Beyond belief

Pretty much all of what we experience, we experience within the context of belief. We each see the world the way we do because of what we believe it to be. Belief is powerful. It can motivate us to do truly magnificent things. It can guide us through all kinds of challenges. It can focus the efforts of large groups of people toward a common goal.

Yet belief, as powerful as it is, has its limits. After all, by very definition, belief is not the same as certainty. If you believe something, you must on some level accept the possibility that it might not be true. Otherwise, the word “belief” itself would have no meaning.

Belief is not a destination. You don’t believe something just to believe it. There is a purpose behind each belief, an experience you seek to engage in, a way you want to feel. So belief is a pathway between purpose and experience.

A pathway is not much use if you just sit on it. The reason for a pathway is to reach a destination. That journey may indeed take a lifetime, or even longer. And while the path itself is crucial, it is also just as important to keep moving along that path, always with an eye toward the destination.

Patheos is a terrific resource for the journey, continually enriching and expanding upon beliefs by both challenging and affirming them. And as beliefs grow stronger, so does the desire to nourish and support the inner purpose with which those beliefs connect. One purpose of the Inspiration Portal is to focus on that purpose and on the destination—to offer regular reminders of why you’re making the journey, of where you’re coming from and of where you long to be.

For fifteen years, I’ve offered similar reminders each day (and continue to do so) on The Daily Motivator website. I am thrilled about the opportunity to expand on that work as manager of the Inspiration Portal at Patheos. The focus of the Inspiration Portal is not on any specific set of beliefs, but rather on the yearning for fulfillment and meaning and joy that is common to all traditions, and on the possibilities for living spiritual experience.

People of diverse religious beliefs, as well as people with no religious beliefs, share the desire to make a difference (to matter and be relevant as an individual) and the desire to connect with a purpose that goes beyond individuality. Those desires are at the heart of inspiration, arising out of inspiration and then creating even more of it.

We hope you will see the Inspiration Portal as a place to expand upon and to go beyond belief, and will join us on the journey as we encounter those thoughts, feelings and experiences that renew the sense of purpose and possibility behind and beyond every belief.

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