We wish a faith based on the knowledge that there is nothing to fear!—Holmes, SOM, 156.4
In a word, Faith is the opposite of Fear. When someone fears something, usually something external to them over which they have no control, a sense of insecurity, fear, and uncertainty overwhelms them. This fear, though, resides in one’s consciousness, so the key to unlocking this fear-based trap is to step outside of its grip and enter into the realm of faith and trust. When one’s consciousness resides in fear, one has sacrificed their own power to an external entity—real or imagined. Fear crushes self-efficacy, removes the foundation underneath our feet, rendering us powerless and willing to follow anyone and anything—a political leader, the media, conventional wisdom. It is not to say that listening to these things ultimately makes us powerless; it is living in a state of fear to which our minds, our consciousness, succumbs that renders us powerless. When our consciousness shifts from fear to faith, we regain power and control—not external power and control in terms of domination over others, but power and control of our own lives. Living a life of Faith and in Faith is a life lived with personal conviction, inner knowingness that all is well despite the outward appearances suggesting an otherwise form of reality. Faith removes doubt; allows the paradox to unfold: calm within the storm; security in a time of uncertainty; peace at a time of war. As Ernest Holmes writes in the Science of Mind textbook, “[f]aith is an affirmative mental approach to Reality” (156.1). Living in Faith means saying ‘Yes!’ to life, no matter what.
So, if what has been written above is true, why does it seem to be such a struggle to live a life of Faith, whether it be today or many years ago? ‘Times of uncertainty’ have always seemingly existed. Interestingly, though, Holmes comments on how “faith is a quality unconfined to age or station” and “it may be ours today as much as it has been any man’s at any time” (SOM, 158.4). This is reassuring to me, as it suggests that, regardless of what is going on, I can live a life in faith. However, to be honest, for me, my faith in God and that ‘all will be well’ has wavered at times. There was a period of time in my life when I questioned whether there could be a God in the face of such tragedies as the Holocaust, the Vietnam War, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Korean War, two World Wars, natural disasters, and on and on and on. Was this God’s test of our spiritual mettle? Did God have an over-arching plan with all of these what I called horrific events? Was this some kind of sick joke? Honestly, these were questions that have floated in and out of my consciousness over the course of my 42 years of living. I can say with confidence that, in the past few years since coming into the teachings of the Science of Mind that my faith in God has grown immensely. I do feel a calm sense of inner security—not all of the time, but most of the time!—when I look around me and see what can be labeled as ‘chaos’ happening. Tragedies abound on a daily basis, but I think it really depends upon how one sees them and reacts to them. Moreover, what Holmes says is absolutely correct: “We are not going through a harder time today, a longer or darker night, than has ever been experienced before. It only seems harder because we have lost faith—the beacon of light” (SOM, 158.4, emphasis added). Our reality reflects back to us like a mirror what we project; if we are coming from a place of fear, projecting uncertainty and doubt, then that is what we will see. Our world will appear dark for it reflects the darkness that resides within ourselves.
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Each one of us walks a path; whether that path has been established prior to birth, who is to say. I don’t know for sure. But I do know we all have a path to walk on this earth plane, a life to life. It is my goal to walk this path in faith, in love, in joy, and in peace, knowing that regardless of what the outside world looks like, I know in my heart that Divine Love reigns.
We were saying how very important it is to bring about, in the human mind, the radical revolution. The crisis is a crisis in consciousness, the crisis that cannot anymore accept the old norms, the old patterns, the ancient traditions and considering what the world is now, with all the misery, conflict, destructive brutality, aggression and so on. Man is still as he was, is still brutal, violent, aggressive, acquisitive, competitive and… he has built a society along these lines.—Krishnamurti, Zeitgeist: Addendum (2008), opening lines.
Recently, I watched the movie, Zeitgeist: The Movie (2007), upon the suggestion of a few people in my life who thought that I would enjoy it and gain something from it. So, one day while I was at home, feeling ill and unable to go to work, I watched it. In a nutshell, Zeitgeist: The Movie is a 2007 documentary film by Peter Joseph. The film puts forth a number of ideas, some of which have a ‘conspiracy’ tone to them, depending on how one interprets them, the Christ myth theory, alternative theories for the parties responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, and that bankers manipulate the international monetary system and the media in order to consolidate power and control. The film, Zeitgeist: Addendum (2008), the sequel to the original film, focuses further on the monetary system and advocates a resource-based social system influenced by the ideas of Jacque Fresco and the Venus Project. Following the release of this film, Peter Joseph created an organization called The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) in order to promote the ideas of Fresco’s Venus Project. The Venus Project culminates Fresco’s lifetime of work and serves the foundation representing his vision of a future world without poverty, crime, war, corruption, or waste. It promotes resource-based economies, which provide for sustainability and equitable distribution of resources, and fully supporting every person in society, as opposed to a monetary-based system, which, as we know, focuses on profit, inequality, and an unequal distribution of wealth. As Peter Joseph illustrates in Addendum, “The fact is, efficiency, sustainability, and abundance are enemies of profit. To put it into a word, it is the mechanism of scarcity that increases profit.” The Venus Project and The Zeitgeist Movement operate to change all of that.
