This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy. Continuing to use this website is acceptance of these cookies.

Which came first? The idea or the belief?

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 171
Joined: May 27th, 2012, 2:29 am

Which came first? The idea or the belief?

#1 Post by Kismet » August 6th, 2012, 5:34 am

Akin to the riddle of the chicken and the egg, I submit the notion of idea and belief as being on a par....

Most of us think that we derive our beliefs (a type of mental assent to "matters-of-fact") from ideas. After all, if ideas did not first exist, from what could we fashion our beliefs? From whole-cloth? I say: "why not?"

Hardly does it occur to us that the situation could well be reversed. From what do we derive our ideas from? Why, our beliefs of course! It is because we first subscribe to various ideas, that we then say, on the basis of those subscriptions, that they exist! This may not appear intuitive to most people. However, an example from Vedanta will make this point more easily graspable.


Take the seeing of a rope and mistaking it for a snake. One sees a thing and immediately regards it a certain way. Why does a person regard it a certain way? Is it because the snake approaches the level of a snake, by having certain conditions of 'snake' met like length, contour, shape and so on? Or is it rather because the belief in 'snakeness' itself confers on the rope the identity of a snake, and causes one to therefore look at these other symptoms of 'snake' in a secondary and tertiary mode of awareness, as justification, as some might even put it, in 'excuse?' Indeed, had one not been on edge before at seeing a snake, then one would never have been so bamboozled at the appearance of one, but would instead have clearly seen at the outset the clear outline of a rope.

In other words, seeing the snake was itself a choice the mind made. Why? In an attempt at self-preservation, or caution, at not being bitten. In an attempt at vigilance, the thought of a snake was pre-emptively projected outward so that, had a real one been located, it would have easily been warded off. However, this form of belief has at its basis no foundation, because there is nothing factual, nothing identifiable or in the way of a concrete idea supporting it.

It is, in a word, a projection. Nothing else.

And it is only the projection itself, the illusion itself, which causes one to be in a sustained mood of believing the snake to be real. For the features of the snake, while they partake of the real, are supported only by the underlying premise that these are, in fact, snake features and not mere rope features, and this 'supposing' of snake features alone, this conscious willed choice alone, is what makes the snake, and in a broader sense this entire universe, appear real and factual and concrete and so on.....

The belief in the world's existence comes first. Not the idea that it is real in the first place. That is error one from which all other misconceptions (delusions) proceed.....

And it is all a choice. All a projection. One without beginning....

But it does have, an end....

Post Reply