02006-03-06 | Uncategorized | 3 comments

I had lunch with Jon today and suddenly it seemed so simple that I almost dropped my plate of delicious Indian food. It’s a spiral, of course, and belief is the engine, the motivator. Belief powers the research or practice, which eventually turns into knowledge or ability. At that point belief kicks in to propel a person to the next round. The whole thing is very smooth and constantly adjusting. Problems arise when a person gets stuck, either because they become attached to a result or a belief. The healthy process is continuous and without end.

This is true for everything. Take music as an example. First comes the belief that this instrument can become our voice. That belief propels years of studying and practice. We reach a plateau and then we believe we can reach higher and that inspires the next few years of practice.

This is very basically human. Even science starts with a theory or belief that eventually is either proven correct or false. If you get stuck on the theory you might fail to see that a simple adjustment of that theory might result in success. If you become attached to the result you might fail to see the next theory that it could lead to.

I completely understand if this is perfectly obvious to everyone, but it was a nice moment… and then I started chewing again and we continued our discussion of music and everything…


  1. Matt Callahan

    Indian food? Dots or feathers? In most parts of the country, I wouldn’t have to ask.

    Moments of absolute truth like these are few and far betwen for most. Yes, it may seem simple but it isn’t really. Some people have the answers but don’t know the question. For others, it’s questions with no answers. You have the gift of being able to work them out no matter what order you receive them.

  2. Victor

    Things only seem obvious when they are expressed with great clarity. Thanks Ottmar for sharing that moment of insight!

    I was having a conversation a few days ago on “Where are we (humanity) going?” On the one hand, this idea of “belief is the engine” makes me optimistic that each of us already has this “original equipment” which inspires us to wake up and strive to make our situations better. On the other hand, there appears to be so many people who go through life feeding motivations that seem destructive.

  3. Adam Solomon

    Hmmm….I would guess dot. I’m going for dot I think, tonight, at my favorite local dot restaurant. Delicious!

    Although I’ve never tried feather food, maybe one of you two could tell me, how is it?

    Your post makes quite a bit of sense, however. A constant cycle of belief, experimentation (that term can be replaced by a number of similar terms, I’m just taking the one used in science), and adjustment. The problems, of course, then arise when you become too attached to a belief, when the faith overrides your rational faculties.

    It can be seen as obvious but it’s a very clear way of looking at something that I think many of us take for granted. Even if it is obvious to someone, to view it with that kind of clarity and attention is of course a very good thing. Keep people on the path… :)

    And Matt, you shouldn’t quite call it absolute truth. You only believe it’s absolute truth :)


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