Though I am still working my way through Addendum (I have gotten about ½ way through it), I have found the ideas generated and promoted in both films, The Venus Project, and The Zeitgeist Movement to be utterly profound. The general message in all of Peter Joseph’s films is this, I believe, as illustrated in the words of Krishnamurti:
What we are trying in all these discussions and talks here, is to see if we cannot radically bring about a transformation of the mind. *Not accept things as they are* – but to understand it, to go into it, examine it, give your heart and your mind with everything that you have to find out. A way of living differently. But that depends on you and not somebody else. Because in this there is no teacher, no pupil. There’s no leader, there is no guru, there’s no master, no savior. You yourself are the teacher, and the pupil, you’re the master, you’re the guru, you are the leader, you are everything! And, to understand is to transform what is.—Krishnamurti, Zeitgeist: Addendum
Ultimately, the ideas put forth in these films offer their viewers a new way of thinking about life on our planet; a new way of thinking. To me, this seems very much in alignment with what The Science of Mind teaches!
Despite the conspiracy-laden ideas in the original film, I took it upon myself to investigate some of the claims being made, primarily with respect to 9/11 and then the issues with our monetary system. What I read completely shifted my thinking about certain things about how our world operates. I had always been a person who believed what is now being called the mainstream conspiracy that the WTC attacks on 9/11 were the result of 19 terrorists who crashed two planes into those buildings, into the Pentagon, and then one was derailed to its final destination in a field in Pennsylvania. I had heard of those claims that our federal government knew about the attacks, or possibly colluded with others in order to create a ripe scenario to get us into the war in Iraq (false flag attack), but I did not believe it. For I felt, to believe something seemingly so “other-worldly and crazy” would just rock the bedrock of my faith in God and Country. No way, I kept thinking, adding the afterthought, “Freakin’ conspiracy nut-jobs!”
Now, I am singing a new tune. I am not saying that I believe, without question, everything that Peter Joseph included in his movies. In fact, I love how he tells his viewers to question everything he has shown, to do the research ourselves, and question, question, question. Be skeptical. Hmmm, so how can one be skeptical and live in Faith? Interesting paradox! I will explain how I am able to do that in a moment. What has happened for me since seeing that original film is that I have begun doing some research. I have begun reading different pieces of information and sources on 9/11, its aftermath, the Bush/Cheney policies before, during, and following that event; I have read documents critiquing our monetary system, how it is truly designed to support the power elite, and operates on conditions of scarcity, not abundance, and I have been reading what I deem to be a very important book, published in 2007, on the erosion of democracy as we know it, entitled “The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot,” by Naomi Wolf.
In the second chapter of that book, we read a quote by John Adams, the 2nd President of the United States of America. Adams states:
Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men, in whose breasts it predominates, so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it (p. 35, The End of America).
Wolf’s little book packs a powerful punch, in my opinion. She questions whether fascism can really happen in America or, worse, whether the country has already shifted towards fascism, similar to Nazi Germany or Chile under Augusto Pinochet. If America has entered into this fascist shift as she calls it, can we know if these dangers do really exist and what can be done to restore democracy? Wolf’s short volume presents a more disturbing look at fairly recent events in America’s history (the Bush/Cheney years, primarily) and offers predictions for a possible future in which the democracy of America is slowly eroded away and replaced with a rising totalitarianism. In her book, Wolf spells out clearly for her readers the ten steps that all dictators take when imposing their control over a democratic society, and she sees each step being taken in America, at the time of her writing (2007). I would add, honestly, that I also see this trend continuing even under the Obama administration. The steps are the following, taken directly from the book include:
- Invoke an External and Internal Threat
- Establish Secret Prisons
- Develop a Paramilitary Force
- Surveil Ordinary Citizens
- Infiltrate Citizens’ Groups
- Arbitrarily Detain and Release Citizens
- Target Key Individuals
- Restrict the Press
- Cast Criticism as “Espionage” and Dissent as “Treason”
- Subvert the Rule of Law
Upon reading through her book and reflecting on these ‘Ten Steps to Totalitarianism,’ one can easily see how easy it would be to allow faith—in anything!—to slip away. Peter Joseph, in Zeitgeist: Addendum echoes Wolf’s ‘ten steps’ when he says the following throughout the film:
The world is being taken over by a handful of business powers who dominate the natural resources we need to live, while controlling the money we need to obtain these resources. The end result will be world monopoly based not on human life but financial and corporate power.
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As the inequality grows, naturally, more and more people are becoming desperate. So the establishment was forced to come up with a new way to deal with anyone who challenges the system. So they gave birth to the ‘Terrorist’. The term ‘terrorist’ is an empty distinction designed for any person or group who chooses to challenge the establishment.
