“Belief is a beautiful armor that makes for the heaviest sword/like punching underwater/you can never hit who you’re trying for”
The above quote is from singer-songwriter/blues guitarist John Mayer from his song “Belief”. When people think of the word “belief” they tend to think of religious connotations. Religious views are but one aspect of the vast blanket that is belief. Many different people believe different things. That is just what makes people different. Different beliefs create friction and it is through this friction that contributes to the positive and negative side of life. Some beliefs are more grounded than others. Some beliefs tend to use logic and practicality more so than rhetoric. Other beliefs function off of hate and disregard for the feelings of others. I could never see how people could wholeheartedly believe in something that makes other human beings feel bad.
There also tends to be a lack of distinction between belief and faith. Faith is belief put into action, while belief is just an individual’s acceptance of a certain set of ideals. When people try to force others to believe in these ideals, that is when friction occurs. Some people have been convinced certain beliefs are universal and “one-size-fits-all”. It just cannot be true. There is just too much diversity in culture to adhere to one universal set of beliefs. While I do believe that there is an underlying universal commonality that all of humanity shares, I do not believe we as a species have found it yet. We have scratched and chipped away at the surface, but we have not been able to exactly pinpoint what exactly this commonality is. In my numerous forays into the depths of the universe, I have come close to this commonality, but that is a story for another time.
I don’t believe in much anymore. As I grow older, I tend to see through the veneers society has put into place to keep people happy and content with their lives. Society has made it seem like everything is achievable and that everything works out in the end for all persons, but I have seen firsthand through observation and through my own experience that this is certainly not true. I cannot blame people for believing wholeheartedly in society. If society crumbles and all they believe in has fallen away, they may very well commit suicide. Many people are just cannot survive when things they have believed in for so long with all of their soul are not true or just a false shadow of what they were made to be. I cannot blame them either. While life becomes so empty, what’s the point? Lack of belief has taken better men than me, but I wonder how could that be? It is incredible how the human spirit can be so strong yet so fragile at the same time.
Science has been touted as the absolute arbiter of truth. As much as I enjoy science, I do not believe in it. Science is constantly being revised and reformatted. Even Einstein’s theory of relativity has come under scrutiny in recent months. I have also experienced too many unexplainable events to believe in science wholeheartedly. Science doesn’t prove everything.
Religion is seen as being the answer to all man’s questions by a majority of the population. It takes a lot of faith to believe in religion, something I do not have. It just seems pointless to me to live life guided by an invisible force that may or may not exist. A person should live their life the way they want to and I believe strict adherence to religion limits one’s ability to become more of a human being. Each to their own, I suppose.
Humanity has let me down several times. I guess this ties back to my previous post on Optimism. I believe that many humans want to be good, do the right things and not harm others but it seems modern day life still functions on harming others. We call ourselves civilized, but when push comes to shove, many people are selfish. Just look at Black Friday. Many people have died being trampled over by others just for the sake of material things. Sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, uncles, cousins… Irretrievable human life snuffed out for stuff… Even with our tall skyscrapers and massive megalopolises, we still can’t shake a lot of our evolutionary impulses. We call ourselves civilized. When I think of all of the bad things humankind has done over the past, it makes me want to curl up in a ball in a corner in my room and disappear. But I can’t do that. I do meet some good people but as always, it never goes anywhere.
Philosophers have managed to take guesses at the essence of the human spirit but many of their theories are either outdated or contradicted by other philosophers. Many have indeed come close the universal essence of the human spirit, but yet again, no one has nailed it.
There are some things I hold onto though. Music seems to be the only thing I really believe in anymore. For thousands of years, the theory behind music has remained unchanged. It seems like it will always be that way. An A Major Chord will always be an A Major Chord. An F# diminished chord will always be an F# diminished chord. When I play musical instruments, I get an indescribable sense of joy and I feel as if I’m transcending. And that’s a good thing and it makes me happy. So yes, believe in music. I also believe in art. True art has a way of expressing inner feelings in a way words can’t. This includes things such as drawings, photographs, paintings, etc. Music is a subset of art and is included in this.
If I thought about all of the bad things that belief creates, I wouldn’t have any strength to live life and try and search for other things to believe in. So for now, I only believe in music/art. Maybe that will change one day.