“This I Believe” was originally a 1950’s radio talk show hosted by Edward R. Murrow. At the time, Americans would gather around the radio to hear essays written by famous people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, and Helen Keller as well as those from everyday people relating the core values that guided their lives.
NPR revived the concept, broadcasting selected contemporary essays from 2005-2009*. I enjoyed listening to these and made a first attempt to pen my own in 2007. It was harder than I expected. Ultimately I decided to simply make a list of core beliefs. Periodically, I revisit that list, making edits and revisions. I am never satisfied with the result. Perhaps it will be a permanent work in process.
After 13 years of revisions, here’s the latest rendition.
This I Believe:
There is a light at the center of our “Being” that exists prior to “Self”.
This light is awareness. It enables relationships, giving birth to experience.
One must be aware to think, but not think to be aware.
Awareness is present in all living things.
There is no such thing as separation. The universe, is a union of interconnectivity.
Awareness is a journey that begins with I, matures to we and ultimately is experienced as one.
The source of joy, meaning and connection dwells inside, not outside us.
“Self” (the voice in one’s head), is a well-practiced illusion that is the primary source of suffering.
As awareness expands the separate “Self” disappears.
The essence of “Being” is union, the highest experience of which is love.
The original cause of the universe is a verb. It can be experienced, but not known or possessed.
My expression of belief likely differs from yours. Each person must find their own way.
I wish I had a statement of belief from my ancestors, especially Hezekiah Coats. Inexplicably, he left a wife and small child in Stonington Connecticut in the 1790’s, venturing west, to the new state of Kentucky. Along the way he married a native American women and together they had 9 children, one of whom was my five generations back grandfather, Daniel Coats. I would love to read their thoughts on belief!
If you are so inclined, perhaps you might write your statement of belief. No need to show it to anyone, just put it somewhere it will be found after you are gone. Think how interesting that would be for future generations!
*Current essays can be heard weekly on “This I Believe” podcast. (Link: https://thisibelieve.org/podcasts/).