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Miller on Beliefs

May 23, 2012

Excerpted from Choices, by Lawrence Miller:

Beliefs, which may or may not have an emotional component, are inherently difficult to recognize. To us, beliefs simply are. We generally do not even recognize, let alone question, them, any more than a fish recognizes the water in which it swims. Beliefs can derive from a specific event, or they can be simply absorbed from our parents and other people in our early lives. If a belief derives from a painful incident, it will carry with it all of the survival-based emotional charge that a protection mechanism does. To challenge such a belief will literally make us feel as if we are risking death. Anger, terror, anxiety, rage, and other negative emotions are commonly felt whenever such a belief is challenged. These feelings are intended to maintain the integrity of the belief so that it can continue to do its job of protecting us. It is important to note, however, that the objective truth of a belief and the degree to which the subconscious mind defends it are absolutely unrelated.

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