What are beliefs?
A belief is a personal perspective that was both sharpened and polished by all the random pieces of information and experiences we bump into during our lives. A belief can be a perspective on anything from “what is the best Tom Cruise movie?” to “how did the universe begin and how will it end?” to “how easy should it be to buy a gun?” and beyond.
What is this document?
This is a public, living, dying, document that I created as an experiment one Saturday in March of 2023, and has been revised at least yearly ever since. I am hoping it will become an activity for the rest of my life. It’s a way for me to remember who I am, catch inconsistencies in how I respond to different events in the world, react to current events from a position of how I believe the world is, should be, and will become. I plan to update it at least once a year, and all changes are tracked. Rather than attempting to avoid all errors in this doc, I’m attempting to be as specific as possible and to quickly correct errors when they become apparent.
Why does it exist?
My main goal here is to get wiser over time by identifying new connections and inconsistencies in my beliefs. It’s tough to do this as a purely mental activity because specific beliefs are so difficult to get a firm grasp on. When you do, putting them on a page makes it possible to revisit again later. All of this is necessary in order to consistently course-correct over days, months, years, and decades. A secondary goal is that I’d also like to extend an invitiation for others to spark conversations with me about anything they find interesting, incorrect, or confusing and to also help keep me accountable.
What if some of my beliefs are wrong?
Some most definitely are. This document captures my best guesses and articulations of my own beliefs, which were inherited and moulded partly by the environment I’ve lived in, partly by the people around me, and partly by my own interpretation of life experiences. They are full of gaps, inconsistencies, oversights, and vagueness.
Do you want to make your own book of beliefs?
If so, I highly encourage starting simple... just carve out a part of a day and go kinda free-form with writing down whatever beliefs that come to mind. Feel free to copy the structure here, but be sure to take out big chunks of it that don't fit your timeline right now. Don't feel like you need to come out of the gate with a fully formed articulation of all of your beliefs. You can take inspiration from other better articulated Codex Vaites.