Defense and fear

The more I explore beliefs, the clearer the basic pattern and dynamics become…

  • There is a belief in a story.
    • It is taken as somehow intrinsically true.
    • It is seen as reflecting something inherent in the world.
    • The grain of truth in its reversals are downplayed or ignored.
  • An identity is formed from this belief.
    • There is an identity as someone having that belief.
    • And the belief itself creates an identity. (E.g. if the belief is that “people shouldn’t lie” then an identity as someone not lying may be created from it.)
  • There is a split into I and Other
    • A split into right and wrong, true and false.
    • A split into a separate self and the wider world.
    • From this split comes a sense of separation, alienation, not being quite at home, unease, discomfort, and so on.
  • There is a need to defend this belief and its corresponding identity.
    • There is a need to maintain the appearance of truth in the belief, and to ignore the grain of truth in its reversals.
    • There is a need to behave in accordance with the identity formed by the belief.
  • Supporting beliefs are created.
    • A whole army of other beliefs is created and maintained to support and defend the initial belief.
    • These beliefs form a network of supporting beliefs
    • This network consist of groups that are relatively consistent among themselves, although they may not always be so consistent with beliefs in other belief groups. They don’t have to, since groups are often activated more or less separately from each other.
  • Fear comes up, from a sense of having to defend a belief, identity and separate self.
    • This fear provides motivation for maintaining and supporting the initial belief, and its supporting beliefs.
  • The body serves an important function with beliefs, in at least two ways.
    • It tenses up, and the breath often becomes more shallow.
    • It serves as a location in space for a sense of I, and the tense muscles provide sensations serving as this anchor.

An example from tonight, when I watched two movies at the local archeology film festival:

  • Several people are eating popcorn noisily, with open mouth and a lot of rummaging with the paper bags.
  • A belief comes up saying that people should be considerate, and not eat noisy food during movies.
  • A corresponding identity comes up, of me as someone having that belief, and also as someone being quiet during movies.
  • There is a sense of a split into right and wrong, I and Other, and a sense of separation and not quite belonging.
  • Supporting beliefs come up, or are at least on standby ready for service. Where I am from, people are much more group oriented and considerate. These people are crude and inconsiderate.
  • There is also fear of becoming like them. This makes me cling to the initial belief and identity even more, which creates even more of a sense of split and separation, and of loneliness, not belonging, not being in the right place.
  • Muscles in my body tense up and the breath becomes more shallow.

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