When I happened upon that sentence in a book recently it really made me stop and think. And think ... and think!
If you believe this assertion then it logically follows that every single thing we experience is evaluated by what we already believe. This judgement can include ideas about yourself that you may or may not like. If we have been taught to believe something about our intrinsic being then all events that follow and impact on that are viewed through the belief system that we adhere to: belief really does precedes experience.
I look at some people and wonder how they can behave so differently (to me) in their lives and then I realise that the fundamental truth is that they hold a different set of beliefs to me, and their lives and experiences radiate from that central belief at their core – as does mine; we just exist on separate forks of the road which we have decided was best for us individually.
The more I thought about this statement the more I came to the same conclusion.
As an individual each one of us may have single-handedly created our own belief system or we may have plugged into another, wider set of beliefs, either way if our experiences are consistently causing us trauma and distress we need to either change our behaviour or our beliefs. I can’t see any other way.
If we choose to persist in a state of ‘resistance living’ then it is like we are permanently in a gym environment using the long-life high quality durable resistance bands (that are designed to exist perpetually) as we use our bodies to fight against the weights we have chosen to pull against. With resistance training and resistance living the tension is constant – and anyone can take part at any time. It’s all based on belief.
Our impressions of ourselves are informed by our beliefs.
Our experience of our existence is founded on our beliefs.
If the resistance living is causing too much distress we can choose to change the tools we use, we can change the belief systems that we live by. Thus doing will alter the impressions we have of ourselves and each other.
“Judgements are what cause experience to be painful.”