Examining beliefs through the Byron Katie inquiry, I see over and over how a simple belief – an attachment to a simple thought – spawns a large set of secondary thoughts and beliefs.
A simple belief creates a whole world – to keep itself company, or rather to support itself and appear more real, more believable.
Cath the belief as soon as it arises, and the whole set of secondary beliefs do not arise. Don’t catch it, and the whole set of secondary (and tertiary and so on) beliefs arise – and create lots of work for psychologists (!)
An example is what happens as a consequence of the belief in the thought “I”.
As soon as there is attachment to the idea of “I”, there is…
A sense of I and Other, a sense of separation, of wanting something from Other, of wanting connection with some and avoid others. There is a sense of being an object in the world, finite, at the mercy of innumerable unpredictable and ultimately uncontrollable other objects. There is a desire to control other objects, yet a sense of hopelessness in the futility of it. Frustration, anger, desire, loneliness, despair, hope, fear, joy, sadness, and so on arise.
A whole world is created. An imaginary world. A world that appears real, is experienced as real, and acted upon as real.