Je suis poking Charlie (part 2 of 3)

So, our “problem” with beliefs is nothing to do with beliefs themselves, as they are neutral psychological constructs developed by our egos so that we can make sense of the world. The problem lies with the amount of energy our egos assign to our beliefs over time—both from an individual’s standpoint and collectively as groups. Putting a great deal of energy behind a belief, particularly emotional energy, is what propels them from being “open to debate” into incontestable camouflaged beliefs masquerading as absolute “truths.”

We need to understand the true nature of beliefs*

When we emotionally nurture a belief into a truth, it becomes serious. That is, we can no longer examine them, debate them, or make fun of them—according to our egos. We solemnize them. Religions are very good at solemnizing their beliefs. Moreover, when beliefs are seriously solemnized they can very easily turn into “laws”—seen by our egos as universal laws that must apply to everyone, whether they believe in the beliefs that created them or not!

But beliefs cannot be truths. Remember, there is only one Truth—the Oneness of Consciousness/All-That-Is/Your God. Your ego may be adamant that some of its beliefs must be true, but they are always only your personal truths—the beliefs you imagine to be true.

Beliefs of any description are not Truth; therefore, they cannot be taken seriously!

Fig 3 from Know Your Self
Overgrowing a belief into a “truth.”

Being valuable is the best a belief can achieve.

Although a belief can’t attain absolute truth, it can coalesce into a group of beliefs that is of value to you. You can grow and nurture your beliefs to the extent that they provide you with a set of values to live by. You need only bear in mind that your set of values, like any creation, becomes part of the expression of your Self, and you are an expression of Consciousness, which operates under one primary code of conduct—that non-violation thing again.**

So ask this question of your values:

Is living by my values ever likely to cause me to act in ways that will violate another living expression of Consciousness?

A “maybe” tells you to take another look at that particular value/group of beliefs, and see if you might be taking things a little too seriously—cloaking your “value” in the camouflage of truth, so that it cannot be questioned.

Our values represent a complex psychological structuring brought about through an ongoing evolutionary process of belief adoption and desertion as regards our survival needs in association with the environment. If the subject of Values intrigues you, then Spiral Dynamics championed by Dr. Don Beck, presents an excellent model of the value systems we’ve developed and are now developing in relation to Humanity’s “shift in consciousness.”

Funny as it may seem, you can’t violate a set of beliefs

Humor is an essential facet of being human. Essential as it counteracts your ego’s tendency for arrogance—an arrogance born of the delusion that its collection of beliefs defines who you are—your overall identity. This is not the case. Your true identity is founded on far more than your ego’s set of beliefs. Compounding its arrogance, your ego also imagines that its most solemn beliefs (personal truths) must be taken seriously, as they are taken to be fundamental to your selfhood.

Universal language of humorThe use of humor, such as satire, therefore becomes a necessary part of human interaction. Humor exists to remind us that life is supposed to be fun, and any solemnized beliefs you have should be challenged occasionally, as life is not to be taken too seriously. Using humor is an ideal way to challenge another’s beliefs or belief systems. It can prevent the challenged ego’s immediate slamming of a defensive door that keeps out any suggestions that its beliefs are questionable. It relaxes the ego, as humor is by its nature unprovoking, and keeps the door open to the possibility of reviewing the beliefs being challenged.

You can only violate a living expression of Consciousness. Beliefs are not living expressions of Consciousness, they are concepts manufactured through our ego’s need to understand what it perceives as reality, and how to act within that reality. You cannot then violate another’s set of beliefs and you are not committing a violation through challenging another’s beliefs. Moreover, your Freedom of Expression allows you to challenge another’s beliefs in whatever manner you choose, providing you do not violate them in the process.

Having said this, as much as satire can facilitate the ego’s openness to belief review and adjustment, it can also become an irritation. This is why satire, or “poking Charlie,” can lead to the belief holder taking offense.

If an offended person thinks (thinking is done by the ego) that their beliefs are being violated and declares this, they are only revealing that they are not aware of the actual nature of beliefs (or values and truths), or that they imagine that their beliefs define the totality of their identity. This is innocent naivety.

On the other hand, if a person feels (feelings come from your inner self) that the satire incorporates a deliberate design to undermine their self-esteem and sense of worth to humanity by ridiculing their beliefs to this end—then a violation has occurred. The satire is not funny anymore as it is violating the person’s psychological freedom.

Ghandi on humorSo, is satire good for us?

In my opinion, yes—provided we fully understand what can happen when we use it.

When using it we should understand that beliefs are not absolute truths, they are psychological concepts, notions that are thought up by our egos in order to give our egos a sense of identity. Beliefs are, and should be; constantly open to review and change.

Satire is a means by which we can make fun of our beliefs and ourselves, opening the ego to the possibility of change. It can only offend the naïve—those that do not understand the nature of beliefs. It can though violate if the satirist’s intent is to ridicule what is essentially another’s Freedom of Expression. This is what the satirist must guard against.

The Pope recently suggested that freedom of speech must not ridicule people’s Faiths. Well yes, when satire turns into ridicule it is likely a psychological violation will occur. Ridiculing another’s set of beliefs, as in their Faith, falls into the ego’s pit of arrogance, suggesting that you believe your beliefs are absolute truths and theirs are not worthy of holding. This would demonstrate that you don’t fully understand the nature of beliefs, values and truths.

Remember that a person’s Faith is their preferred set of solemnized beliefs (personal truths). Solemnized beliefs are rarely open to change using satirical humor, and never open to change using ridicule.


  • *For a free PDF download explaining the true nature of Beliefs click on this link.
  • ** violation: A violation is a deliberate act to end, harm or undermine the physical or psychological freedom of another living expression of Consciousness (All-That-Is/Your God).

Coming next…

  • Why you can’t impose the laws of your Faith upon those outside of it.
  • Why terrorism is a good sign that we are finally realizing that imposing our beliefs through the use of fear doesn’t work.
  • Why Fear giving way to Divine Love is the next step on our evolutionary path.

 

Author: Chris Johnson

Website's owner. Author of the It's About You! trilogy. Head of the "Counselling for your Self" therapeutic practice.