Live Deeply

Day 17: Believing is Seeing

Written by Ekras Gorakh

My old classmates squirm at the notion of cultivating Faith. It seems unscientific and irrational, and so they want to stick to the better liked “In God we trust; everyone else must bring data”. They are wrong. Faith is at the core of everything that happens inside and outside us; Believing otherwise is just being superstitious.

I’m writing about #LivingDeeply this month, and today is day 17. My topic today is Faith, or belief.

** Believing is Seeing**

We are able to operate in the world because we believe certain things. We believe that the markets work, that a US dollar is worth one dollar, that the train into the city takes 45 minutes every time, and that the gravity on Earth is not changing every second. We believe in gravity without ever seeing it.  That’s why we don’t walk like we’re walking in quicksand, carefully lifting each foot and placing it very slowly and carefully on the ground. We “just know” that gravity is unchanging.

We also believe things about our place in the world. We believe that we are physically here, and that we have a name and a family. We have some money in the bank, and that people actually care what our opinions are. Our behavior is directly tied to our beliefs. Someone might believe, for example, that the stock-market is a fools playground, and they may never invest money into the market. Or you might believe that you are put on Earth for a purpose, and all your life will be devoted to fulfilling your purpose.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna says, Those who are unknowing and without faith and of doubting self will perish. For the doubting self, there is no happiness either in this world or next.

अज्ञश्चाश्रद्दधानश्च संशयात्मा विनश्यति |

नायं लोकोऽस्ति न परो न सुखं संशयात्मन: ||

Scientists that have made great discoveries can go on for years trying to look for their breakthrough. The only reason they can go on for this long is because they believe too. Mathematicians that are looking for a proof for their theorem also believe. In algebra, we begin every proof with a belief.  “Let there be an X, such that” x= 4y + 4. If you don’t believe there is an X, you will not be able to solve for it. Once you have seen the answer, the belief in X can be discarded. But until then, you have to proceed with an unshakeable faith.

The reason most people can’t change their behavior is that they haven’t addressed their self-beliefs. They either have weak beliefs (that they doubt very much), or they haven’t tested their beliefs. Maybe they haven’t extended their beliefs to the outer edge of what’s possible.

In other words, they are only able to believe very little about themselves, and they are happy to accomplish the little belief with their power of low expectations. Steve Jobs’ famous Apple ad said “…people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Flex your faith muscle. Believe more. It’s the only way to Be More and Live More.

About the author

Ekras Gorakh

Ekras Gorakh is a software executive and a yoga-meditation teacher living in San Francisco, CA.

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