Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My own lingo - Visceral Beliefs (VBs)

It may be best to skip this post until I start to discuss visceral beliefs in relation to other things.  I needed to go ahead and post it though; again, as part of the foundation or framework I will use later to explore why we think, feel, and do the things we do. 

The next concept I would like to introduce and begin to define is visceral beliefs. This concept is nearly impossible to define in any specific or definitive ways. Therefore, likely the best I will be able to do is to give some of the contours of what I mean by visceral beliefs, and hope that others will intuitively sense what I am striving to describe, a little bit now and more and more later as I apply them to areas of our lives.

The best way I can explain visceral beliefs is that they are the somewhat undefinable or undescribable assumptions or beliefs behind our feelings, especially our intense gut level feelings. In some ways they are like a book of rules underlying our feelings or emotions that we do not know that we have. They come from our quest to best fulfill our felt needs in the surroundings we find ourselves in. As such they are determined by our innate qualities and tendencies (nature) as well as our environment (nuture), and which factor has more greatly determined our own visceral beliefs may vary from person to person and from visceral belief to visceral belief.

Many of our visceral beliefs are fully formed and in place before we reach the age of reason or use our own thinking or cognitive ability to consider how we should act. It is not really important to determine exactly what age this is, but it is around the age we stop believing in Santa Claus and similar things. Visceral beliefs are constantly changing slightly to incorporate all of our life experiences, but for most people they stay relatively constant throughout life. Sometimes they change drastically on the negative side with traumatic events or on the positive side with religious or spiritual experiences that leads to a very different outlook on life or sometimes with the love for a partner, child, etc, but most commonly they change slowly and grudgingly without intense guided effort.

Visceral beliefs are not a result of thinking, and in fact we do not initially choose in any way what our visceral beliefs will be. Similarly, Visceral beliefs do not come from things that people tell us that sound like good ideas. The exception to these two generalities is that if we receive an insight from our own thinking or from what someone is telling us that modifies how we view things at a deep intuitive or feeling level.

Visceral beliefs are in some ways primitive or animalistic. This does not mean they are something to be avoided, suppressed or matured past, and that is not really possible anyway. Visceral beliefs can be modified or even replaced, but in their old or modified form they will always be with us and determine how we feel in a particular situation.