Everything is Contextual
Consider any person in the past, long ago, and consider their beliefs, their world view… and go ahead and chuckle. It’s what we do, thinking how backwards and uninformed they were, and how they were usurped by something more correct (aka our beliefs): whether science, or greater religion, or superior values, or just your new “upgraded” opinions.
We do it the same in the present, with other cultures, and worldviews – we conclude our beliefs are superior, and will give a list of reasons why.
The problem is that everything you think, every opinion you hold, is contextual. Just like theirs was, and is.
(This can be a tough one to swallow, especially for people very attached to their opinions, and the truth therein – but here goes…)
The things you know, or think you know, are a result of a dizzying and endless array of contexts: the time you’re living in, your location, your culture, your upbringing, your friends, your enemies, your blessings, your traumas, your role models, your media (hi social media!), etc etc; plus your genetics and other generational baggage; plus (if you think like me) the transcendent components like soul and daemon.
To that last line, as an example: the fact that I believe in a concept like “soul” is a result of my contexts, and the way I think about it is the same. Ie the Judaism I was raised in, my years of struggle therein, my reintegration of multiple spiritual practices and lineages (including Judaism), all the books I read, my teachers, my meditation practice… I could go on an on… and each of these things, or the fact that I engaged with them in the first place, are a result of context.
Which all leaves me knowing that my Truth is highly subjective. It’s mine, and mine alone. And it’s provisional – I know my Truth can and will change with time and inputs. So, I’m not so attached to my beliefs as a result.
Opinions are contextual. Knowledge is contextual. Culture is contextual.
The fact you believe something as Truth is because of context. And if you took your self, with your deep seated opinions, and placed your birth in Arkansas, or Japan, or 19th century Argentina, you would have different beliefs about the world. And most importantly: you would believe that your beliefs are 100% true, with the exact same vehemence with which you hold your beliefs now.
I have a lot more to say here (surprise), especially around the implications of this concept – but will save it for later. But let me know how this sits! Because, given different contexts, your beliefs are just as grounded in your sense of Truth as mine are!