by Michael Maciel
The word “faith” describes the universal presupposition that there is a truth, overarching and eternal, a single principle that governs the universe with absolute inclusivity and at every level, even though we do not know what it is or if we will ever fully comprehend it. As a principle, faith is the guiding light of all forms of human understanding—science, art, spirituality, philosophy—and the higher we rise in consciousness, the more these separate forms begin to merge, until at last they become one.
Faith is the innate knowing that there is something greater than ourselves, something larger, something whole and complete that knows no separation or conflict, no internal disagreements. And no matter what you call it, what name or -ism you ascribe to it, it is the same for all people and all times, in this universe or any other you can imagine.
The problem comes when we begin to think that we can encompass this One Truth, that we ourselves are large enough to comprehend it, that the truth is a “thing” that we can possess, a noun, an object we can own, a weapon we can use to dominate others, to make them wrong and ourselves right. This is NOT the truth, neither is it what is being pointed to by the word “faith.” When the truth is objectified, turned into a thing that can be possessed, THEN and only then can it be used to dominate others, and this is why we fear it. We fear it because we do not understand it, either its nature or its purpose.
It is out of fear that truth has been relativized, fragmented, and divided up into separate compartments—science, spirituality, philosophy, art. No one wants to be told that the end of truth has finally, once and for all, and for everyone been determined. Why? Because intuitively they know—we ALL know—that that can never happen, that that is NOT the nature of truth nor its purpose. We all know, if only deep within ourselves, that the truth is a living, breathing reality, a PROCESS by which life and living are made possible, not a definition, not a set of laws, not even an ideal, because it is bigger than any ideal we can conceive of.
Faith is an ACTION. It is the action of receiving from the higher mind what IT knows beyond what we are capable of knowing by ourselves. It is based upon the intuitive knowing that such a mind exists, that there is something that actually knows more than we do.
But HERE’S THE RUB: Because we are not perfect in love, we fear that what that mind knows will somehow limit us in what we can experience, what we can explore, and what we can create. It somehow implies that some things might be FORBIDDEN and therefore irresistible and that because of that we will somehow be found GUILTY and be PUNISHED. (I put these words in all-caps to identify them as the NAILS IN THE COFFIN of our potential for happiness and self-fulfillment.)
But all of this is due to our misunderstanding of what faith is, what truth is, and what the will of God is. We see God as a dictator, a strict father, angry, and jealous—all the worst parts of the Bible. Therefore, truth must be a set of laws, commandments, restrictions, speed limits, prohibitions—spiteful, vindictive, ARBITRARY. Who wouldn’t REBEL against that? When truth becomes someone else’s, we go out of our way to become liars.
Here’s the HEALTHY understanding of truth. God is creative and we are created in God’s image, which is to say that WE are creative, that creativity is the reason for our being. It is why we are here. It may be true that there is nothing new under the sun, but the possibilities are INFINITE, and God is just as eager as we are to find out what those possibilities are.
Do you get that? We are not here to “behave.” We are not God’s pets. We aren’t here to please or to placate some superior intelligence under threat of being punished if we get out of line. We are here as the EXTENSIONS of the One Intelligence—call it what you will, it doesn’t matter. We are “children” of It—that’s what “extension” means. We are not created “things.” God didn’t “make” us like one would make a loaf of bread. We are AGENCIES, we are the tips of God’s fingers, the retinas of God’s eyes, the love of God’s heart, and the thoughts of God’s mind. There is only one WILL and it is surging through us every moment of every day. Our will is God’s will. It’s only when we forget that that we begin to act out of fear and then hatred and then violence. We forget that God is what we ARE, that we are one with the One. What else could we be?
Faith is an open window, an open skylight, through which pours the infinite intelligence of the ONE THING, Its life, light, and love. The more we humble ourselves and admit that we don’t know…well, anything…that we can truly find out what there is TO know. And there is no end to that. There is no point in our evolution where we will know all there is to know or be all there is to be. Never. Life is continuous and ever-evolving at the point of being. We will know of ourselves AS WE LIVE. And that process never ends. If it had an “end,” it could not have a “beginning.” We were never born, and we will never die. That’s life eternal.
The essence of faith is this: QUESTIONS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN ANSWERS. Learn to stand in the question without always looking for an answer and you will have mastered faith. The best questions, the ones that create the most possibilities, are the ones that raise more questions and, therefore, more possibilities. What are possibilities? They are FREEDOM. Possibilities are open doors; answers are doors that have slammed shut. For life to exist, its channels of expression must remain OPEN. Have faith. Be open. Keep moving. Movement is the surest sign of life.