Everything has a Belief System; "everything," in this writing refers to all sciences, all religions, all cultures, (including their languages), and all professions. It also includes all fields of study, referred to as the "soft sciences," such as psychology, biology, sociology, geography, anthropology, and political science, as well as all theories of human behavior.

Many years ago, a friend of mine stated, in a philosophy class he was taking, that, "We all stand on dead men's shoulders." This, according to him, struck all present as incredibly profound, and had raised him up a number of notches in everyone's esteem.

We do all stand on dead men's shoulders metaphorically, in that the vast majority of developers of sciences, (hard and soft), the Prophets of religions, and expounders of new philosophies, and fields of study, 1) have been men, and, 2) their ideas have been incorporated into, if only in a historical context," the basics," (tenets and theoretical constructs of what is taught in all schools of higher learning).

In primary education, we are given the basics it is believed are needed to go on to learn what is taught in institutions of higher education. After having learned the basics of language (reading, spelling, writing, etc.), mathematics (addition, subtraction, division, etc.) in the course of being educated, we are required to learn, practice and duplicate the work that purports to have proven various facts which we are required to accept as FACTS. Currently, few are the Educational Institutions which still teach and discuss non-vocational subjects, including languages, which used to be thought of as the basis for being thought of as an educated person.

Students are not informed that what they have been taught are just the rudiments, and/or theories, or allowed to think that they might be improved upon, or might be some-day proven wrong. Examples of such FACTS: Christopher Columbus discovered America; Charles Darwin proved that humans evolved from animals; early humans developed in Africa from proto-humans, who evolved from the ape family; Gregor Mendel proved how family traits are passed on from one generation to succeeding generations, etc., etc.

These are only a few examples of the teachings, based on "facts" derived from the work of the dead men upon whose shoulder the entire current Western World Belief Systems stands. They are Belief Systems in that each of them, whether a science, profession, religion, or a philosophy, have basic interlocking/interdependent postulates, tenets, Truths held to be FACTS. Each of us has learned varying amounts of these FACTS. Brave is the individual who dares to "question authority," let alone attempt to rethink those basic tenets, or suggest others. Instances of the fate of such individuals can be found in the historical literature, if one delves deep enough, and, believe me, what you will find if you do isn't pretty.

In the last 100+ years vast amounts of new Facts have been piled on the old Facts, with very few noticing that there has been a sea change in what is now "known," and without the muddy bottoms of these Belief Systems being stirred. New information is built into the old Systems, giving no thought to the possibility that the old system may have been dead wrong! These are the "boxes" we are now being asked to, "think outside of."

As a result, the possibility rarely, if ever, crosses the minds of the, "educated" that what they think they know, their "Belief Systems," which they use to, "think" with, may be obsolete. Many scientists, after spending vast amounts of time and money, have discovered this fact, and have quietly folded their experimental tents, and stolen away into the night to search for a new theory to explore. It is now being revealed that some of the prestigious Journals, which publish what is considered high-level findings in various fields, have been publishing experimental results which have been bought and paid for by vested interests.

Rarely do scientists, who work outside of what the vested interests want known, ever receive grant monies to pursue those interests. Some who have pursued them, perhaps with their own funding, have found that, if it does not support established FACT in any field, generally, it will not be published. Earlier scientists, who discovered information that the vested interests did not wish to be known, have had their work either quietly changed, ignored, debunked by other scientists, or defamed by the professional de-bunkers.

A case in point, in the field of psychology, Fritz Perls, who developed a form of Gestalt Therapy, which I have studied, and been trained in, is no longer among us to defend his work. When I was in the process of finishing my Masters Degree in Art Therapy, in a final exam, we were to expound on three of five different forms of therapy being practiced currently, one of them being Gestalt Therapy.

Everyone had been given "cheat sheets" summarizing all of the therapies prior to the test. (Oh, how far education has fallen!) As I was familiar with Gestalt Therapy, as well as others, I didn't think it was necessary to refer to the sheets. Imagine my surprise, when I got my test papers back, to discover that the answers I had provided on Gestalt Therapy had been marked wrong.

When I protested to the Professor that my answers were not wrong, I was told that they were not the answers on the provided summary sheet for Gestalt Therapy(!). When I checked the sheets, I was shocked to learn how distorted what Fritz Perls had taught had become, to the point that it is little wonder that it appears to have been essentially dropped as a form of therapy currently, as what was being presented was bizarre.

When I discussed this with one of my Art Therapy Supervisors, who was herself studying for another psychology degree, she told me that Gestalt Therapy was not the only form of psychology where you had to give the wrong answers to have them be considered correct.

To repeat, everything has a Belief System. You have incorporated many whole into your own personal Belief System; the more "educated" you are, the more of them have been incorporated. There is always more to the story! There is always more to discover! Until you open yourself up to the possibility that what you believe are FACTS, may be wrong, and search out new, conflicting, information, you will remain firmly enclosed in your "Box."

Author's Bio: 


My self-educational background has been in learning, and writing about, why people do what they do. My educational background includes the study of established Belief Systems in the field of Psychology, ranging from Freudian theory through Abraham Maslow's work on fully-functioning individuals, as well as Art. My BA is in Human Services, and my Masters is in Art Therapy--MA-AT.

In the 1970's I wrote a manuscript, (unpublished) called: You in the Process of Becoming; A Guide to the Self. In it I outlined a systems approach to understanding human behavioral dis-functioning. My current writing and thinking is an outgrowth of the understanding that, if an individual wishes to be able to think, "critically," i.e., originally, clearly and without contamination from Consensus Belief Systems, it is essential for that individual to thoroughly understand their own underlying Belief System.

This approach can be used in understanding an individual's problems in dealing with everyday situations and problems in relationships. In discovering how one's underlying beliefs shape personal behavior, and examining where those beliefs came from, can do much to change the resultant behavior.

You can access my blog at http://www.ruminationsonresponsibilities.blogspot.com/