Anyone who reads this blog knows that the opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of management. They are just my own -- at least for the moment -- and from your point of view may be more full of shit than a Christmas turkey.
What is belief for? I am thinking of spiritual endeavor, but I suppose the question might be posed to other sectors of human cud-munching as well.
If the broad-brush purpose of spiritual endeavor is to dispel doubts and the fears that can attend upon them, then belief is precisely the wrong tool to employ. Belief, when examined, rests ipso facto on one doubt or another and thus merely compounds the problem rather than assuaging it.
The tricky part is that there is unlikely to be any solution discovered without, at first, employing belief. Belief is inspiring and really quite cozy. After a bit, it can even soar like some wondrous hymn. But make no mistake, the greater the belief, the greater the ocean of shimmering doubt.
The greater the doubt, the greater the crying out for some tangible belief. The greater the belief, the greater the vortex of doubt. Cloak it in hope, cloak it in hosannahs, a pig in a purple robe is still a pig.
The key to escaping this box canyon is the willingness to investigate and reflect -- to stop praising and blaming; to stop even imagining there is a solution ... bit by bit and little by little, be still and examine the most heart-warming and heart-wrenching artifacts.
This tool -- this literal, physical, focused stillness -- is not fairy dust: Nothing happens over night. Taking a tentative belief in stillness, then put it into practice and see what happens. Use the belief to inspire the continuing and continued effort, day after day, week after week, year after year. Cussing and praising are permitted, to the extent they can help.
So ... from where I sit, belief can get anyone off the dime, get them making an honest intimate effort. Belief is a pretty good tool, but when was the last time you saw a carpenter going to sleep with a hammer clenched in his hands?
So belief is as good as it is necessary for starters. I say, welcome it. Wallow as necessary. But let it inform the day by day activity of investigating, looking, seeing, being ... whatever. A little at a time people outgrow their beliefs. Why? Because beliefs are limited where life is not.