just by switching genes off and on. I'm not saying that epigenetics is not involved in the process, but seems not to be a main culprit.


And I found those changes are fully reversible. And the most incredible thing is that one can deliberately effect cancer remission, NOT by doing anything but by knowing why the cancer developed, why did the epigenetic changes come about! The ability to discard manufactured beliefs and walk away free. I can say this because of my own experiences with cancer. Cancer is a paper tiger!
I'm glad you conquered your cancer. However I have a hard time to believe that you did it by shear will power.
 
These the patient cases are nothing more than anecdotal evidence AND the scientists' own prejudices. I laugh when I read them say "the woman was not fazed by the poisonous snakes" as if fear is some sort of weakness. Even trained snake handlers, who have little fear, still treat the situation with care. The reality is that fear is the mobilization of the body for rapid and strenuous action. And it also includes maintaining that mobilization as long as the danger persists. It is a natural, normal response to danger. The problem here is that all this smacks of "purpose-driven" and the scientists in this article want to believe the "body is a machine" paradigm or are paid to believe it.
You can't dismiss it so easily. Tests done on animals confirm that amigdala is mostly responsible for fear factor. Test of this sort on humans are unethical therefore it is hard to come up with enough examples to do a proper statistical research. The few cases that pop up naturally are precious and give us insides to inner-working of our brain.

I have listened to many neuroscientists and they all have a different slant on things. However I think that Dr Damasio has the best explanations. The amygdala are involved in many interactions with about 10 or 12 different areas of the brain. And they are also involved in emotion based memories. But I don't think they are "emotional centers". The emotions are complex processes that take place in the body. The amygdala help trigger the autonomic nervous system to accelerate the heart rate and in the sweating mechanism etc. We are born with the ability to abruptly raise our metabolism so mobilize our body for action almost in an instant. Then we learn about dangers and we use this mechanism.

After the emotional reactivity in the body the person will appraise their bodily reactivity. This, according to Dr Damasio, is feeling. IMO when we think about emotion, we tend to think about the entire experience, some of which is initially in the brain (the perception of danger), some of which is in the body (the emotional reactivity) and some of which is again in the brain (the appraisal or feeling). So we tend to think about the experience as a whole but it is not all in the brain.
I agree that emotions are necessary for decision making. They are with us in every second of our life and encoded in every our memory. I read Damasio article few years ago and it was an eye opener.
http://discovermagazine.com/2004/may/thinking-faster
 
I didn't say I believe more but that some evidence cited causes me to question what I have believed. For instance there are flight paths that are straight lines or almost straight lines but on a globe would be a triangular path. For example Johannesburg to Dubai to Perth. Also Sydney to East coast of USA to Chile. How to explain this?
Also no one has ever succeeded in flying around the globe over both poles. Plenty have flown over the north pole and there have been expeditions to the north pole but none in the south. There are impenetrable walls of ice and extreme weather conditions. This doesn't say that antartica is not an island continent of ice but it also doesn't dispute that it might be the edge around a disc.

On the other hand there is the evidence of satellites. The ones that orbit the earth I can see can be indistinguishable from circular paths above a disc. But the geostationary orbits are not explained by a disc but would be explained by a globe. So where is the reality?
Do you believe in GPS, ubiquitoes on cellphone these days? This should point you in the right direction.
On one hand you have a working device in your hand pointing to existence of satellites and a globe, on other hand you have some guy on youtube telling unconfirmed hypothesis. Make your choice.


(BTW The space pics and the "man on the moon" IMO is a poorly made movie by NASA scientists so I discard it as trash.)
Tell me you are joking. The movie is from 60s. How good cameras were then? Not mentioning that on the moon, in lack of atmosphere, everything either glows in strong sunlight or is in deep shadows. This make extremely hard environment for a sharp good quality movies with primitive film making equipment from 50 years ago. Buy yourself a good telescope and you can see yourself the lander and moon rover they left behind.

Scientific theories are put forward after observation and evidence and they can stand for many years but can still can be replaced when new evidence arises. Newton's laws work as far as the mathematics is concerned but Einstein put forth that the curvature of spacetime caused objects to fall in a particular manner so gave the appearance of a force we call gravity.
Pay attention that Newton theory is still valid. It is valid because on slow moving earth and low gravity environment we can ignore relativity. Therefore you can calculate trajectories of objects on earth using Newton equation to extreme precision. What Einstein did is he expended Newtons equations for use in any place in Universe. If Newton was wrong we would stop using his equations, but we still use them. His theory and equation is still right, Einstein just expended them.
 
Logical processes in a computer can be influenced. I used to use a game program that ended with steams of different colors appearing on the screen. I can cause the computer to select one color until I chose it to display a different color and so on. The game programmers would have used some routine to chose colors at random. It is done by mental selection.

All events that take place in the physical realm are preceded by mental /non-physical selections. It appears different but really it is a giant matrix and we can, when we have the "right credentials" toggle the selections.
What are the next 6/49 numbers? Can you make yourself young again?
 
That's really awful. My sympathy goes to you, and I'm sure many Eupedia members.

What can I say, you are a fighter!

I did feel it was unfair through to my 20s but not greatly. However I am a warrior and my early years have equipped me to be a winner so I am very happy about it now. I can see that if I had loving parents I may be at a loss now and that would have been bad. Often what may seem as a disadvantage at the time turns out to be an advantage. Like Steve Jobs said "you can only connect the dots with hindsight".
 
I'm glad you conquered your cancer. However I have a hard time to believe that you did it by shear will power.

No, I did not conquer cancer by will power.

I had cancer 8 times and learnt not only to deliberately effect cancer remission but to avoid developing cancer.
To answer your other questions I have to give some explanation first.

The first was stage 4 ovarian cancer with metastasis to the uterus, cervix, bowel and both lungs. That was in 1993-4 doctors said terminal and gave me 6-12 months to live. I had a spontaneous remission after leaving the area where I lived. I did not understand it at the time but I followed my intuition and left and broke all my ties with everyone. All I saw at that time is that there were some bad influences.

Then in 2004 I developed a lump in my oesophagus and suffered for weeks with bad flu-like symptoms and an inexplicable, episodic anger. Then one day I saw some people, who had come and asked for water before all this started, violating my property. I suddenly felt the anger arise and I went down and confronted them. After I resolved the problem miraculously my flu-like symptoms vanished. In about 15 mins.! Then I realized it wasn't the flu but part of oesophageal cancer. I had a strong feeling that the lump would go away and it did in about another 2-3 weeks.

That year in November I was being hassled again. Then in late December I found that I had a lump the size of a golf ball in my lower groin near where my ovary would be. This time I threw caution to the wind and decided to investigate using Vipasana (insight meditation which I had master years earlier).

I will post this in sections to make it easier to read.
 
Any idea if cancer can travel by means of lymph node system, and avoiding difficulties of vascular permeation?

I found a cell colony which had various types of cells. Some divided normally with same looking daughter cells, but some divided atypically with two very different daughter cells. I realized, from my university knowledge of physiology and anatomy that these were stem cells.

I also saw these stem cells in a lymph node in the area. I did not see them travel there but the lymph all drains into the blood below the clavicle area into veins that gets taken to the heart and thus the general circulation. I allowed the issues to stand and the hassle to continue while I investigated because by now I realized that cancer was a person's reactions to ideas or more correctly manufactured beliefs. Finally a lump developed in the bowel and possibly in the same area as the first time.

What I learnt helped me deliberately effect cancer remission in all of the subsequent incidents.
 

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