How Do You Examine Your Beliefs?
We prefer to believe what we prefer to be true, paraphrased from a Francis Bacon quote
My Process of Illumination (POI) examination method is “Vision Testing,” which involves looking at yourself in order to know yourself. Your vision (the way you see things) involves your “mind’s eye”, the belief system behind your worldview. Your way of seeing, just like your eyes, should have regular visual check-ups for keeping it in shape.
An optometry metaphor helps explain. Optometry is defined as, “the art or profession of examining the eye for defects and faults of refraction and prescribing correctional lenses or exercises but not drugs or surgery.” Defects in mind’s eye vision involve distortion, blind spots, biases, self-deception, pre-judgments, jumping to conclusions, plus others.
The eye can’t see itself without a mirror, and you can’t see yourself without a “mind’s eye mirror”. You can’t know yourself by yourself. A mirror is defined as, “something that faithfully reflects or gives a true picture of something else.” The Vision testing method of the POI actually involves several “mirrors” and several self-reflection questions
Rear-view mirror: Looking at the past
- Where did this belief come from? Did you invent it? Did you discover it or adopt it? How long have you had it?
Mirror-on-the wall: Looking at your “self”
- Is this belief up-to date? Is it well-grounded? Is it an asset or a liability to your happiness? Is it a barrier or a bridge for your seeing? How do you know?
Crystal ball mirror: Looking at the future
- What are possible positive consequences? What are possible negative consequences? (Long and short term?) Is your judgment possibly biased?
Window mirror: Looking at the present
- What are possible alternative beliefs that you might consider? Where might you look to find them? What are their possible positive and negative consequences?
The Vision Test “mirror questions” are intended to get you ready to choose your future belief and assume ownership of it (responsibility for it). It can be employed when you want to pay attention by questioning certain beliefs behind your way of seeing.
Your beliefs are important to you, to me, to others and to our future. They form your perspective from which you see and interpret the world. You never leave home without them.
Vision Testing reminds you that the way you see things is the way you see things, and it is influenced by your beliefs. Believing is seeing and seeing is doing. The Vision Test is offered as a way of looking at the way you look at things — as a way of seeing the way you see things, and a way of choosing what to believe.
It is said that beliefs are the ties that blind you and guide you, Unknown