False beliefs are self-limiting illusions of the ego that shape how you see the world. If you want to live a fulfilled and happy life, it is in your best interest to shed these beliefs as soon as you are able.
While we have been conditioned in this society to think that “everyone is entitled to their beliefs,” this couldn’t be further from the truth. Thoughts are things, and have a very real impact not only on you, but on everyone around you, as well as the world in general.
One of the greatest delusions of our society is that there are no repercussions for entertaining any raggedy thought that pops into your head. Thought cultivation is one of the most important aspects of self-mastery for a reason. The sages of old understood how important it was not to give life to energy that could distort reality or make you “see” what isn’t there.
The mind is extremely powerful, both in terms of how it can affect your body and your perception, as well as in how it can affect your surroundings and life path. Guarding your mind is extremely important, so much so that it is the cornerstone of most mastery training.
The Renaissance of False Beliefs
That being said, we are currently dealing with an absolute deluge of false beliefs within the fabric of society, due in large part to this idea that everyone is “entitled” to their own opinions and beliefs.
This idea sounds good enough on the surface, but it falls apart under the slightest scrutiny.
First of all, who was the first sad individual who came up with the idea that opinions had any merit whatsoever? After all, thoughts have no inherent value.
The only thing in life that matters is fact. Actual reality. How you “feel” about reality or what you “think” reality is has no inherent merit whatsoever.
A thought in reality is only as valuable as it is true. Subjective matters aside (whether chocolate is better than vanilla), you can only ever judge a thought based on how closely it aligns with truth.
Even then, you don’t get a special reward or prize for “believing” a truth. Your opinions don’t matter. Reality just is. It doesn’t need yours or anyone else’s mental stamp of approval.
This is where humanity as a whole has seemingly diverged from the natural order. We have come to believe that our thoughts have value in and of themselves, which is not true in the slightest.
Opinions are all too often useless and divisive. We’ve been brought up to believe that our opinions define us, that they are a part of who we are, but this is another level of delusion.
Your opinions are in fact false beliefs, or self-imposed limiters that keep you from experiencing life how it was meant to be experienced.
The truth is, in a vast majority of cases, individuals are far happier once they shed their opinions. This is because false beliefs are a great burden for our subconscious minds.
Whenever you entertain a false belief, it is your ego forming an idea about the world to shield you from reality for its own ends (self-perpetuation).
It is critical that you understand that “you” are not “your opinions.” These mental constructs are just that, artificial structures of the mind that have been made for a certain end. They have no inherent value and they don’t serve you, they serve your ego.
The problem is that we currently live in an ego-gratifying culture. Perhaps no other time in the history of our species have egos been so lauded and coddled. False beliefs are rampant, and define a great bulk of public discourse and our common culture.
This is a problem, because ego-based opinions are naturally divisive, which in turn creates unrest and imbalances in the world around us.
Removing False Beliefs
One of the problematic aspects of removing false beliefs is that chances are, you can’t recognize your own. You may even believe your false thoughts are valuable.
Delusions are psycho-spiritual blind spots, in that they wall-off reality. Thoughts dictate perspective, and unfortunately you must use your perspective to navigate through life.
In other words, most of the time you cannot simply recognize which of your beliefs and opinions are false and then discard them by choice. In fact, you may still be at the stage where you identify with your false beliefs and would not dare part with them.
So in this case, what is the answer?
Traditionally, sages have recognized several ways of removing false beliefs, all of which require certain levels of mindfulness and various self-discipline techniques.
Let’s go over a few reliable methods that have been used throughout history to undermine the ego and free minds from the prison of delusion.
Bypassing the Ego With Mindfulness
Typically, you cannot simply pick a particular thought that you would like to be rid of, especially if you identify with it or “believe” in it.
The mind doesn’t work this way. You may recognize that you have a problem, that you are full of anger, reactionary, stress-out, or feel trapped by your own behaviors. Yet you likely won’t be able to pinpoint the beliefs that are causing these issues.
Part of the issue is that false beliefs are often the product of false mindsets. The beliefs are part of a larger structure of negative or delusional thinking that creates an entire framework that your ego uses to help shape the way you see the world. It’s not so much a “blind spot” as it is a gaping black hole.
As the Wise Ones have always insisted, do not seek to attack a belief. Attack the framework that allows the belief to exist in the first place.
