Belief is an employed as a truth-bearer; the trouble then, is when belief is a poor carrier of knowledge. In order to ‘know’ a thing, there must be the element of justification. Yeah, Yeah …I know… More Occult mind fuckery. Bear with me, I do have a point.
A mundane example for the layman: How can you ‘know’ what it means to be a cat? You can certainly hold statements about cats to be true, thus this gives you the evidence required to believe statements about cats are true. Odd isn’t it? You can never truly ‘know’ cats, unless you’ve been a cat. Your beliefs however remain an invoked truth-bearer and equally a carrier of knowledge (or one would think). You can tell me all day you ‘know’ cats, I call bullshit.
Say I send you across a rickety bridge. You examine the bridge, you judge that it’s safe and you cross. The bridge gives out, and you fall to the ground. A short fall, nothing that kills you. When asked: Why did you cross that old rickety bridge, it didn’t look safe to me? You might answer: Well, I believed it could hold me, even if it didn’t look safe. I had to prove to myself I was correct, and so I crossed. The ‘justification’ for belief is provided when you cross. Thus, the statement should have been I ‘thought’ it was safe, but I was wrong. This ‘verification’ is provided when the bridge collapses. More often than not, belief replaces rational judgment, belief will be invoked as a truth-bearer, even passed off as knowledge. ”I believed it was safe…So, I crossed.” What ‘knowledge’ did you really hold about the bridge? How could you ‘know’ the bridge could hold you? Where is the justification for such a belief that the bridge would hold you? Easy, there’s none…Not until you cross the bridge and by that time, it doesn’t matter what you believe. It falls, your beliefs are bullshit.
Still with me?
Beliefs are like personal affirmation. Evidence can be anything really, even your own deluded perceptions and translations of experience. That’s all you really need to prove it to yourself…Some sort of evidence, right? Proving it to others however; becomes problematic. Let’s say I believe in fairies. Fantasy right? Or is it? I’ll go on and on about the faires I’ve seen, heard and experienced. I am trying to convince you that I know fairies. How believable would my story need to be to convince you that fairies are real, and you too can know them? Do you also believe in fairies?
Juxtapose this with hard science, and how theory becomes scientific fact. What is required for such empiric notions? Verification. Say I tell you I can fly like a fairy. I can be brought into the conditions of scientific method, and if I don’t measure up? The notion I can fly, will remain a personal belief, only justified by my subjective personal experience and testimony. Only “I” would hold this ‘knowledge’ of fairies, thus it is only a for-barer of truth. This ‘knowledge’ cannot be transferred to others. It will most likely be considered personal Gnosis, and acknowledged as something real, and that actually happened but only to me. It may be classified as a belief I hold, rooted in some psychologically produced mental phenomena. In other words, I’m not only delusional but hold illusions that I can actually fly.
And here we go!
What about mass-Gnosis? A shit ton of ‘believers’ in one place, forcing this belief into the ether to infect others, how do those beliefs become accepted as knowledge? All those believers have received justification and in some cases purport verification??? Yah seriously. It happens. It happens every day, and is happening right now as you read this. The trouble with belief is that it’s a poor truth-bearer. Personal truth is often valued the most-high by comparison to universal truths. One could run themselves ragged considering what truth actually is. The trouble lies in putting too much weight on personal truth, and expecting an entire society to accept it. Yah, really…Some of us actually have minds of our own.
Oh yeah… Remember this?
In the Middle Ages, the common belief was that women were prone to serving the devil; thereby becoming witches that sought to bewitch men for power and should be killed as heretics. It wasn’t just the Noble class pointing fingers, it often occurred in villages, and mobs rose up to watch public executions as sport. A mob of believers will even add a bit of embellishment to truth, even if it costs them their very souls. It’s what they believed, right? In the modern era it continues in lands we consider foreign, even alien to us, and it seems to be another man’s problems. What about the remnants in our own cultures today? Aren’t the ‘true believers’ still accepted as common? It doesn’t matter if there’s a group belief in aliens, big foot, or angels…All the same to me. Personal belief, a poor truth-bearer and carrier of knowledge. Tell an entire society to accept Big Foot, see where that takes you.
Belief as reality…As an Occultist I practice at it actively.
There is certainly trouble with belief, and this is what creates alternate realities. Alternate realities don’t become problematic, unless you’ve let reality run off with the mind. It’s the old philosophical question: How can I know I’m not just a brain in a jar? I think, that self-awareness is extremely crucial, especially when determining when you are invoking beliefs as truth-bearers. Subjective truth or universal truth? One should always ask oneself: “How much trouble can my beliefs really cause me??”
Well, in an occult context, I’d say a shit ton. I see it all the time; beliefs compel dabblers in the occult into the most ridiculous line of thinking and rationale. Believe it or not, there are rational Occultists out there, they are not all whack – jobs and lunatics. Even if they practice lunacy on the regular. I happen to be one of them. You are merely a voyeur into my world, I allow you to see what I want you to see, the rest…Is for the initiated.
Shhh…There’s some nutters out there. They prey on the naive and the ignorant.
I get cursed by ‘black witches’ and ‘warlocks’, all day long, ummmm yeah…Still here. Makes me laugh. Noobs can believe until kingdom come, doesn’t make their beliefs my truth-bearer. I hold no knowledge of the power they hold, none of it has been justified or verified.
Till next time…