Why are beliefs stressful?
First, what is a belief? The simplest definition may be taking an image or story as true. In other words, mind identifies with (as) an image or thought, or – more precisely – identifies with the perspective and outlook of the particular image or thought.
And why is this stressful?
To me, it seems stressful because it’s at odds with reality.
When mind takes an image or thought as (absolutely, one-sidedly) true, there is a denial of (a) the validity in the reversals of the story, (b) that we really don’t know, and (c) that it’s all the play of the divine, it’s all appearances within the divine (awakeness, Big Mind/Heart etc.).
There is a denial there of what mind already knows is real, true and valid. There is a knowing that the reversals of the story have validity to them, there is a knowing that I really don’t know, and there is a knowing – somewhere – that it’s all the play of awareness (awakeness, the divine).
So mind is at odds with itself, the world, and reality.
And that’s inherently stressful.
This plays itself out in many different ways. Mind may hold onto a clearly painful image or thought as true, and creates suffering for itself right there. Or it may hold onto an image or thought that’s not so clearly painful, but it becomes painful when others and life reminds it that the story is not quite as true.
In either case, mind identifies with an image or thought because there are perceived benefits. And in most (all?) cases, this is to protect and enhance the life of a perceived me, of the image of me. And this comes out of fear, and is based on the basic identification with/as a me, a being in the world, an entity, someone who relates to and is at the mercy of a larger and unpredictable world. All of that is also based on mind identifying with images – of a me, a world, time, space, and so on.
– holding onto an image/thought as true
– deny the validity in reversals + don’t know
– deny what I already know is real/true/valid
– at odds with myself, the world, reality
– inherently stressful