If you take a ball and hit it on a wall, the first and most obvious thing that you would notice is that after hitting the wall, the ball changes its direction. Same is the case with our belief-system. We go on living our life with a set of beliefs and opinions heading in a specific direction. All is fine till we hit a wall on our way and we just can’t move forward. That is when we re-evaluate our belief system and possibly settle down for some changes.
The more rigid the belifs are, the more rigid wall it takes to challenge and shatter them. But eventually, all beliefs can be challenged.
More often than not, we keep tweaking our belief system to keep it up-to-date with our current understanding of the world. You have a belief that one must never give money to beggers as that encourages them to do nothing. Your belief is based on the understanding that everybody is capable of doing something in the world and hence must earn his/her bread. However, one day you meet one begger and the tragedy of his life completely moves you and you feel that everybody has got different problems of life. It is quite possible that a begger got down to begging just because he faced a survival problem at one point of time. With this current understanding, you tweak your belief system and bring it up-to-date with your current understanding. So, you accept that it is ok once in a while to help a begger out of compassion as not all the beggers are the same.
So, belief system changes. With every single experience of yours, your belief system changes. With every new bit of knowledge coming in, your belief system re-adjusts itself to keep your experience, knowledge and beliefs well aligned.
Sometimes, the change is gradual and small. Sometimes the change is drastic and violent. Open the gates of a dam and see the water gushing out violently in huge volume with tremendous force. It will destroy anything that stands on its way. The same water that is so quiet and soothing on one side of the dam becomes an avataar of Shiva on the other side.
At times, this is how your beliefs change. One exeperience will come and hit you like anything. And the process of absorbing it in your belief system will trigger an internal chain reaction of such tremendous force that nothing will be left as it was.
This turnaround could easily be mis-attributed to the opening of dam gate. However, the force does not come from the dam gate which is only a trigger. The force really comes from the water that was stored. Yes, the same water that seemed to be so quiet and at ease with itself becomes the agent of destruction, the third eye of Shiva.
So, the trun around happens because gradually, over a long period of time, there was a build up of tremendous force that was lying in the latent form. Gradually is the keyword. The change is sudden apparently but gradual in reality.
Same is the case with belief system. Some times, a lot of these experiences will gather up in our Samskara which will remain to be rationalized. They are not rationalized immediately because for them you need a completely different set of beliefs and you are not in a hurry to have that. So, you just leave them in a corner of your mind unrationalized. Gradually, they’ll pile up and become a tremendous force in latent form. And then one day, one experience of yours will call out all of them and you would not be the same person anymore.