Have you heard someone say ‘If I could see I would believe’? Seeing has a lot to do with comprehension. ‘I see’ we say and we mean that we have grasped some concept or thought. There was a time where I was convinced that thinking was much more important than believing. Thinking seemed to be the basic mode of operation of the human mind and believing – well, it was just an optional add-on, maybe for some other people, but not for me. Then I listened to this song:
Thinking if I could see I would believe
Then somebody said believe and you will see
(Read more: Petra – Sight Unseen Lyrics | MetroLyrics)
It struck me: Thinking is impossible without believing. The thinking process of the mind is designed to fill in the dots between some solid anchor points – the things that we believe in.
Science calles these things “axioms” – basic truths, which are believed to be valid without proof. The structure of science, e.g. math, is built entirely on the foundation of axioms. Yes, there are lots of theorems, rules, logic proofs and complex theories, but at the end they are all based on axioms.
In fact we can push this even further by asking “How do we know that our thinking process (our logic), which we use to fill in the dots between the anchor points, is valid itself?” This turns out to be just another axiom. We believe, that the way we think – our logic – is correct.
It turns out that there is a lot of thinking involved in human life, but believing is at the heart of it. ‘Believe and you will see’ – this simple truth puts the puzzle pieces in the right places. It sets the framework in which the mind can function at its best.