Beliefs and Spirituality

I believe deeply that we must find, all of us together, a new spirituality. This new concept ought to be elaborated alongside the religions in such a way that all people of good will could adhere to it
— Dalai Lama

Religious Beliefs

I think it would be fantastic if we could update our Religion curriculum in schools to include all the various religious and spiritual beliefs that are relevant to young people in Ireland today. As most people will acknowledge, the island of Ireland has a strong culture and tradition of Christianity, which is accepted as the dominant belief held by the majority of the population, whether or not they practice it regularly. However, considering the current multiculturalism of Ireland, and thus multi-religious society that we now live in, I believe it’s paramount that we educate our young people to be able to relate to the fundamental beliefs and ethics of the five major world religions.

Familiarity breeds liking
— Robert Zajonc, Social Psychologist

Furthermore, in order to bring our society closer together, I feel that we must emphasise, through this education, the vast commonalities in beliefs, values and ethics that these religions share, as too much time and energy has been spent identifying differences, which we now know, often only lead to unnecessary conflict between neighbours.

If you want to create ill-feelings, emphasise differences. If you want to create fondness, emphasise similarities.

Keeping in mind the five major religions of the world (i.e. Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism), I propose this new programme investigates the basic beliefs of these religions so that our young people can find common ground with people of different nationalities and creeds.

Personal Beliefs: Model of the World

Human nature dictates that is is virtually impossible to accept advice from someone unless you feel that that person understands you.
— Dr. John Gottman, Relationship Therapist

What do you believe and why do you believe it? Having already discussed the beliefs of the 5 major religions, we need to discover and clarify what we believe and what are the routes of our beliefs. The reality is that sometimes our beliefs about the world around us can be empowering, but often we can find ourselves slipping into disempowering or unproductive models of the world. In order to identify the cores beliefs, we need to understand our own model of the world. We can break this concept down into the following 6 areas for further elaboration and investigation:

  1. Core beliefs (empowering or disempowering)
  2. Life Values (toward & away) and unconscious rules
  3. References (environment, 5 core relationships etc.)
  4. Habitual Questions (empowering or disempowering)
  5. Emotional States (old, new)
  6. Key decisions (and the meanings we give them)

Thanks for reading this piece about beliefs. If you'd like to find out more, feel free to contact me for a sessions ;-)


  • Frankl, V. E. E. (1997) Man’s search for meaning. New York: Washington Square Press. 
  • Gottmann, J., Silver, N. and Gottman, J. M. (2004) The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. London: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ). 
  • Robbins, A. (2005) Awaken the Giant Within. Simon & Schuster.