“In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”
- Bertrand Russell
I have found that when people get defensive about their beliefs, they usually haven't hung their ideas on sound reasoning. A friend of mine once said, "Belief is the lowest form of argument." She's an older lady who gets a lot of static because she's - well, she's a lady of power and strength. This alone is enough to unnerve some people, a strong woman with an opinion. But I have long been intrigued with her breakdown of the concept, belief as the lowest form of argument.
If someone says, "I believe ..." they suddenly are relieved of the necessity to offer any support. It's a belief, not fact. It's doesn't have to be fact. The Bible even goes so far to define faith (which is a belief) as, "The substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen."
The real problem with this notion that, "I can believe what I want," is that there's no way to test the hypothesis. Hell, it's not even a hypothesis at this point, it's a belief, unassailable, couched in the ancient and cloaked in the spiritual.
I have not one problem with faith as it applies to religious beliefs. Well, I have no problem as long as those beliefs don't require one to harm someone else, condemn someone else, or do something clearly in opposition to simple good.
I have a number of problems when faith - or belief - is used to support unfounded and unprovable notions. If you truly believe that "going deeper" into that forward fold will somehow vent your spleen, then go ahead and pretzel yourself to death. Do not, however, - please. do. not. - place your hands on an unsuspecting yogi and press them, physically, into "going deeper" into their forward fold. Keep that shit to yourself. You can do actual physical harm to a student if you "encourage" them into the "full expression" of a pose they're not ready for, or have no interest in striking.
My pal Marion once said, "Belief is like a penis. Great that you have one, but please don't wave it around in public and please don't force it down my throat."
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