From a very early age, I’ve felt a strong connection to God in my heart beyond anything that was learned or indoctrinated into me. It is a intimacy that calls to me, whispers my name, and demands that I pay attention and find meaning in what is unfolding around me. But stubbornness and pride are also my two worst character traits. I have a mind that demands truth, needs to be in control, and values my intelligence. So it’s safe to say that my heart and mind don’t always get along. They fight and bicker, leaving me in the middle to mediate.
My thinking and feelings are also generally very black and white. I am no stranger to doubt. When I doubt, it’s as if God is non-existent or very far, far away. My mind takes over and demands answers to every single problem life has, and if God can’t give them to me…well then he must not exist. But when I feel God’s presence in my heart, all that doubt goes away. I KNOW the truth, and I wonder how I could have ever doubted to begin with. I am rarely ever in the middle. It’s either full on faith or full on doubt.
I’ve prayed and prayed for the doubt to cease, but every once in awhile it will creep back up. It is not from lack of evidence. My life is filled with things that happened to me that can’t be explained away. I’m convinced that I’d have to be like Thomas and actually place my fingers in Jesus’ side in order to believe 100%. Actually, it is that the Gospel seems too good. It sounds like a perfect fairy tale, and it’s hard to fathom a God that loves us that much. So it’s easy for me in hard times to doubt its truth.
Intelligence has always been one of my greatest gifts, but it is my intellectual pride that sometimes keeps me from God. My fear is that one day I will discover that God doesn’t really exist and all the time I spent in prayer and worship will be for nothing. But it won’t be the wasted time that I would care about. It would be the fact that I was stupid enough to believe in something that wasn’t real, that I was duped, tricked, etc. My intellectual pride would be hurt that I wasn’t smart enough to know better.
I have gone through a time of heavy spiritual growth over the past few weeks, and my faith has been stronger than ever. But the past few days something has changed and doubt is back. I have accepted that this is not something I cause or can fix. It just is what it is – a feeling that will change. During prayer this morning I was asking God to remove that doubt and help transform my doubt into love. And immediately was filled with the thought “love me in the midst of doubt”. I realized in that moment I was loving God the way the world loves – through feeling. Love is not a feeling; it is an action.
Married couples can’t keep the “feeling” of love when they are in each others presence every day. How can I expect that my love “feelings” for God are going to remain constant, when I can’t see, touch, hear, or talk to him? Faith is a feeling just like anything else It is going to fluctuate through different seasons of my life. Of course there are things I can do to grow or kill my faith, but ultimately it is still a feeling that I can’t control. I can choose to love God through my actions regardless of how “in love” I am with him at the current moment.
Jesus understands our doubts. He knows what it’s like to be human. I don’t believe there will be a scale that measures how much faith we had, but one that measures what we did with the faith we had. Jesus asks us to follow him. My job is not to constantly monitor my faith level and see if I’ve got enough to follow him on a day by day basis. It is to love, serve, and follow him regardless of how I am feeling in the present moment – to act out love and not merely “feel” it.
We live in the material plane, and we want to know that our path is true. Our main opponent (some might call it satan, which interestingly enough comes from the hebrew word for adversary)is the ego. The ego looks for ways to separate you from the truth.
The historicity of the lives of Jesus of Nazareth and Mohammed are all up for question. OUR ego wants to know, to justify. It creates the need in us to know what we are doing is right.
I read up on Kundalini , which I had been practicing for a while. I stumbled upon many articles that questioned one of the main figures of the movement, Yogi Bajan who brought Kundalini to the west. There are many accusations there.
When I first read them I was shocked, was it all a fraud?
Everything is fraud, if you think its a fraud then yes it is a fraud. If you believe that it is true then it is true.
Our egoic mind lives in the world of black and white. If I read one bad article regarding Yogi Bhajan then it must be that all the teaching of Kundalini is bad.
Know that when all of a sudden something goes from white to black , from good to bad , from love to hate, that is your egoic nature acting up. Spot it out and fight it!
Even when it comrs to modern religion, the historicity of jesus, that he actually performed miracles etc. It all comes down to your consciousness, what you choose to believe. On this plane that we live on, the material plane, there is only one ultimate truth and that is what we experience at this very moment. Every moment in the past is not true, and the future is surely not true. This very moment is all we all we have and it is everything. We can choose to be happy, or choose to be sad. We can choose to play the game of trying to “think” our way through things, trying to rationalise and understand everything trying to say that what we are doing is right or wrong. There is no right or wrong. All truths are but only half truths. It is difficult to think along these terms because what have been taught to think that something either is or is not. How can something be and not be at the same time?
The answer to that comes from consciousness, the fact that we live and operate on a plane of consciousnes. A mental plane. The observance of it becomes proof of it. It becomes proof of the immateriality of truth.
Every belief system has its contentions. Why? because we are human, we make mistakes. Does that mean there is no light there? well, there is light there if you believe there is light there!
Does it bother you? We are trying to make sense, using all the wrong formulas, all the wrong language. What is the ultimate truth?
Your consciousness is the only truth you know. You are conscious right now, reading this message. Right now these words are your only true reality if you think about it.
Everything in the past is memory, but memory is not truth. The past is not truth. our memories can change, that couch in your grandmothers house “ oh I remember it as being red , not orange!”. Memory is feeble, it can deceive us. We can create unrealites that end up sending us into deep deep depressions.
Getting stuck in the future is the flipside. The future is dream. Something that has not happened. We can get caught up in worry and anxiety , and send ourselves spiraling down into another un-reality.
So if the only truth we have is the present. What are we to do?
The answer is simple. Do whatever you choose. Every moment we make a choice. That choice, at this very second. To believe , or not the belelve. to be happy or to be sad. To share or not to share. Imagine a world wherein, we could have one ultimate truth, we know FOR A FACT that if you say this chant or practice this ritual, you shall become instantly enlightened, or go to heaven or reach whatever salvage that you are trying to reach. Would it make everythign redundant? We are here because we have free will. Because we have choice.
We can chose to see the as beautifiul tools that exist for a reason, as beacons of light operating filtered through the imperfection of chaotic world.
Simply being is our connection to the eternal. it is the truth.Your thoughts at this very moment are manifesting your reality. If you learn to become a master of your mind. you have learned to become a master of the universe and your life.
There are many ways to do this. Find your own path.
The flip side of this argument is that we are given the faculty of thought for a reason. yes we are inherently operating on the material plane, and our need for rationalisation etc, are all functions of these lower realm of existence. Our thoughts are excellent tools to get us around, to build technologies to make life easier, to build homes to keep our bodies safe etc. But thought will never elevate us to the higher realm. Our beliefs will.
Thanks for your comment, you make some good points. It made me connect faith to the quote by Aristotle ““To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” Likewise, to avoid doubt, believe nothing, follow nothing, etc. We can never 100% guarantee that the path we’re on is the right one. We can only believe what our hearts are telling us. If you examine anything long enough you’re going to find questions and issues. And logic only takes you so far. As you said, “…thought will never elevate us to the higher realm. Our beliefs will.”