[Note: "Are you a REAL doctor?" was posted on the previous 'beliefdoctor.com' website and is reposted here, for consistency of links.]
To be a superlative Belief Doctor one must remain 'outside' and independent of the belief-systems being analysed, in order to be unhindered and free to look with fresh eyes at the assumptions and beliefs that are routinely accepted as 'fact'.
For example, in being a scientist I would almost certainly believe, like the vast majority of scientists, that physical movement was perfectly continuous and contiguous (comprising an infinite-series of "infinitesimal" increments). However, in being free from any need to abide by that root assumption (which is wrong), a good belief doctor can develop and espouse theories that actually fit the facts, as is covered in the post "The Modern Superstitions of Science and Religion" and elsewhere on this site.1
Likewise, being free of the need to believe in various religious doctrines, a good belief doctor can see the contextual nature of religion (being a product of the childhood of humanity) and offer more holistic views that accommodate both quantum theory and indigenous belief-systems.
The same applies to issues around gender. A competent belief doctor, despite accepted sociological theories, will easily "marry" the seemingly opposite characteristics of "feminine" and "masculine" with such efficacy that neither sex then need blame or scorn the other.
As a result when I'm asked if I'm actually a doctor (presumably most ask in terms of my being a medical doctor) I answer a resounding "NO, definitely not!" (for the above reasons).
Moreover to have a doctorate (or confirm publicly any qualification) would send the wrong message to those who need a new, empowering world-view. And that message is:
'You don't need anyone's permission, certificate or grade-mark to enjoy health, wellbeing and fulfillment. Your 'internal guidance system' - your inner knowing - is your highest authority. By all means get advice from others, and gain whatever qualifications are needed to operate the machinery of life (be it scalpel, jumbo jet or whatever) but for the important stuff, learn to trust yourself and go your own way. Forge your own path, be intuitive, perceptive and creative. We are each our own authority.'
If I deserve any authority it is because of the power and congruency of my ideas, and their efficacy, not on some external credential. But even then I'd be cautious and reserved about accepting any such authority, even for the 'right' reasons.
Historically we've been in a child-like state, culturally speaking - looking up to "higher" authority. We're not grown-ups, spiritually speaking, at least not yet. We're culturally habituated to follow, and to not creatively and powerfully lead our own lives, without much care for what the neighbours might think.
When I suggest to people to "lead God" many are shocked by the sheer audacity of such an idea. They're deeply shocked by the sacrilege. But the idea of "leading God" is simple common sense ... in that God must be the All of all of us,2 and cannot be anything less, so when like children we are genuinely, spontaneously creative we lead our parents, our friends, family, and the community ... and God. That's what we call genuine creativity, when the whole of creation in effect looks on in wonderment (for where else is such wonderment to be sourced, if not within each of us).
The ultimate authority, one that could be described as a meta-authority is the creativity to forge new paths, to break new ground, to illuminate the way with our light, and to add to creation, not merely be passive, lame, "God fearing" recipients of it.
As Krishnamurti explained:
I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path.
Harking back to some structured authority, no matter how stable, esteemed or wise, faces us backwards towards the past, causing us to back our way into the future, needlessly and dangerously leaving us to bump into unpleasant things not intuitively felt or foreseen. Given global circumstances, as a race we can no longer afford blindly navigating our way forward.
But being out own authority is only part of the story -- we also need to recognise we're part of an unfolding holo-dynamic reality that is dynamic, fluid and supportive. Meaning, we need to realise our part in helping form the world we experience.
I'm reminded of Bishop Shelby Spong's words:
"Religion ... was for most of human history, always childlike and by definition authoritarian. It was, to be specific, a primary activity of the childhood of our humanity as a species."3
- 1. Proof of the efficacy of this approach is that the Theory of One and All, an overarching framework that accommodates all phenomena in all spheres of life, including science, religion and politics, was developed by neither a scientist, theologian or sociologist, but someone outside of such belief-systems.
- 2. To be anything less would make God small, and as I've explained elsewhere, best we not do that. For in making God small, we make ourselves small.
- 3. John Shelby Spong, "Eternal Life: A New Vision; Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven and Hell", HarperCollinsPublishers, Sydney, 2009, p. 168.