Belief, Knowledge and Truth: Can you tell the difference?


Who are you?

What do you believe is true?

What do you know is true?

Is there a difference between belief and knowledge?

If you say no, there is no difference, what are you basing that belief on?

If you say yes, there is a difference, what are you basing that belief on?

Do you sense the inherent contradiction here?

The limitations of language?

How many times have you noticed how people make their belief systems their lived reality and shaped their own personal experience of the world to reflect that belief? How believers surround themselves with other believers and therefore everything in their environment reinforces their beliefs. If someone believes something with all of their heart and mind, does that make it knowledge? If I believe with all my heart and mind that the world is flat, does that make it true? If I believe with all my heart and mind that God lives in Heaven above and the Devil in Hell below does that make it true? If I believe with all my heart and mind that there is no God at all and that individual consciousness ends at death does that make it true? Are truth and belief equivalent? Are truth and knowledge equivalent?

So what, then, is the difference between belief and knowledge? And what do either of them have to do with truth?

One online dictionary says:

Belief:

  1. An acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
  2. Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.
Knowledge:
  1. Information and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.
  2. What is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information.

Truth:

  1. The quality or state of being true: “the truth of her accusation”.
  2. That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality: “tell me the truth”.

1. Belief: Acceptance. Opinion. Existence.

2. Knowledge: Acquiring. Experience. Practical.

3. Truth: Fact. Reality.

Each of these terms has a subjective and an objective side to them. Each of these terms can mean different things to different people. Each of these terms can be debated endlessly.

Therefore, the only thing the first two terms share in common is their inability to fully encompass all perspectives pertaining to the third term.

As language inherently obfuscates rather than clarifies  the attendant difficulties in determining what is a belief vs knowledge and whether either category encompasses truth is a difficult if not impossible task.

The ability of humans to create lives and live them in communities based upon what are later found to be false beliefs, mistaken knowledge or untruths are rife across the span of history. What was true yesterday might be found to be untrue tomorrow. Human understanding of the world and each other evolves seemingly by the microsecond. Ignorance is the common state of everyone, as there is always something we don’t know that can and often does change our entire perspective about any subject whatsoever.

Disparate brain wiring inhibits understanding, different chemical makeups and the ability to control brain chemistry make some of us more or less compassionate and others more or less detached from the considerations and opinions of others.

Whether one believes or knows that Creation is either purposeful or purposeless does nothing to minimize the acknowledged fact of existence. We exist. Our experiences exist. Our perspectives exist. The double slit experiment proves beyond a doubt that the observer affects the observed. At the level of quarks and mesons, at the level of thoughts, the very presence of consciousness affects the material reality that it perceives. Quantum entanglement proves that everything is connected, also at the sub-atomic level. A split atom sent to the other side of the universe will turn simultaneous to the original remaining in the scientist’s lab.

Belief and Knowledge seem to be filters for experience. The less experience we have, the closer we are to belief. The more experience we have, the closer we are to knowledge. The quality of that experience determines how close our beliefs and knowledge are to truth. Whether a truth is a “little t” truth or a “big T” Truth is determined by how close experience approaches the multiversal in nature. Whether that truth is ephemeral, subjective and dependent upon shifting conditions or whether that Truth is an objective and fundamental expression of some multiversal constant.

The constant in all cases is experience. Personal expression. Therefore, our ability to perceive and express beyond the ephemeral, the subjective, the ego and personality-driven and approach the fundamental, the objective, the Higher Self and Avatarically-driven determines the extent to which our beliefs and knowledge reflect a greater rather than lesser Truth.

Who are you?

How closely do you associate with the truths you believe?

How accurately do you reflect the greater Truths of existence?

Are your truths local or universal?

Is there a difference  between local truths and universal Truths?

If you say no, there is no difference, what are you basing that belief on?

If you say yes, there is a difference, what are you basing that belief on?

Do you sense, here, the perceptual contradiction that, in reality, is no contradiction at all?

The necessity of going beyond language?

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