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NINETEENTH TALK           377

quite cover every thing, and that is the holding of any
belief without foundation. That also is a definition.
Only if you should accept that, then we shall find
that a great many people are holding actual truths
as superstitions, because a great many people believe
things which are quite true, but believe them on no
rational foundation. It is one of the exercises which
our Masters set to their pupils, to find out how
much they really know and how much they only
believe. If you try to do that in your own case, you
will be surprised to find how little you know of your
own self, and how very much you are only believing
on the statements of other people. You may be quite
justified, but it is quite true about vast numbers of
facts in ordinary life—the rotation of the earth, the
existence of foreign countries which you have never
seen. You are justified in believing, only you must
know whether you do believe, or whether you know.

So with belief only: If you believe, then what do
you believe, and on what ground ? And is this a
reasonable ground ? In the case of the rotation of
the earth, there are certain experiments which prove
the facts. You read about certain foreign countries
and, though you have not seen them yourself, you
are justified in believing the statements made by those
who have seen them. But in vast numbers of cases
the things which you hear and believe have no such
definite foundation. In many cases, what you hear
about other people is the merest gossip; you have