One might say that life is the great experience but experience predominantly is what shapes our beliefs. But how many people really believe this and how important are our beliefs?
The basis of philosophy and the world’s great wisdom streams is predicated on what is believed to be the truth and how this is translates into living a meaningful life.
That is in terms of the guiding principles on how to live and informs that sense of self. That sense of self that allows us to feel reasonably satisfied with our existence, given the emotions will give high and lower points as a natural interpretation to how we feel about our life in general.
But, the hand of fate seems to cast its mysterious shadow over us just as things appear to be going well. Inevitably, what is unexpected arises effortlessly to our consternation, to shatter the beliefs previously held.
Like it or not most will change their beliefs in the light of such earth shattering experiences. They may not be earth shattering to others, but that’s not the point, it’s how they are viewed in the mind of the individual. Acknowledging that event can be a watershed moment, to enable one to move on with a fresh outlook of what is believed and a renewed sense of self.
I think its part of the business of being human. It’s what seems to be the basis that overcome the trials and tribulations of tumultuous climatic events that most likely might have shattered the beliefs of those ancient tribespeople. Instead they most likely adopted different beliefs that allowed them to cope and even prosper. Its most likely a part of our primordial soup from whence life first evolved, but that's another subject.
Sure, some might pride themselves in saying they have remained true to what they believed, but in my opinion that can be the result of not wanting to face up to reality.
Religion and philosophy should never be afraid of an evolution in thinking that means our beliefs will change during our life. The man who holds fast to the teachings and beliefs of his youth notwithstanding life’s experience, in my view, denies what it is to be human. The stoics have a point to make, but not to take it to an extreme. Others are free to disagree, but I feel it is our experiences that shape our beliefs. That is not to say we don’t start out with evolving beliefs, that stand us in good stead, but they will change given our momentous life experiences.
Everything in moderation was Aristotle's call to embrace a virtuous life, to leave room for modifications and renewal along life’s long and winding road.