Thursday, January 15, 2009
The True Meaning and Power of Faith
Faith is a word that is used extensively when people talk about religion and, in particular, Christianity. This commonly used word is also understood by very few, if any, of these same people. I rarely venture into the realm of religion because of the infinite perspectives surrounding this hot-button, emotionally-sensitive subject so I will deal with it here and now. Christianity and all of the mainstream religions are necessary social structures that serve the masses well and do a lot of good for society as a whole, however, they all fail miserably when it comes to interpreting the various teachings of the true sages throughout history. For this essay, I will stay strictly on point and describe their gross misinterpretation of the concept of Faith and why understanding it's true application is crucial for those awakened individuals starting on or already on their respective Paths with Heart. First, Faith is not just believing in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, for instance, or just believing that Jesus came here and took your "sins" away, or just believing that Jesus is your "savior", and you go to "heaven". This is indeed the basic belief behind establishment Christianity. This is referred to as having Faith and you are therefore a person of Faith. This is all fine and well and does help to direct people to try to be good to others and to generally follow a well-meaning direction in life but, unfortunately, this "Faith" has absolutely nothing to do with the reason Jesus came here, says nothing about who he is, and definitely is not how one gets to "Heaven". This practice of Faith is strictly superficial and only serves to satisfy the desires of the Ego. Real Faith is the cornerstone of the Truth - the very Truth that Jesus of Nazareth, Buddha, Lao-tse, and many other true sages throughout time and throughout the world have come here to teach. So if this is not what Jesus meant when he spoke of Faith, then what is?
True Faith is the "tool", the methodology, and the only means we have to communicate with and to become One with our True Nature, our Source, Self, or God. Faith, in the strictest terminology, is the ability for one to completely give up "control" of everything in one's life and to Believe that there is a "Power", an automatic pilot, if you will, that will take over and run everything in your life perfectly. Not for just a moment or two, but for each and every moment one is in this material world. In this state of complete Faith, the "I", the "Me", the "We" do not exist and the Ego is just quietly along for the ride - and what an incredible ride it is! All of us have experienced brief moments in this natural state where everything just flows perfectly in harmony without pause, or obstacle, or care. Generally speaking, one is "in the Flow" and just effortlessly moves through time and space without a care. In fact, one feels euphoria and a calmness beyond description during these brief encounters with our True Nature. As soon as even the smallest thought interrupts this perfect bliss, the chaos and frustrations of everyday "life" return and one is back trying to control everything. Most people never give these blessings, these brief reminders of Paradise lost, another thought and continue on with their day as if nothing unusual or special had occurred. People like this are what is generally referred to as "Asleep". The vast majority of people at any point in time are "Asleep" and are incapable of awakening. This is the realm of the "righteous" religious church-going people of "faith" who seriously believe that overcoming this material world is as simple as one, two, three...."Heaven". Well, as Jesus of Nazareth said, " forgive them for they know not what they do". Religion plays an important role in their lives, nevertheless, because it helps to guide their thoughts, words, and actions (Causes) toward doing good to and for others - Good Karma. Although not necessary, the basic tenets of religion are mostly good and should be respected for this reason. The next stage arises when one realizes that there is so much more to life and that those fleeting periods of euphoria and ineffable calm are actually who we really are.
These people are referred to as "Awakened" - duh! Now, everything begins to change and one avidly seeks the knowledge of ways, techniques, or systems of training that help them to gain the Faith to stop trying to control everything and to consciously start experiencing our True Nature. It is at this point that one is driven to gain this knowledge and they put their heart into chasing this goal. This is the beginning of one's "Path with Heart". Sooner or later, though, this knowledge has served it's purpose of revealing "The Way", "The Way and it's Power (Virtue)", and now the knowledge is transformed into Wisdom. As Wisdom grows, knowledge becomes useless and diminishes. Faith becomes the means, the "vehicle" that delivers one back to Self, Oneness, our True Nature, or God. This is our Home, where we came from and will return time and time again, where only Love, Empathy, Serenity, and blissful Euphoria exist.......................................but also Power!
I have experienced this Power a few times in my life, first revealed to me during my short years in martial arts study and instructing. When my training was triggered by a surprise attack from behind, Faith took control, time and space were suspended in total calm and slow-motion until one 3 inch strike stopped my attacker cold, severely bleeding, and completely incapacitated. I never used this Power again to harm another because I had only touched him with my ability and it scared me. Jesus said that with the Faith of a mustard seed, one can move a mountain. He was speaking literally. Every cubic centimeter of "empty space" contains 10 to the 38th power ergs* of energy - electromagnetic energy. This mustard-seed-sized bit of space does indeed contain far more Power than that required to literally move any mountain on earth and more. Thankfully, as Jesus of Nazareth demonstrated many times through his "miracles", it is our True Nature that has use of this unfathomable and universal Power, and, our True Nature is one of pure altruistic Love. Faith is the key that opens the door leading back to our True Nature, our Source, Self, Oneness, or God, where one is also plugged into the Power of the Universe. This is who we are and we are One. Have Faith!
And Jesus said unto them, "Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."
~ Mathew 17:20
* The thermonuclear model for gamma-ray bursts