Friday, November 1, 2013

Believing isn't Easy

Faith is never accepting someone else’s claim to truth... Faith is believing that what we have observed as the promptings and leading of our Authentic Self are just that.

All spiritual traditions, whether the formalized religious institutions of the West or the more philosophical spiritualities of the East, speak of the importance of “faith.” A Sunday School teacher once asked her group of elementary-aged students what the definition of faith was. A young girl perked up and answered, “Believing something that isn’t true.” From my own experience in Christianity, I have to say I can understand why a child would say such a wise thing. 

I was taught from an early age that the stories in the Bible were to be taken as literal, historical stories. I don’t imagine any child fully buys this. My daughter made the observation at the age of six that she couldn’t imagine that Samson had superpowers because of his long hair. I had such questions myself as a kid but learned early on that asking such questions created more trouble than I was willing to deal with. By the time I was an adult, I had convinced myself of things I otherwise would not believe because they were contained in the Bible. 

Samson and Delilah:  great story; probably not a true story.

But that isn’t faith, at least not in the way I understand faith. That’s allowing yourself to be brainwashed and indoctrinated. That’s taking someone else’s word for it that something supposedly spiritual is true, even when a six year old child knows better. That’s akin to telling a naked emperor that his clothes are simply stunning. I agree with the girl in the story who said that this is believing something that isn’t true.

Faith is never accepting someone else’s claim to truth, whether that the information is from an institution, a text, or a person. Faith is believing that what we have observed as the promptings and leading of our Authentic Self are just that. Faith is trusting ourselves enough to observe these events and accept them as guidance from a higher self, from the Soul who has incarnated into this existence. 


And I can tell you that this is not easy for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that we find it difficult within ourselves to believe what we are sometimes led to understand from our Authentic Self. Learning to trust and have faith in the Authentic Self is a process, not a singular event, not a momentary transformation that lasts the rest of our lives.

Self knowledge is a valuable gift.

A part of the purpose of this blog is to present you with information and strategies to help you navigate this incredibly important but likewise incredibly challenging path of following the Authentic Self. The challenge begins with our general inability to tune consistently into the promptings and leadings of the Authentic Self. 

The path to discovery often puts us in direct conflict with the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior of people who mean a great deal to us.

Once we begin down this path of discovery, we face doubt within ourselves, often for what appear to be very good reasons; often because we crave the validation and encouragement from people who are less convinced than we are that what the Authentic Self has revealed is a valid consideration; often because the path we are destined to follow puts us in direct conflict with the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behavior of people who mean a great deal to us; often because our destiny may lead us down a path that results in rejection, alienation, and persecution from others; often because the path to our destiny is not easy and demands more of us than we could ever have imagined in ways that we never conceived.