Internationally-recognized Black Nationalist Osiris Akkebala offered this insight recently:
An Enslaved Mind Operates By Believing That Anything that is not based on Believing is not worth allowing into your way of living.
He makes a point here that is both esoteric and practical: “believing” is telling your mind that it should incorporate an idea into it, where knowing — from experience, intuition, or multiple thoughts that something corresponds to what you know of the world — is more stable and less alien.
Most of human history since the invention of language has involved us fighting over belief. If you can make someone else believe something, they will project it as if it were true and attack anyone who disagrees with them, because this makes them look bad.
Belief, easily manipulated, can be turned against us easily because it rests on the assumption that because we believe something, it must be true, or at least must be treated as true.
At this point, we are already rationalizing. We are not thinking from “what do I know is true” but “what do I need believe in order to keep my belief,” and this creates a precedent cascade, meaning that once one illusion is accepted, many more follow in order to keep the original one in working order.
This inevitably drifts farther from reality and, ironically, weakens belief because it no longer stands as a simple truth but this vast edifice of justifications and implications.
As a nihilist, I reject believing in favor of intuition, which is a type of knowing based on that which resonates without language or derivation, as expressed by Bruce Charlton:
My understanding is that – in life – there is a lot which we ‘know’ in a shallow, contingent, secondhand fashion; but that the aim is to base all knowledge, thought, action on only that which we know directly and intuitively – know for our-selves, from that of us which is divine.
In this mortal life, intuitive knowing only happens sometimes and temporarily – it cannot be attained as a permanent state. That is sad but not tragic; because this mortal life (for those of us who have it, the minority of Men who survive the womb and early childhood) is a time of experiencing and learning – a vital yet transitional phase.
Believing arises from creating a thought-object which we expect others to understand and be convinced by, which means that instead of arguing from what we know, we argue from what we think they think they know, and consequently begin constructing our Tower of Babel of rationalizations, delusions, and obliviousness.
From this we reach a situation where we seek allegiances from those who concur in our beliefs. At that point, belief has reached full circle, from being things we want to believe, to being shuttled into believing what the group finds acceptable.
At this point, the group enters a terminal stage. It will hear nothing but its belief and views any contrary information as excluded and destructive, so it ends up as an echo chamber, confirming its belief and controlling anyone who dissents.
This in turn obliterates any inner knowing, making people entirely responsive to the external and, in turn, causing them to lose faith in what they actually know. This instability contributes to the flakiness of late stage democracies, for example.