Our brains excel at filling gaps. When we look at something our brains make meaning of the inputs. Sorting them into categories (sizes, shapes, colors, names), searching for movement.
Belief does the same thing with knowledge. It fills the gaps. Finding connections to fill in the gaps. We use beliefs to make sense of the world.
We all operate every day on a core set of beliefs. For instance: I believe that when I cross the street that cars will not run me over. Of course there are plenty of examples of people getting run over by cars. But my belief is based on my knowledge and experience. And it lets me navigate the world.
So beliefs build frameworks for understanding the world. But they also blind us. We struggle to truly “see” as our belief frameworks take over. Confirmation bias can literally change what we see, feel and experience. What was needed for our evolution and survival has become one of our biggest obstacles to growth. We can't see beyond our beliefs.
Have you ever had that moment when you opened your eyes and couldn’t categorize something you saw. Where, just for a second, you saw color and shapes not objects and meaning? It is very hard to see the world that way, even briefly. At a time in our history when belief is posing an existential threat, from ISIS to Trump, we need to find ways to remove our belief blinders. To see life for what it is and not for what we want it to be.