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Vibes UP! Spiritual Alchemy for (R)evolutionaries on the Path

Loving wisdom words and insights about the death, rebirth and life of a criminal justice professor turned transformative justice and spiritual talker and walker. We are on this earth plane to give and receive LOVE, to play and experience JOY! It's really all about the journey of the HEART and the process of becoming the beautiful Truth of who we are: LOVING VIBES IN ACTION! Elevate and vibrate your Lifeforce! Be LOVE! Namaste!

Month

March 2011

On Faith

Well, it has finally happened… The snow stopped falling, the sun has begun to shine.  A monumental, meteorological miracle!  I am just thrilled.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I do believe that weather is a state of mind, the sunshine on our faces does wonders for our moods and our days.  It brightens our smiles–literally–and just makes our days seem to go better.  We know the sun shines because we know the sun lies there, behind the clouds; even the gray hues above beckon our inner faith in a distant sun that lights our day for a few hours and warms our planet.  This notion of faith is an interesting one, one that is challenged quite often throughout the course of one’s life.  My faith has gone through periods of strength, glowing bright; at other times, it has waned into the darkness where nothing seems safe and everything is to be questioned for its veracity and validity.  During one of my classes for my Religious Science Practioner studies, I wrote a brief paper about faith.  I would like to share it here with you for it captures quite nicely my feelings about faith in light of some of the current challenges and crises we humans face on a daily basis.  The main text I am referencing is the primary text for Science of Mind and Spirit, written by Science of Mind’s founder, Ernest Holmes.  I have come to thoroughly enjoy his works and his perspective on Life, God, and Spirit and so much more.  But this chapter on Faith has spoken to me like no other.  Thus, I would like to share my thoughts on it with you.  Thank you for reading, my friend 🙂

Faith of a Mustard Seed…

Since faith is a quality unconfined to age or station, it may be ours today as much as it has been any man’s at any time.  We are not going through a harder time today, a longer or darker night, than has ever been experienced before.  It only seems darker because we have lost faith—that beacon of light.—SOM, p. 158.4

This week’s readings in the Science of Mind textbook on faith were incredible and had quite an impact on me and my perception of life, generally, and faith, specifically, especially how it can and does work in my life.  Though I always enjoy reading the words of Ernest Holmes, the chapter on ‘Faith’ really made sense to me.  I really “got it” when he was talking about the origins of faith, in terms of spiritual healing, how many have lost their way, away from faith, and how the everyday, human experience can once again embody faith.  The reading of this chapter could not have been more timely, in my opinion, given all that is happening in our country and around the world.  In nearly every corner of the globe, there is some kind of revolt going on—some violent, some relatively peaceful, though tense—for more fair treatment of individuals in terms of their employment, wages, freedoms, and so on.

Even here in the United States, in Wisconsin, average citizens are rising up in protest against an oppressive state government that has demonstrated itself to be dishonest in its dealings with the people.  To be specific, Gov. Scott Walker claims he wants to limit or eliminate altogether collective bargaining rights of the unions in his state in order to balance the budget, but what has been revealed is an ulterior motive.  This is nothing more than union crushing tactics.  But more importantly than that, this is a fear-driven strategy by a few the Tea-Party politicians who want to take from their own people.  Granted, my biases are shining through, as I, too, am a state employee in California.  Thankfully, I do not think Gov. Jerry Brown will act as Gov. Walker has acted, though there will be tough cuts all around.  However, I feel compassion for the people of Wisconsin and in other states where their rights to negotiate with the powers that be, to collectively bargain together to protect rights given to them long ago in order to foster a safer, more fair labor environment.

What this causes me to do is to rely, more than ever, on my faith in a Higher Power—Spirit, or God, as I like to call It—that ALL IS GOOD and that all this represents is a confluence of different energies and shift in perspective and ways of relating to one another.  I would be remiss if I did not state that my faith has been shaken at certain times in my lifetime, 9/11 being the most stark memory of shaken faith.  But these times are faith-challenging, too.  Personally, I think these challenges are good for us humans for it reminds us, or makes us remember, who we are at the center, and brings to us conscious awareness of our faith and where we are at on the “Faith-o-Meter,” so to speak.  So, though my hackles rise when I watch the news, my faith in God and Love and Spirit are renewed.  But from where did faith arise?  What are its origins and what role does it play in the human experience?  I’ve explained some of these answers already, but I will elaborate more fully below.

 

Origins of Faith

Before discussing the origins of faith, perhaps I should define it.  Simply put, faith is simply belief, trust, or confidence.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us “[n]ow faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  According to Ernest Holmes, faith—like belief and prayer—involves a mental attitude.  Put another way, it is “an affirmative mental approach to Reality” (SOM, p. 156.2).  So, from where did faith come?  Some claim that faith is the gift of God.  For example, in Ephesians 2:8, it is said that “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”  Others claim that faith arises by the direct operation of the Holy Spirit.  Faith also operates through God and is available to all, which I will elaborate upon further.  Roman 2:11 “For there is no respecter of persons with God.”  Faith also arises in answer to prayer: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.”  This is similar to Holmes, who writes that “[f]aith is a faculty of the mind that finds its highest expression in the religious attitude, but always the man who has faith in his own ability accomplishes far more than the one who has no confidence in himself.  Those who have great faith have great power” (SOM, 155.3-156.1).

Holmes goes on to say that, throughout history, there have been many instances of healing through faith.  Healing through faith is illustrated through the basic spiritual principle of belief in one’s prayers and that they will be answered.  For, as Jesus said, “it is done unto you as ye so believe.”  Put another way, “[t]he principle governing faith is, that when one is praying becomes convinced his prayer will be automatically answered” (SOM, p. 157.4).  This principle has existed throughout the ages and is well-documented in the Old Testament and, of course, in the New Testament with the works of Jesus.  Faith continues to thrive even today, but it is when we lose faith that we lose the light.

