Belief Vs Knowing: What's The Difference And Why It Matters

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The task for those who seek to come to know themselves on this journey through life, is to find their way from the restriction of outdated belief systems to the wisdom of ‘knowing’.

Understanding the difference between belief and knowing is the key for those who seek this understanding.

The true seeker looks to become free of his/her limiting beliefs, as they only allow a limited,  often inappropriate and faulty understanding. Beliefs block knowing and restrict a person to being confined to outdated and outmoded stories. One who attains Knowing will find themselves connected to the wisdom and knowledge of the Universe.

Belief is a framework built by the ego in order for the ego to feel secure in its identity. We defend our beliefs often to our own determent. Arguments are the result of people defending their beliefs. Beliefs are learned. This learning comes from teachings and conditioning gathered from our history, both this current lifetime and past lifetimes.

From beliefs come opinions, and opinions defend beliefs. Most people operate from beliefs, because their ego feels safe when surrounded by beliefs. 

Knowing is something else altogether. This is an intuitive connection with all knowledge. Knowing is unshakeable faith and intuition, it gives us an understanding that often defies reason. Can you recall a moment when you just ‘got’ something? Often this occurs when you aren’t expecting it: ie you may have a problem that you have been unable to solve, when suddenly out of the blue there it is - the solution. This often occurs when you are doing something else. You get out of your own way and head (stop trying) and bingo.

An example: A motor mechanic who looks at a faulty engine and ‘knows’ what the problem is. In comparison with another mechanic who needs to work through his beliefs (what he has learned) of what may be wrong in order to arrive at an understanding of the problem.

The one operating from his beliefs will never quite get it like the one who just knows. The one who knows cannot explain how they know - they just know.

A wonderful story attributed to Buddha illustrates this well:

Buddha and his disciples sat daily in meditation, under the bodhi tree. One day while they were in deep meditation Buddha suddenly leapt into the air yelling out,

”THATS IT, THATS IT! I HAVE GOT IT!”

“Tell us Master what? What have you got?” exclaimed his disciples.

“I HAVE GOT NO IDEA, BUT I KNOW THAT I’VE GOT IT,” replied the Buddha.

This is knowing. It cannot be explained and those who have it know it can’t be explained. When you know you just know.

Some hints for those who wish to travel from belief to knowing:

1.  Acknowledge to yourself that you are governed by outdated beliefs, most of which no longer serve you.

2.  Acknowledge that these beliefs are built from present and past life conditioning.

3.  Be aware when you defend your beliefs.

4.  Learn to watch yourself in the act of defending your beliefs.

5.  Decide that you no longer wish to be limited by your outdated beliefs.

6.  Meditation will help you ‘see’- you will be able to watch yourself.

7.   Know that awareness and meditation will in time transport you from BELIEF to KNOWING.