The choice of any new practice is based on our personal objectives. These objectives flow from our basic beliefs about our life. Many people have beliefs that devalue human life and look for fulfillment only after death.
The Bible story of Adam and Eve ends with humanity condemned to a life of pain and toil in a brutal world. Buddhist thought says that life is pain and the goal is to remove ourselves from the wheel of life. New Age literature talks of increasing vibration in order to become a different being. Traditional scientific thought holds that our world is a dead machine and our life is nothing but a chance occurrence; life or death is just one big roll of the dice. The certainty of death is often used to justify an attitude such as "grab all the fun and toys you can for tomorrow we die." Beliefs such as these have produced the current world.
The need for change is apparent and that change is a more effective belief.
Basic beliefs about life are axiomatic. They cannot be proven or verified; they are simply accepted as fact. The only real validity these beliefs hold derives from the results they produce. There have been beliefs that the Earth is flat, that the Earth is the center of the solar system and also that our Solar System is the center of the Universe. These beliefs were once accepted as basic truth but later were changed when they could not support new knowledge.
My high school Bible studies taught me that the picture of the universe held by the people who wrote the Bible’s creation story was that all of creation was a flat table covered with a dome that sat on distant mountains. Heaven was a place above the dome and stars were windows that let light from heaven shine through. Although no one accepts this picture of the universe any longer, we still accept the beliefs derived from the story of Adam and Eve; humanity is cursed to a hard life of sweat and pain in a difficult world. We can select a different belief that values human life and our world.
To illustrate a different belief that values human life, please consider a creation story suggested to me by the book Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch.
Before the beginning, God was All-Potential.
God yearned to experience.
Instantly, ALL possibilities of existence exploded into being.
Within the infinite possibilities of existence, one version was dimensional space-time. Within the infinite possibilities of dimensional space-time-our universe, galaxy, solar system, Earth-is but one manifestation.
Our Earth encompasses a range of possibilities for life. Humanity is but one unique perspective for God to experience God-self as manifest in this world.
Using this story as a background, we can choose to believe that humanity’s only role is to experience all that is possible in our unique universe. We are God being human. There is no higher calling than living right here, right now. With this story, valuing human life does not exclude being part of a greater existence; we can accept this life as our part in the greater existence.
Believing that our greatest good is found in human life, here and now, allows us to choose practices that will truly help develop human potential. We can choose practices that honor our connections with the world around us. We can practice a life that proclaims that all existence is sacred. Our life can become a glorious adventure into infinite possibilities available to us, once we believe in the value of our human life.