We begin with a thought. The thought is the force that manifests our reality. The reality is the thing we perceive. Perception is ours and is very subjective. No one else in the Universe will have the same perception as us. In our subjective world, we see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear and believe what we want to believe. Beliefs can be particularly insidious. Beliefs can be circular.

When we believe in something, it is our thoughts about that something that will manifest it in our world. Once we see that it exists in our world, it presents us with the confirmation that our belief was correct in the first place. Beliefs are circular.

Beliefs are what give us our sense of Self and our comfort zone. Our comfort zone is the world we choose to see around us and can operate in effectively without too much trouble. Anything outside that zone are the things we choose to fear and mostly, these are the very things we should be looking at. Most of the time we live within the haven of our little world, our zone of security, not bothering or even willing to travel beyond. We think, or choose to think because our beliefs tell us so, is that if we should choose to push at our current boundaries and look into the area outside, we would experience pain and torment like no other, and due to our fear of pain we choose not to venture further.

It is our beliefs that control our thoughts, and it is our thoughts that manifest the reality that we choose to see around us. In effect, WYSIWYG (in computer parlance), ‘what you see is what you get’. Or to put it another way, ‘what you think is what you get’. Or to put it yet another way, ‘what you focus on is what you attract’. Thus, if you understand from your beliefs that the proverbial bogyman is out to get you, the bogyman is what you will see.

Many of our older generation are fearful of travelling out after dark, fearful that they will be robbed. This is due to the fear they feel that society is crime ridden. This fear is generated and perpetuated by the media in an attempt to increase their revenue – bad news always sells and good news doesn’t. However, this is not the case as it is the young with their mobile phones that are targeted by the criminal element – the young have the money and the trinkets that can be sold on. The older generation simply do not have the trappings of modern life that would interest any one but the chance criminal.

I have a fear of needles, you know, those on the end of syringes. I also have a moderate fear of going to the dentist. I kept thinking about what I would do if ever I had to have an injection and how I would face going to the dentist for a large filling. In focusing on this fear I got exactly that. My molar broke so I had to have an injection as the filling would be fairly large. Sure enough, two months later the same tooth broke again. This time a crown was required. More injections. In all, I visited the dentist four times in as many months.

Our belief is fundamental to our sense of who we are. This is our sense of Self. Our sense of Self is the way we choose to see ourselves and how we think others see us. We see the signals others pass to us and interpret them from our own unique perspective, that which is our Self. We interpret a word, a look or gesture as if we were the one giving it with the feeling or thought behind it. We interpret it from our own point of view whether it was given positively or negatively. It is impossible to know what was in the mind of that other person as we are not them. We cannot be them.

Thus when we see that gesture, we see it from our standpoint, from where we have reached in our evolution and understanding. We attach our emotions and feelings to their gesture and not their emotions and feelings. The seeing is ours, the understanding is ours and our misinterpretation is ours. I say misinterpretation because this is usually the outcome of any communication with other people.

Science is a subject where beliefs cannot be challenged. Scientists, I feel, are similar to religious fundamentalists in their belief in their cause. They spend years developing paradigms in which they will not turn or even consider modifying even when new information contradicts their ideas. They spend years building an impenetrable wall around them to protect their comfort zone and will not look at anything outside that may challenge their views or the beliefs that they hold.

This is due to their sense of Self. Their view of Self is as the scientist and the belief in themselves as a scientist. Science is their life. They simply do not understand themselves as anything other than a scientist with a particular belief – they understand themselves only in terms of their role rather than science being a chosen career. Since they equate Self with their belief, when a challenge is presented to that belief, they will see this as a direct attack on Self. Further, being unable to distinguish between the Self and the role prevents them from gathering the resources to assist them in incorporating other paradigms into their frame of reference. A paradigm is neither right nor wrong, it just is.

To challenging their views and beliefs directly would be seen as confrontational and would inevitably result in an unyielding stance as they fend off the attack they see happening on their cherished comfort zone. A more effective approach would be to open a dialogue in which you are willing to expand your own intellectual boundaries rather than being intent on demolishing theirs. Commune to understand them rather than forcing them to understand you. Ultimately, you will both be the wiser as you begin to focus on the common ground that you both share instead of continually shining that spotlight on the differences.

When we share instead of confront, we seed the consciousness of each other in ways you cannot begin to comprehend or even imagine. Occasionally, it can take just one simple word to alter another’s perception of their pain or their situation or their belief. If they are willing to learn, if they are willing to listen and if they are willing to nurture the seeds you have placed before them, they can grow in ways not even conceived of before.