Beyond Faithless: Taking that Leap into Faith
My copy of Webster's Dictionary defines faith as "firm belief in something for which there is no proof". Although a certain degree of proof is available in elementary particle physics that we do indeed, create our own reality, I for one, can't be bothered to learn all that.
When we have the intention to create a certain reality, experience, or manifestation in our lives through the power of our thoughts, some form of faith is required. When we take a leap of faith to the assistance of a Higher Power, our personal will or the Universe in general steps in and is no longer faithless. Where this faith is clearest and strongest is where the higher quality manifestations can appear.
What happens though, if faith in ourselves, in who we believe ourselves to be, is shaken? Before we can have faith in anything else, we must have faith that we exist in a particular state, or as a specific identity. Similar to, "I think, therefore I am", there is a basic belief foundation which must be present in order to establish additional beliefs on top of it. If you don't believe you think, can you believe that you are, using this example?
Let's look at some other examples of this:
"I'm a good person, therefore I should receive Divine assistance."
"I have a powerful mind, therefore my will can perform miracles."
"I live in a Universe of Order, therefore order manifests for me."
These are each worthy principles, which many metaphysicians employ in their subjective practices. What happens though, if the foundation principle gets rocked by life? There are certain types of life crisis points which can shake the sturdiest of us.
"I'm a good person"...but I swindled my sister out of her share of the inheritance.
"I have a powerful mind"...but the shock of losing my child has caused a breakdown.
"I live in a Universe of Order"...but my neighbor was shot in a fit of road rage.
These are examples of how life can test the beliefs which we live by, and if we ourselves feel that we've failed the test, our ability to consciously manifest is crippled. If our world fails the test, we can become embittered and withdrawn. If we wish to continue practicing as metaphysicians, we must heal this foundation of our belief system.
In my experience as a therapist, I've found that the basic beliefs which keep us functioning, keep us from crawling into a corner and waiting for life to be over, are most often accurate. They weaken though, because of certain interpretations which cannot withstand crisis. These interpretations are "add-ons" to the belief, which we may mistakenly interpret as the belief itself.
Here's how this works:
The belief, "I'm a good person" is true and valid for you up to the point where the interpretation becomes the (unvoiced) belief that, "I never do anything hurtful to another". The mind can run with this, adding on additional assumptions and correlations such as "Good people are perfect", or "I must be a Saint". Violation of these concepts becomes unforgiveable. However, the original belief, "I am a good person", allows for personhood and humanity, warts and all. A human person has the opportunity to make amends, correct mistakes and move on. Someone who believes they are perfect or a Saint doesn't have this option, and therefore crumbles in the face of reality, until they can face their humanness.
The belief that, "I have a powerful mind" is a personal favorite of mine for therapeutic purposes. This is because the opportunities for growth are so great after the false assumptions fall away. An inherent weakness that can follow this belief, is an (again, unvoiced) attitude of "There is no state higher than Mind". This fallacy is exposed when the heart is broken. "A powerful mind" is still valid. It is not, however, the end all, be all of existence. That same mind can open itself to the possibilities inherent in the power of the heart, making room for vulnerability, surrender, and true peace of mind.
"I live in a Universe of Order" can be very spooky when upset for a metaphysician. When chaos reigns, manifestation can zoom out of control. Nightmares can become reality and "poltergist" activity can occur. Yes, a Universe of Order is a practical assumption, however when limited to our definition of order, instability can take place. It then becomes necessary to look at a bigger picture of what order consists of. When our neighbor becomes a victim of "random" violence, there are obviously factors at work which we're ignorant of. Is our neighbor one who exercises such paranoid caution that his fear attracts violence? Did his family need to learn lessons of self-sufficiency? Just the understanding that we don't know all these answers can be comforting. Hindsight, viewing the outcomes of specific events, can enable us to see this greater picture.
As we utilize the techniques of reality manifestation, our faith in ourselves and in our perception of how life works, is generally strengthened. An interesting side effect to this is that we grow, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It's unavoidable. As we grow, we encounter situations which provide an additional maturing factor to our experience. The issue is, whether these maturing elements will make us or break us.
Most people who have been on a spiritual path for a period of time are familiar with the phenomenon of friends and aquaintances turning away from alternative philosophies and jumping into fundamentalist Christianity or other heavily authoritative religions. This is a common occurrence when one becomes frightened of power, especially your own.
Most maturation experiences of any kind, involve teaching us a greater degree of self-sufficiency. When elevated to the plane of self-sufficiency in creating our realities, the responsibility can seem too great. In my experience, frequently the assumption of frightening responsibility is an illusion. As long as we're doing time on planet Earth, we must accept that we don't know all of the answers, and will occasionally be caught by surprise. This doesn't invalidate the power and ability that we do have, and evidently were created with. As we enter more fully into grownup-hood in any arena of life, we discover that mistakes can be made, and assumptions can be challenged. This need not stop the process of growing up, it needs only to refine it.