To do this, you must dissolve the ego, which is the framework by which false beliefs are allowed to perpetuate.
If you stop giving your ego so much power, many of the thoughts that it supports will crumble. More accurately, they “fade into the background,” supplanted by greater truths.
They say that waking up or raising your awareness is much like “removing a veil.” This is a very accurate analogy.
When you raise your awareness, you are essentially shedding a layer of the ego-mind. You aren’t necessarily learning anything new, you are removing an old belief.
It is our beliefs that keep us from experiencing and enjoying reality as it actually is.
Dissolving the ego however is no light matter. You must adopt several forms of self-discipline and stick with them for however long it takes to see a better, more aware You.
While some may recommend a practice such as yoga or breathwork, you don’t necessarily need to start this advanced.
Adopt a daily ritual of quiet physical exercise that is somewhat difficult and monotonous, such as lifting weights or performing basic labor. You want to work the body and still the mind.
Alongside this daily exercise routine, practice radical gratitude. Be thankful for all that you encounter. Not thankful to any outside force, but genuinely and deeply gracious simply for what is.
Being gracious for the state of your current reality is important, because it directly attacks the world of the ego.
Often, the ego wants us to believe that we are not responsible for what we have. That everything is out of our control, either determined by random events or “given” to us by a god of some sort.
Both of these scenarios inflate the ego, by deferring accountability and hardening the heart. When we are detached from the outcome of our decisions, we grow inwardly cold and our egos begin creating false beliefs to explain any number of reasons why certain things happen to us or why certain things are the way they are.
Be gracious for the sake of being gracious. Be thankful for what is, on every level, and mean it.
True gratitude is a radical mindfulness exercise that teaches your subconscious to acknowledge its ability to manifest. By doing so, you undermine the ego and tear down some of its belief structures. The end result of this over time is a clearer view of reality.
The key to dissolving the ego is to perform any mindfulness exercise in a state of true mindfulness. Do not attach any belief or expectation to the act of being gracious or appreciating what you have. Do not do it “for a reason,” or to “please” any one or any thing. These, again, are beliefs.
Mindfulness gives way to awareness, and once you are more aware, you can see the absurdity of your former false beliefs as they naturally fall away.
Physical discipline aids the process of mindfulness by helping to quiet the ego. Use it as a supplementary tool.
If you find it hard to be at peace with your mind without your thoughts racing, or if you are having trouble being genuinely gracious, lift some weights. Chop some wood. Rake some leaves. Do meaningful work, without any expectations.
These two simple practices will, over time, produce fruit.
Being Vigilant With Your Mind
Remember, you are the guardian of your mind. You are responsible for what goes into it and what comes out of it.
If you entertain false beliefs, you are not only putting yourself in danger and compromising your quality of life, you are almost certainly making life difficult for other people as well.
Negative and false thoughts are toxic, as well as viral. They can and do spread to your surroundings and can easily influence other unaware minds.
Tending to your mind like a garden is one of the central aspects of being a mature, aware individual.
To entertain a false belief is to throw away personal responsibility.
Admittedly, if you have been mired in false beliefs for a long time, it can be difficult to recognize what is real and what is false. This is a rampant problem right now in our society.
There is misinformation everywhere.
You may be confused, angry, or even scared by the prospect that you are living a lie or that some of your beliefs are false.
This is another reaction of your ego, of course.
You must make the decision to embrace an appreciation for truth. The first step is realizing that your opinions aren’t worth anything if they don’t align with reality.
Certain physical ideologies, such as religion and politics, are designed by egos, for egos.
This means that by their very nature, they exist in a bubble of illusion for a physical end. Usually this “end” is control and wealth of some kind.
While certain societal actors in politics and religion are striving for a better world, there are plenty of ego-based forces that continually fight to uphold certain power structures, and they use false beliefs as a catalyst for control and subversion of the populace.
If you have trouble recognizing what is true and what is not, remember that as soon as you reach a certain level of awareness, you can actually “feel” the energy signature of a belief. Reality is not this subjective playground that you have been programmed to believe exists. There is no such thing as “different opinions” on any given subject, only what is true and what is fake.
Your happiness and peace of mind rely on you understanding this. Be vigilant with your mind, because if you neglect it, the weeds will strangle everything beautiful until all you are left with is a copse of bramble.