Beliefs are not benign; they demand enactment. The most pernicious beliefs are the unconscious ones, the beliefs we don’t know we have. A belief in one’s weakness, for example, which can imprison a man in compensatory behaviours.
“You are my son, whom I love. With you I am well pleased.” Few and widely spaced are boys whose fathers tell them that. So they cobble together a sense of themselves from other sources. Now they are men, divorced from the ceremonies of innocence, twisted by compensatory behaviours and lost in their lusts.