Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light. Helen Keller
Last week I got lost amidst a sea of chaos, fear, anxiety, pain, and doubt! But, instead of running, hiding, or avoiding it, I allowed myself to fully feel and embrace these overwhelming emotions and sensations of hopelessness and despair. As the tears flowed I opened my heart to the moment, to the challenges, to the suffering of the world, and the overwhelming feelings I was experiencing, and a strange thing happened… In the midst of letting it all in, a curious sense of calm, peace, and something like joy came over me. Everything became very still. I felt only the beating of my own heart. In the stillness of that all-pervasive and expansive pulse, the story of “I” dissolved into love, space, and radiance. What emerged was an overwhelming sense of faith in the perfection of the world as it is and a knowing that life wants to live.
We have a very short term perspective on life and living. If we zoom out to witness life’s journey we see that humans have survived for over 200,000 years and our closest ancestors have been around for about six million years. Life has been living on earth for over four billion years. Our ancestors survived climate change, plagues, wars, famine, and all manner of catastrophes. Yet, we are here! These calamities have made us stronger, more resilient, able to adapt, to grow, and learn. Many times we have lost our way. The dark veil of fear, ignorance, greed, and separation has blinded us from our ability to see the miraculous healing potential of this evolving cosmic system, the web of life to which we belong. But, the spirit of life itself is calling, beckoning us to awaken, slow down, and listen to her wisdom.
Faith is the heart's response to life as gift. The heart's response to life as surprise is hope. Brother David Steindl-Rast
Life is not an entitlement. It is a precious gift that has been handed down to us by our ancestors and the mysterious unseen forces that create balance, health, harmony, and adaptability throughout the universe. Our minds are not in charge of the future, any more than we are the ones that keep our heart beating, our lungs breathing, our cuts, and bruises healing. We have lost touch with the miracle of life and living. When we cut ourselves, the wound heals naturally, effortlessly, and brilliantly. If we pick at the scabs and wounds they do not heal. Faith is our ability to trust in the mystery that keeps this expanding universe evolving, adapting, and regenerating itself. How can we reconnect with the hidden forces that cause the sun to rise in the East, tiny seeds to grow into giant trees and love to heal the sick? We can start with Thank You!
It’s not “what we don’t know” that’s destroying our habitat, causing us to hate and kill our neighbors, having us relate to the world of nature as a big box store, it’s “what we’re not paying attention to” that’s at the heart of a failing relationship with life itself. We have forgotten life’s inherent healing capacity, including the built-in immune system that is currently responding to us like a malignant growth. Climate change, economic upheaval, social uprising, and spiritual uncertainty constitute a rite of passage, an initiation for humanity to bring us through adolescence into adulthood. We are being invited into the world of faith! To trust that all is well in the universe and that a greater force than man is at work here. To find meaning and purpose in the wreckage of our dreams and horror of humanity’s predicament is the path to faith.
Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation. D. Elton Trueblood
Belief is not faith, that is a cover-up for our insecurity. It is an adaptation to a human narrative based on evidence, experience, and perception, founded on the mechanistic myth of separation. Our faithless worldview is grounded in fear, separation, and a lack of trust in the innate collective self-healing mechanism and the wisdom of the invisible forces that give rise to all things. We are looking outward to confirm our strongly held beliefs, rather than going inward to embrace the mystery of the infinite, indivisible and irreducible source of all-knowing. The barriers to experiencing faith are soul loss, separation, dissociation, righteous indignation, frozen trauma, and the need to be in control. Beliefs interfere with faith because beliefs are a product of the mind and the mind is preoccupied with the remembered past and imagined future. Faith occurs in the moment. In presence, we find meaning and purpose.
Faith is a gift of Spirit, an attitude of acceptance, of not knowing, which occurs when our beliefs have run aground and we find ourselves wholly lost in the desolation of our grasping for objects, permanence, and miracles. Faith does not wash away that which has already been put in place, but it can guide us through these difficult times and help us to rise from the cauldron of our unconsciousness and forge a new kind of human. Our tools are not knowing, embracing uncertainty, and letting go of the anchors that keep us sinking into the suffocating separation and annihilation of our lost community. The return to healing and wholeness requires a loss of self and is characterized by humility, innocence, compassion, curiosity, awe, and wonder. It requires going into the darkness and embracing our own original goodness, this is the essence of love itself.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof. Khalil Gibran
The journey to faith is the journey from the head to the heart and it starts with self-compassion. It is faith because it is without proof. It is a radical act of trust and surrender to what’s happening in the moment and listening with our whole body to the emergent future that is calling. Faith means we have let go of trying to survive and have discovered why we exist. If we can’t change our situation, we can change ourselves and learn to live from the very Why of our existence. We can live with a sense of purpose regardless of the outer circumstances. Every obstacle and difficulty becomes a portal of possibility, peace, and purpose.
Have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it. Rainer Maria Rilke
Faith is not a promise of puppies, teddy bears, and shiny unicorns. It won’t erase the challenges that lay before us. It is a deep inner lovethat can bring meaning to our lives and be our trusted companion in the darkest of times. It can also be a beacon of light and hope for those who follow. I hope you will join us in exploring the inner journey that is just a breath away. Let’s, right now, just stop and take three deep breaths. Remember the innocence of your original goodness.
May you walk in beauty, and remember your song…
With love and blessings, Michael
Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into. Mahatma Gandhi
The more beauty you see, the beautiful you become! Buddha