In Search of Nonbelief

February 17, 2021 AURELIS, AURELIS Coaching, Open Religion No Comments

Taking Inner Strength as goal, nothing should stand between it and the person as an individual. Lending much-needed proper support to this is the Aurelian way.

In this blog text, the concept of ‘belief’ denotes the result from a continual search for deeper meaning whereby this result doesn’t flow naturally from inside out. Such belief is needed to attain meaningfulness because of the absence of a direct opening towards deeper mind.

In Openness, the belief would not be necessary.

Thus, the search for Openness is the search for nonbelief.

This is relevant to several domains, such as religion, psychotherapy, education, and leadership. Note in this respect my use of the term in Open Religion and Open Leadership.

Openness is also one of the five Aurelian basic values, particularly relevant to the Aurelian way of coaching. [See: ‘Five Aurelian Values’]

But is nonbelief even humanly feasible?

Is it not asking too much? Are people capable of dropping all belief and flying on their own wings?

The basic premise of AURELIS: People are capable. It’s even the primary goal. It’s comprised in ‘Inner Strength.’ Only if people do not straightforwardly attain this, they need belief as an artificial door.

‘Artificial’ because, in this case, the belief is not the same as what lies behind the door. The door is a human-made artifice, mostly a cultural construct.

But is the belief-as-door not just a harmless instrument?

Possibly. Not necessarily. There lies the problem. Insofar as the door is indeed harmless, it is part of the content lying in the room behind. One can reach that state by using a symbolic door, a door-as-symbol. Actually, AURELIS is full of doors-as-symbol. Every AURELIS-session contains at least one of them. That is what autosuggestion is about, in a synthesis of depth and rationality, to be used in many domains as the language of communication between the conceptual and the subconceptual.

But this is not about ‘belief’ as the term is used in this text, the way I started.

With autosuggestion, ‘belief’ is not needed to attain the meaningful goal one is pursuing, such as quitting smoking in a meaningful way or diminishing pain in a meaningful way.

Meaningful is from the inside out.

Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapeutic theories act as myths. They aren’t really real. They are beliefs. [see: “Psychotherapy vs. Psychotherapies“], or see Jerome Frank’s classic work ‘Persuasion and Healing.’

Psychotherapeutic methods are enactments of these myths. In Frank’s words, they are like rituals. Towards effectiveness, it doesn’t matter which myths are enacted, as long as the belief holds, engendering patient expectation.

So what?

An artificial door can stay artificially shut. That should not be. With the best intention by, for instance, a psychotherapist, next time the client encounters this door – or another one, such as to any meaningful big-world-issue – he doesn’t know by himself how to open it. Even if he does, it’s not ‘his’ door. The client is alienated from the door and may even become increasingly alienated from everything behind it. It should be a revolving door. It shouldn’t even be a door apart from the room behind.

A reader of my blogs may know that I am also thinking of placebo now. [see: “How Active is Placebo?“] [see: “To Placebo or Not to Placebo“]

But as a good coach, I take the door of the client himself. Isn’t that OK?

Ha! Are you sure it’s ‘his’ door?

Please, take a very good look. And then another one. Your looking may be the best thing you can do for the client.

But isn’t the room behind the door a dark place where people should not lightly thread?

Indeed, in many cases.

That’s because the door is shut. The light doesn’t enter. The room should be enlightened all the time. That way, people can inhabit it and be themselves, by themselves, inside themselves.

And even more: invite others and be invited.

Behind closed doors, monsters can grow. It’s unfitting to take this as an argument to point to the opening of doors as dangerous or even to put extra slots on them, called ‘beliefs.’

One monster looks like the result of depthless science.

Another monster looks like the result of rationality-deprived religion.

I opt for a gentle slope towards nonbelief, whether this takes a short while or years.

Practically, this means that in AUREIS, no instruments are used in coaching apart from the coach himself.

Empathy.

Compassion.

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