Does a Belief System Make You Suffer?

Examine your possible motives for wanting to suffer. Do you deny that there’s anything wrong? Do you think it makes you a better person not to show others that you hurt? Do you enjoy the attention you get when you are sick or in distress? Do you feel safe being alone and not having to make tough choices?

Belief systems are complex—they hold together the self we want to present to the world. It is much simpler not have beliefs, which means being open to life as it comes your way, going with your own inner intelligence instead of with stored judgments. If you find yourself blocked by your suffering, returning to the same old thoughts again and again, a belief system has trapped you. You can escape the trap only by ending your need to cling to these beliefs.

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 2004).

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Candace Davenport

I wonder if he believes that?

Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga2 years ago


Aud Nordby
Aud nordby2 years ago


a             y m.
g d c.3 years ago


Marianne B.
MARIA B.3 years ago

Wow, it's much simpler not to have beliefs? Deepak, I disagree. We all to to believe in something. Who believes they have to suffer? If someone is terribly injured in an auto accident, and has pain, does that mean they subconsciencely want to suffer? Or has M.S. or M.D. or is a war vet without limbs? I could go on, but I won't.

Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago

important to not be dogmatic about dogma

heather g.
heather g.3 years ago

Many of the readers responded as if the word "belief system" meant only one's "religion". I certainly don't suffer because of my spiritual beliefs and meditate regularly.

I tend to live my life by going with the flow and I'm very open to continued learning. However, I do suffer in private because of my values. They are vastly different to the way people I hear and see on a daily basis behave within the small community I live in.

I cringe at the sound of their loud voices - shouting at someone they are less than a meter away from. People who speed by noisily or huge polluting vehicles, trucks and busses that pass by close to where I live all deafen me. The 'culture' is loud and inconsiderate - so I wear ear-plugs when necessary - even in the public library. Then I turn my suffering into peaceful quietness .....

Victoria S.
Victoria S.3 years ago

But you can also find strength if you have a strong belief system to help you through difficulties. You shouldn't be closed to the world arround you and it's great to be adaptable, but it is good to have something to hold on to in times of need.

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey3 years ago

It really depends on the belief system a person adopts and the severity of the confines within it. I don't think its necessarily a good thing to simply go which ever way the wind blows. That leaves one completely directionless and without purpose.

My personal belief system offers me hope and provides me with a sense of direction, though not extreme in any sense.

Gaby D.
Gaby D.3 years ago

Goodmorning Deepak and all of you gathered here! Yup, that's it is in short! " Belief systems are complex—they hold together the self we want to present to the world." It's the learning to let go of this 'outer self' - that enables us to find out who we really are. But boy oh boy, are there levels on that journey. I now learn that even though I thought I'd made quite some headway in letting go of all that ego, all that outer self - there's a lot more to unlearn where that came from.
And the universe /life seems to have an uncanny way of presenting you with just those circumstances that will trigger all these 'belief systems' new and old, right back into action.
It is really unsettling at first, now that I'm getting used to the plot a bit - I realize it means that is is time to become aware of a bit of baggage that I was not aware of, funny how you carry stuff around with you not even realizing how it literally weighs you down, and to then let it go!
More belief systems.....sneaky little things those belief systems....they do their work secretly like a 'hacked system', where a trojan horse, or other program we are not even aware of are actually running in the background.
So high time to become aware or new and uncharted territories in my human journey, ..., and lightening the load by letting go of the excess baggage! Phewwweeee enlightenment!!:-)
Time to get closer to the real me again, in meditation. Namaste!