Neils Kunze, by his own description, is “a determined explorer and pioneer, seeking therapy in words, inspiration in music, and peace in Nature’s wisdom.”
Yesterday morning, I was greeted by Neils’ December newsletter. The introduction contained his belief system. Every word resonated with me because it accurately describes my belief system of pure potential and love.
I share it with you today.
“So … Niels, what exactly do you believe?”
Ha! That’s a good question. Primarily, I believe in heaps and heaps of possibilities. Or in other words, I believe in everything without really believing in anything. Okay, there may be a few things I believe with a great deal of conviction, but I try not to be 100% attached to anything I believe. I could be wrong, you know … but as long as I’m willing to learn and change accordingly, ultimately I can never be wrong.
I strongly believe that love is the most powerful force in the universe. I believe that freedom is essential for personal growth. And I believe very strongly that each of us has the unassailable right to believe whatever we choose as long as we do not infringe upon the rights of others to do likewise. These are some of my core convictions, and they are supported by a great deal of personal experience. And it is our own experience which moves us from believing to knowing … keeping in mind though, that whatever I know may be held merely as belief by you, until personal experience adds the weight of conviction.
Often our beliefs get so entangled with our sense of identity that we may find it rather difficult to let them go when circumstance warrant it. Much of this comes from our habit of thinking in predetermined categories. “You believe that? Oh, well then you must be one of those.” From a handful of expressed beliefs, we will often size a person up and lump them into a broad category which may or may not be at all appropriate. Labels are continually hung around our necks, creating false identities that often we ourselves begin to give credence. It is this particular cultural habit that has posed considerable difficulty for me in the past.
“Are you a gay libertarian new-agar?” NO, I must insist that I am Niels. Nothing more; nothing less. Stereotyping is lazy and dishonest. I cannot in any way be accurately defined by a handful of my beliefs. And any person attempting to relate to me in such a manner has virtually no hope of accessing my unique personal identity. Such a person cannot know me … and clearly does not wish to.
Furthermore, just because I write commentaries about advanced civilizations living in the hollow Earth, or that the sun may indeed be composed of phlogiston, or that flying unicorns are cool– doesn’t necessarily mean that I have any vested belief in these things. But I do maintain them as possibilities. I have never travelled to the centre of the Earth, or to the sun; I’m waiting for a flying unicorn to take me there so that I can know one way or the other. Wouldn’t that be cool?
Until then, I can easily entertain such things as possibilities. And why not? What’s the harm in acknowledging “outrageous” possibilities? As long as I’m not investing in concrete expectations, I am actually better prepared for an uncertain future than those who would deny such possibilities. By just entertaining outrageous possibilities in my imagination, I am rehearsing for unpredictable uncertainties. Perhaps an example would be in order.
Recently I read, in what has come to be known on the internet as the Daniel Papers, the scientific explanation– based on Larsonian physics– for the possibility that our sun may go dark for a couple of days in the very near future. How freaky would that be? So do I believe that this will happen? I acknowledge the possibility. Nothing more is required of me. There is nothing to be gained by my strong conviction that “I definitely believe this will occur.” Likewise, there is nothing to be gained by the counter-conviction that “It’s all a bunch of hogwash!” I’m very comfortable sitting on the fence; it’s a good sturdy fence and I have a reasonable sense of balance. So if the sun never goes dark during my lifetime … boy, won’t I look silly for entertaining such a stupid notion! (Please note: heavy sarcasm.) But if the sun does go dark for a few days in the near future, I will happily jump down from the fence and try my best to restore a shred of dignity and calm among my fellow humans who will be cannibalizing their own lives and vomiting fear.
I wonder how we got to the place where we feel compelled to declare whether we believe in this or that as though our answer could possibly matter to anyone else but ourselves. What can we possibly gain by denying possibilities? “Oh. that’s impossible! It’ll never happen.” These are the proclamations of closed-mindedness. They keep us small and walled off. Why should it be at all difficult to entertain limitless, wondrous possibilities? Why do you suppose we have all been gifted with imagination?
Come join me on the fence … Let’s dream together … among all the outrageous possibilities.