Faith’s Role in the Human Experience

From my perspective, faith plays a large role in the human experience, though it seems like today that we have lost some of our faith.  When listening to accounts of the happenings in our nation and world on the news, it seems as though we have lost faith to the darkness.  Much of our news seems to be doom and gloom these days, but there is an unwavering faith in something greater than ourselves that does exist and is very real for many, many people.  As Holmes states, “[i]n order to have faith, we must have a conviction that all is well.  In order to keep faith, we must allow nothing to enter our thought which will weaken this conviction.  Whenever anything enters our thought which destroys, in any degree, one of these attitudes, to that extent faith is weakened” (SOM, p. 159.1).  Having faith hones our spiritual conviction and prayers.  Having faith in our everyday lives allows us to live positively and affirmatively, knowing the Truth.  Faith also propels us forward in action.  Faith needs action!  “Treat and move your feet!” or “Do the footwork!” (A.A.) or what about “Faith without works is dead.”  Dramatic statement, but true.  Just as with the example in our reading about the belief in electricity and light, without making the affirmative, physical act of flipping the light switch, the light will not shine.  So, in our daily lives, faith in whatever it is allows us to move, to act, to create.  Without faith, we become inert, static beings, not living life to our full potential.

Though it can be challenging at times to maintain my faith, I hear that small, quiet voice in the background saying, “Do it anyway.”  I like that!  This is what faith gives to us, to our humanity.  Faith brings out the Spirit in us, radiating through our human skin.

Out of the tragedy of Japan, Goodness is born…

It’s been awhile since I have made a post so I thought to myself, I need to get in here and write something!  Not a whole lot has happened in my life, at least outwardly, so there is not much to report there.  Globally, yes, a lot has happened.  The great country of Japan is on everyone’s radar these days.  Earthquake, tsunami, and now potential nuclear meltdown at one or more of the 6 plants there… yes, we are all concerned, and greatly saddened by what has happened.  This morning, after letting our 3 dogs out to potty and giving them a bone to lick and chew on, I began preparing my breakfast.  I turned on the tv to a local channel just in time for the Today Show. As I stood at stove, stirring my bubbling oatmeal, tears began streaming down my face.  My jaw slowly dropped as I watched in awe and deep sadness as the tsunami waves rolled in, taking with them houses, cars, trees, everything visible.  It was surreal, almost like watching a small child dump water on top of match-stick houses, Matchbox cars, and stick people.   But this was not a game of make believe.  This was real; heart-wrenchingly real.

Some reading this may ask themselves, ‘Why would you cry?  Do you know someone in Japan who has died or who is missing?’  No, I do not know, personally, anyone in Japan.  But I cry because of my deep connection with All  Life.  I firmly believe in the Oneness that connects each and every sentient being, and as these Japanese people weep out of fear, the loss of loved ones, their homes and all of their belongings, I weep, too.  And I continued to weep silently and uncontrollably for awhile that morning, stirring my oatmeal as my tear dropped in to the bubbling soup.  I also wept silently as I drove down Hwy 50 toward Sacramento, the rain periodically pelting my windshield, cars whizzing past, the morning commute unfolding like any other day.

However, in that moment, I said to myself, “Be complacent no more.”  No more can we sit  by, struggling each day in jobs we hate, relationships that are not working, getting irritated by people in our lives.  Life is too short.  We can work a lifetime for material things that can be swept away by a wave in one second.  Yes, that can happen, and it already has.  I am happy with my life.  I have my, what I can “mad moments” which I will write about in a separate post, but all around, I am generally content with things in my life.  But this event in Japan has shaken my core; reminded me of the fragility of life.  The real significance of each of us and the insignificance, the smallness, of the daily grind and drama.  It reminded me of what is important.  So this is my message to you, and a message to myself:

Today, pause for a moment, and recognize how interconnected we all are; how important you are and how each of us is so important and valued.  Know, deep in your soul, how loved you truly are, that you bring to this planet each day upon rising the Gift of Life: You.

Today, turn to one person and thank them for no other reason other than their presence.  Turn to someone today and share with them a smile.  That smile could be the one thing that brightens their day.  In that smile, you share the Love of the Great Spirit, and that is a Perfect, wonderful thing.

Take a moment and create a list of all of the things you are grateful for.  Give thanks for the food you eat, the clean water you drink, the rain, the sun, your car, the expensive gas that you can afford to put into your car, your job, your co-workers, your partner, your child or children, the clerk checking out your groceries… anyone, anything.  Put it down.  Read it through.  Again.

I am sure you’ve all read these kinds of things before and may have even done them: gratitude lists.  But, hey, a little reminder once in awhile is okay.

What happened in Japan is tragic, but there is ALWAYS some good that can emerge.  Look at all the Japanese people pulling together to help each other, whether that involves pulling someone out of a car,  from underneath rubble, or handing out food and other supplies.  Look at the actions of the U.S. military.  The donations we can all make.  Tragic events bring the humanity out in people, but on a day to day basis, we do not need a tragedy to smile or thank each other for just being who we are.  The lesson here is to Love one another and to see how small of a planet this is.  How interconnected we are.

In writing this entry, I am reminded by a song by Melissa Etheridge, “We are the Ones.” It all starts with us; we need wait no longer.

“We are the ones, we are the ones, we are the ones/The ones that we are waiting for./ Hey every stranger you meet is a part of you/Teaching we are the ones.  Every stranger you see is a part of you/Teaching we are the ones. We are the ones, we are the ones, we are the ones/The ones that we are waiting for.”

Namaste,

Sue

 

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