Our brains are a belief engine

Our brains are hard-wired to believe.  What I mean by that is that we have to believe certain things just in order to function!

Often when working with clients, I come up against forces and walls of energy that prevent growth.

These subconscious forces can block a client from increased wellness or from moving forward on their personal development journey.  This can happen even if the reasons cannot always be explained or identified by the client.

Beliefs can be a powerful invisible force, either helping or hindering the holder, and can quite often be outside of our conscious awareness.

So how do beliefs become created in our brains?

hard-wired to believeDr. Michael Shermer,  the founding publisher at Skeptic Magazine, spent 30 years compiling information about the nature of belief.

He wrote an in-depth book about it expounding his theories, called The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths.

Quote: We form our beliefs for a variety of subjective, personal, emotional, and psychological reasons in the context of environments created by family, friends, colleagues, culture, and society at large.

After forming our beliefs we then defend, justify, and rationalize them with a host of intellectual reasons, cogent arguments, and rational explanations. Beliefs come first, explanations for beliefs follow.

Dr. Shermer goes so far as to say from his research, that he sees the brain as a ‘belief engine’.  It processes data into patterns to make sense of them and then adds emotionality through meaning and intention.

After that, Dr. Shermer says that our brains reinforce our beliefs with looped processes.  This is a kind of belief confirmation, which helps us to embed the belief data more deeply into our systems.

From his theory, we are essentially a bystander in this process of belief generation.

We will simply believe certain things which are presented to us–if we have a functioning brain.

So if we are hard-wired to believe, what can we do?

Beliefs on the inside don’t match what is happening outside

At some point on our journey, our belief-making brains bump up against something on the outside that just doesn’t match!

When this happens, something called cognitive dissonance occurs.

We may ignore the new data and stick happily or stubbornly with our programmed beliefs.

Perhaps we may have way too much of our lives invested in the belief in question.  Our body-minds are just too overwhelmed with the thought of change to adopt anything new.

Or, we may become aware of the cognitive dissonance, study the new data and shift our systems into a new belief.  We reform and change the old one immediately (an epiphany!) or change associated actions and connections related to the belief over time.

We may even shift to the next level of awareness as a result of this happening.  Then we begin to understand that we have belief ‘systems’ that may change and grow over time as we evolve.

Richard Bandler, one of the founders of NLP™ (Neuro-linguistic programming) sums up cognitive dissonance this way

The map is not the territory.

How can we work with our ‘hard-wired to believe’ nature?

Having spent the last 20 years studying EP (Energy Psychology) I have experienced working with beliefs that no longer serve me, and have succeeded in clearing some of them from my system in order to allow in new thoughts, ideas, and paradigms that are better for my health and well-being.

As it is for all of us, it’s a work in progress.

As human consciousness evolves, we are beginning to realize that we are not just mechanistic bodies with brains, nervous systems, and organs, but that consciousness itself can be used as a force for good to help us to heal and improve our lot on this Blue Planet.

Or — you can choose not to believe that!

Energy Psychology (EP) and our beliefs

Within the field of Energy Psychology and alternative health and wellness, belief-busting new tools are growing in use.

Often they work and create great results, even if our current commonly held beliefs about how they function are not fully-formed as yet!

One excellent example —

EFT – The Emotional Freedom Technique™, also known as ‘tapping’, is gaining ground for assistance with trauma release and old beliefs or experiences that no longer serve us

Research…demonstrates that EFT is effective for many physical symptoms.  In an RCT of veterans with PTSD, their levels of physical pain dropped by 41% in six sessions.  A researcher at Sweden’s Lund University developed an eight-week online course applying EFT in fibromyalgia.  She found significant improvement in pain, anxiety and depression among fibromyalgia patients.  A third of the participants recovered completely.  Note that the Mayo Clinic website states “there is no cure” for this disease.  Dawson Church, PhD.,

The Genie in Your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention

My point here is this — if people are using a new system now that gets such results, and it may work for someone with PTSD or chronic illness as shown above, can we afford NOT to shift our hard-wired brains and begin to believe something new?

Going meta into the realm of ideas to help us shift old beliefs, and make new ones

Going meta, (original Greek meaning – beyond, after, or behind) is a term that gives me the body feeling of rising above the tangled history of humans who up until now, have not been that conscious about being hard-wired to believe.

In my experience, a shift in our state of mind is sometimes the easiest way to look at those pesky old beliefs from a new angle, and question them from there.

In the last 100 years, we have shifted from ‘believing’ that bumps on our skull are related to our personality types.

Then we moved to a belief that the brain rules every function in the body.

As we understand more about consciousness and non-locality, our beliefs are changing about the brain, too.

No wonder sometimes it’s just more comfortable to hold on to what we know.

As Edgar Cayce, the Sleeping Prophet and Akashic Records Reader once said

“Mind is indeed the Builder . . . what is held in the act of mental vision becomes a reality in the material experience. We are gradually builded to that image created within our own mental being.”
― Edgar Cayce

I like to believe that with Energy psychology, we will create new and amazing beliefs that take humanity onward into the future!

I hope that the human consciousness movement continues to grow.

Perhaps being hard-wired to believe through our brains will become a tool for personal growth.  This will change the way we structure our reality, and who we believe we are.

 

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