My brother once found a young boy who had hung himself in the basement of a neighbors house. For him, the experience was incredibly traumatic, as anyone can imagine it would be. The boy was around 10 or 12 years old, and his parents had recently undergone a very ugly divorce. As a result, the doctors had put him on drugs for depression which ultimately contributed to his death, in my opinion.
But my brother is a Catholic, which means the entire experience was interpreted within a Catholic paradigm of beliefs. Hence the boy had killed himself, not because of the drugs he'd been prescribed or the divorce of his parents, but because evil demonic forces had clearly been at work to lure the boy to his own demise.
Of course, had an atheist or a Shinto or a Buddhist found the boy, their own interpretation of the event, however traumatized they might have been by the experience, would have been interpreted within a very different paradigm from the one my Catholic brother used. And it is this very tendency to think in terms of the beliefs and ideas that we are submersed in that demonstrates how our "beliefs" are not necessarily real.
Instead, all of our ideas are simply the reassembling of the very ideas were are the most familiar with, like Lego pieces. This is why a Catholic does not hallucinate in Hindu, why a Christian friar does not dream of meeting Vishnu, or what a Buddhist does not dream of Mohammad or Moses or Elijah.
Our "beliefs" and our knowledge in general, obviously become the furniture of our mind. That's why we only ever think, dream, or experience life (even via near death experiences - a NDE) within the context of our knowledge and beliefs.
That we are the product of our cultures and our environments, that our minds are simply the reflection of the religions commonly practiced in the countries we are born, and that our ideas about economics and politics are likewise based purely on our experiences and nothing more, is a fact.
There is nothing in the Bible, nor has there ever been a single claim by anyone, that God claimed that capitalism is the most moral and efficient way to run an economy, or that "democracy" (which American is NOT) is necessarily the "best" form of political government.
But the fact that so many people actually believe that God would argue that capitalism and democracy are somehow as divinely revealed as Christianity (even though both capitalism and democracy are the complete opposite of Christianity), shows not only that all of our "beliefs" are simply the result of social conditioning, but that even completely opposing beliefs such as these can be made to seem as if they are three sides to the same coin.
It's just that that coin has a picture of Caesar on it. And those systems of beliefs are all used like three chains tethered to our necks, all of which demand that we "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's."
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