Ever wondered what helps us make it through life in the face of adversity and darkest of moments? We all have belief systems whether or not we are mindful of them. Our beliefs give us a sense of purpose, inner strength, positivity and hope. It could be a collective cause that moves humanity, the chanting of mantras to create positive energy, rituals to diffuse familial hardships or prayers to prolong life.
We all know Isaac Newton as a scientist. But did we know science was his tool to seek God? Probably not. We may not see how his devotion to God is related to his scientific discoveries. But Newton had a unique and proactive relationship with his belief system. He sought divinity in science and science in divinity. A man of science, a man of God.
Beliefs are so deep-rooted in our psyche that they’re like invisible maps that help navigate the world around us. Intangible though they might seem, they determine how we live life. So, what’s a belief system? What does it do for us? Dr Baiju Gopal, professor of Psychology at Christ University says, “It’s a combination of our experience and culture. It’s a bridge between our sense of self and the society we live in. It helps us assert our cultural identities and individualities.”
Gautam Buddha and Sigmund Freud are known to have suggested that suffering is a consequence of fixed beliefs. It’s not surprising, then, that we have a tough time trying to align our beliefs with a new environment.
We lead diverse lives. Our beliefs, and our reasons to adopt them, vary just as much. No matter what belief systems we inculcate within ourselves, the one thing we all seek is harmony.