In the movie Dogma there is a scene in which the character named Rufus (I think he’s supposed to be the 13th apostle) is talking to the main character, Bethany, about God and beliefs. He says,
“[Jesus] still digs humanity, but it bothers him to see the shit that gets carried out in his name – wars, bigotry, televangelism. But especially the factioning of all the religions. He said humanity took a good idea and, like always, built a belief structure on it.”
“Having beliefs isn’t good?” asks Bethany.
“I think it’s better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier…”
It’s not overtly profound exchange, but I think about that quote from time to time. Recently, I’ve thought about it in regards to whenever someone asks me what it is that I do believe now; a question I’m never exactly sure how to answer anymore. Perhaps the easiest answer is that I don’t really have beliefs anymore, or at least not nearly as many as I used to. I don’t have a bullet point list of things I’m willing to deem as absolute truths and argue over. I have various ideas that I entertain throughout the day –some more or less than others. I enjoy reading about other peoples ideas and I even have practices like meditation, messing with tarot cards or finding ways to utilize my subconscious mind but that’s about it.
I’ve become wary of most conversations about spirituality for that reason — most people just want to talk about their beliefs (or even disbeliefs) and seemingly not much else. Most people aren’t really into talking about ideas because they have invested so much of their identities into what they do and don’t believe, that any other idea seems preposterous. Personally, I just want to explore others ideas at this point and weigh them accordingly, not outright dismiss them according to what I currently believe or disbelieve.