My childhood beliefs have crumbled under the eye of the quest for Truth. Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Leprechauns all had to go away. Some of the books of the Bible had to go away or be looked at differently. I was shocked that only 7 of the letters attributed to Paul are genuine and the rest written much later and by other people long after Paul was dead. The Gospels were called The Memoirs of the Apostles and were considered anonymous, not named until sometime after 150 C.E. The Romans crucified thousands upon thousands of people, not just Jesus and the "two thieves." Pilot was a terrible, mean, violent man. And on and on.
I was shattered for awhile when I learned all this and more. It sent me on a serious quest to find out what really happened, what was the Truth.
Historians helped, but they don't all agree on some of the issues. Some things were so long ago, lived in a time with no recording devices and tiny % of literacy so that no one will likely ever know definitively.
Where I am today is this:
- Read and listen to the people supposed to be most authoritative in whatever area we are researching.
- Use common sense.
- Listen to our own internal signals.
- Meditate, contemplate, journal - stay in touch with Spirit.
- Make working hypotheses that are open to change when more information is available.
- Have some touchstone ideas that are our for sure, rock bottom, I'd bet the farm on them ideas, and check out the "new" idea against these.
As for the last one above, I know that loving kindness is indicative of a spiritually awake person. I know that unconditional love is one of our assignments here on earth. If an idea is opposite, I know it is false.
I know that God is present with us, every moment. If an idea places God far away physically or in time, I know that it is false.
So I recommend you jot down your touchstone ideas and check things out against them. It is freeing and a big step spiritually. So, go for it.
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