It can be a wonderfully freeing and empowering exercise to enumerate the contents of one’s beliefs, distilling them to a core essence.
It is also a practice in vulnerability, to expose something so personal to others.
In that vein, I submit the following:
I believe in helping people become happier, and healthier, better able to achieve their goals and uncover their unique talents.
I believe in the exchange of ideas, in the value of critical thinking and the ability to empathize with others. Open discourse and a deep knowledge of our own selves and the beliefs of others presents alternatives to violence and leads to meaningful relationships and deeper contentment.
I believe that a healthy diet that minimizes sugars and animal protein releases our bodies and our minds, allowing us to feel better, more energetic, and to better pursue the things we really care about. We also are able to free ourselves from a systematic enslavement of our bodies by food and drug companies.
I believe in taking risks and pursuing individual and common good together. I believe that we can and should produce goods and services using our individual talents, and discover ways in which we may support one another in a way that allows us to flourish together.
I believe in the triumph of love over all else, including the constructs of division and power we at times (mis)label as morality. True morality is a responsiveness in the moment to unique circumstances and cannot be fully encapsulated ahead of time.
I believe that true individual growth occurs at the liminal point between what we know and what we don’t know, and we experience this growth in the tension between the two. If we already know the answers, we are not growing; if we abandon all that we know, we abandon the work of integrating all that we have learned into the mystery of the unknown land ahead of us, which leads to growth.
I believe that memory of death is our chief tool of perspective of what is important–our time is our most limited and precious asset. Memory of death sobers us in the moment, allowing us to escape the tyranny of busy work and futile competitions.
I believe that a sense of our immortality likewise guards us against the pull of nihilism, and from attachment to ourselves and the world. I believe that what comes after death will bear many similarities to our present lives, though in ways not presently knowable. Whether we preserve memory of past lives I do not know, but the constant struggle towards deification will go on in us, and we must surely experience that struggle within a reality larger than ourselves–what certainly must be a “world” of some kind. Knowledge of this keeps us from despairing as to the purpose of growth in the present: we must always be growing until the race is finished.
I believe in the purity of relationships, and the transcending quality of humanity to step outside themselves and connect with others, whether they be animals, people, spirits, nature, or forces and beings greater than these. I believe that we, in transcending the catalogue of labels that ensnare us, are interacting with the truly divine part of ourselves, and reminds us of the true meaning of human dignity.
I believe that the darkness of man is both contingent to us and is the necessary agent of our change; that evil is a two way mirror: that though we behold monsters awaiting us as we climb the summit, from the top we may turn round and see that there had never been monsters at all. I believe that the reaching for knowledge and power in the garden was neither inevitable nor necessary, but it was a redeemable fault in our youthfulness as young divinities, and that this present darkness is the trial of our rite of passage into the being that we professed we wanted in the beginning.
I believe in the eternal and incomparable value of each individual life, and that the lushness of life surely encompasses far more than what we now see and know; that the company of the elect in the coming communion will include far more than ourselves.