We all grow up with ideas, opinions and prejudices, mostly formed early in our childhood. We continue to modify these concepts as life experiences bombard us. The sum total of all this gives us our belief system, our values (beliefs about what is right or wrong), and our identity (how we see ourselves).
Is this good or bad? It depends how you use it. When you meet someone new you probably form a quick impression of them based on your belief system. What if you get it all wrong? What if you instantly dislike this new person because of the instant judgements you have made about them? The process is very subconscious and difficult for you to control. Maybe this new person is really a very good and decent individual. You could miss out on so much value that could come from knowing them better.
It’s not possible to ignore the subconscious effects of your belief systems. It is, however, worth trying to suspend those beliefs until you know someone better.
Chinese Zen speaks about ‘the empty cup’. Buddhism speaks about ‘the empty bowl’. Perhaps this is the state we should try to achieve. Empty your heart and mind of judgemental belief systems. The results can be amazing.
A state of emptiness is truly a very uplifting state. You will feel relieved and lighter inside.
So live your life from a state of emptiness, it can be very fulfilling!