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Of all the social institutions we are born into, directed by, and conditioned upon, there seems to be no system to be taken as granted, and misunderstood, as the monetary system. Taking on nearly religious proportions, the established monetary institution exists as one of the most unquestioned forms of faith there is. How money is created, the policies by which it is governed, and how it truly affects society, are unregistered interests of the great majority of the population.
I highlighted the above sentence purposefully to show just how indoctrinated our society has become in terms of its faith on the monetary system and that many people—most people, in all likelihood—are not even aware of what is happening with respect to the erosion of democratic ideals in our country. We have become so conditioned, complacent perhaps, to accept things as they are with respect to money, inequality, “the way the world works,” that we do not question. Anything. At all. For to question means to rock the boat. Rocking the boat jostles the bedrock of faith upon which our lives are built. The jostled bedrock may crumble, causing fear. Let’s not question. A quote by Jacque Fresco may be the most frightening of all for most people to hear, and most might dismiss as nonsense: “American industry is essentially a fascist institution. The minute you punch that time clock you walk into a dictatorship” (Zeitgeist: Addendum).
So, how does this all tie in to the notion of faith and my continued faith in God and in my country and the democratic ideals on which it is founded? To me, folks like Peter Joseph, Naomi Wolf, Jacque Fresco, and even Krishnamurti are all saying very similar things but in different ways. Basically, they are suggesting that rather that turn away from world events that are happening and that seem beyond our control, we need to face them—face the uncertainty!—, try to understand and make sense out of what is happening, look within ourselves for change, and create something new, different. I love these words spoken by Peter Joseph here in Zeitgeist: Addendum: “Our true divinity is in our ability to create. And armed with the understanding of the symbiotic connections of life, while being guided by the emergent nature of reality, there is nothing we cannot do or accomplish.” How much closer to the principles of The Science of Mind can one get with those words? He goes on to say that since “[o]ur outmoded social systems have broken apart….[i]t’s time to claim the unity and work together to create a sustainable global society, where everyone is taken care of and everyone is truly free.” In other words, the possibility for positive, sustainable living exists. It exists in each of us, in our interconnectedness with each other. For me, then, to reconcile the seeming apparent paradox of faith and uncertainty (i.e., fascist shift, eroding democracy, scarcity society based on monetarism and so on) is that I know for certain that there is a Power for Greater Good in Universal Mind that exists, and that I can use it. So, Peter Joseph’s ultimate suggestion? It is up to each of us, and the revolution begins in mind, how we think about and see our world. If we can begin to see things differently, say, as reflected in the Venus Project, then true transformation can happen. “The real revolution is the revolution of consciousness and each one of us first needs to eliminate the divisionary, materialistic noise we have been conditioned to think is true; while discovering, amplifying, and aligning with the signal coming from our true empirical oneness. It is up to you” (Zeitgeist: Addendum).
The topic of Faith can be addressed and applied to any number of situations. I chose to focus my discussion of faith on current events, mainly in terms of politics, our financial institutions, and a vision for a better world that allows everyone to enjoy resources equally, to be free from violence and harm, and to just allow themselves to be who they are. As Holmes states, faith is timeless and does not come or go based on the level of certainty or uncertainty in any given time period. Faith truly resides in our consciousness. “Faith is the attitude of one who makes a complete mental surrender. It can arise through a consciousness of complete abandonment” (Holmes, Living the Science of Mind, 247.3). In other words, faith=surrender to what is and to understanding and knowing that despite what we may see happening in our word, a Higher Power and Greater Good dance behind the scenes. I know this because of works by Peter Joseph, Jacque Fresco, Naomi Wolf and so many countless others who are working to promote a better, more free, loving, and supportive world—for everyone. Faith is something of a paradox, but once we understand and appreciate this paradox, we can relax into it. I have been in a bit of a mental quandary lately regarding all that I have been seeing and reading. However, as I have processed it through in the writing of this paper, I am at peace with it all. An ardent supporter of democracy and freedom, I will not stop speaking out for these principles. As Holmes stated in his famous Sermon by the Sea:
Find me one person who is for something and against nothing, who is redeemed enough not to condemn others out of the burden of his soul, and I will find another savior, another Jesus, and an exalted human being.
Find me one person who no longer has any fear of the universe, or of God, or of man, or of anything else, and you will have brought to me someone in whose presence we may sit and fear shall vanish as clouds before the sunlight.
Am I that person? Living life fully in Faith—Yes. I am that person. Always for peace, for love, for harmony, for a sustainable society where there is abundance of resources, enough and more for each person. I will never stop supporting these ideas and speaking out for them. This is my Faith and how I reckon it with all that is. Reality truly is illusory, and the more that people can realize that and step out of fear and into faith, we will see a New World.
Holmes, Ernest. (1938/1966). The Science of Mind and Spirit. New York: Tarcher/Putnam.
Holmes, Ernest. (1984). Living the Science of Mind. Camarillo, CA: Devorss.
Joseph, Peter. (2007). Zeitgeist: The Movie. http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/
Joseph, Peter. (2008). Zeitgeist: Addendum. http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/
Wolf, Naomi. (2007). The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.