Cycles of Faith

Cycles of Faith

The word Faith is often associated with strong belief and religion. For me, it long meant blindness, as in blind faith. A surrender to someone else’s vision rather than our own. But that is delusion rather than faith.

Faith is better understood as a deep form of trust or confidence. Another word for allowing what is to be. Surrendering. But not blind surrender but rather surrender to what has been experienced.

“Wide opened is the door of the Immortal to all who have ears to hear; let them send forth faith to meet it.”

— Buddha

This is a key detail of faith not to be missed. Faith is built on Experience. But faith or trust is still required to move us forward. Sometimes we can get a little stuck when the clarity is not there enough for us to have faith. Once there is vision again, faith moves us forward. Faith built on experience is not blind.

But if we have experience, why do we need faith? Because it is change, something new. We have gained enough to have a vision but have not completed the journey yet. In practice, faith is a dance. With some clarity, we gain enough confidence to step forward into the unknown. Until our uncertainty grows or some integration is required. So we step forward and back, forward and back, gradually progressing into being.

That clarity arises in many forms – understanding, love, perception, peace and simple experience. One of the first steps is a teaching. When we are moving into new territory, we seek a teacher to guide us. When we reach enough confidence, we begin to step forward on our own.

An example that comes to mind is the Law of Attraction. If that idea lands at a receptive time, we’ll read and explore about it until we have enough confidence. Then test it with simple things like ‘manifesting’ parking spots. As faith deepens, we’ll try deeper things that are more important to us. Eventually, it will become a part of our worldview.

Or we’ll step past the limits of our faith and stumble, leading to experiences of failure and possibly discarding the paradigm. For now.

We can see distinct steps here:
– a seeking
– some clarity
– early faith
– some testing, validation
– stumbles*
– further testing
– reinforced faith
– deeper testing
– new beliefs, faith becomes embodied and often fixed

and then, along comes an experience that shatters our beliefs. We have a ‘loss of faith’ and we restart the process, going to a deeper level. At some point, we learn not to become fixed and dance more loosely. Then the shifts come easier and then much faster.

*Stumbles are a point where we step past our real faith. Doubt creeps in and the process stumbles, reinforcing old paradigms rather than moving forward. We come to a place where some will give up the attempt for a time. Or try another route.

A much deeper form of faith is surrender. Stepping into divinity and allowing the divine to work through you. Allowing life to be as it is. This form of faith is much more profound. It is what many of the old religious texts are speaking to. But because most people have not come to that place, they attempt it with blind faith, play at a concept of faith, or reject it altogether.

The trick is to work towards it. Find a teaching to get clarity on spirituality. Find a process that will lead you into awakening to your true nature. And THEN, you can come to the place of a deeper faith with the dawning of divinity. It will be your stepping stone into what is unfolding in your life. And that is a beautiful thing.

If you don’t think faith has a role in your life, look again. It plays a role in everything that comes into your life. Every step in maturation and evolution. Every growth in trust and confidence.

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  1. Davidya

    Hi Kaushik
    I’m not familiar with this idea so can’t add anything. But there are certainly many ways we can see where we come to a place where we need to trust in some way to move forward.

  2. Ben

    I find great resonance Davidya with the process you outline. I have lived just as you write to the nines.

    Within that process is great faith in the beliefs believed until… they aren’t and there is a willingness to look further. I cannot deny that, and I wouldn’t want to.

    The other faith that I have seen always present in the process here is the 150% belief and trusting even beyond the fervor of religion that what thought brings forth is mine and who I am.

    No religious fervor matches my dedication to the thoughts I say are mine and are me. Throughout the whole process of cycling through various teachings, beliefs, codes, and creeds that is at the root every single time.

  3. Davidya

    Hi Ben
    You describe that remarkably well. Your belief that the thoughts that arise are me and mine. This is what they call the illusion, the dream we wake up from. This attachment or association with things as “me”. As you say, it is very deeply held. Until one day we begin to see through it. But before we see through it, we have to see it in the first place. Clearly, you do.

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  6. Masi

    Dear Davidya,

    I’m a bit confused about: “Your belief that the thoughts that arise are me and mine. This is what they call the illusion, the dream we wake up from.”

    Are you saying that those thoughts are not mine? Are the thoughts part of the experience?

    I’m currently experiencing that my thoughts are just that ‘my thoughts’ and if I give them energy they manifest in my life (and most of the time in painful ways). I know I have been here before (several times!) but now there is more clarity to what is happening. It feels like there is no more room for doubts, that I’ve been here before, and I know all this, like it is giving me a choice of believing and acting them out or not. And, lately even though I try to observe and watch my thoughts, it feels like they keep coming back again (no breaks!). I try to meditate but I go blank. During meditation this morning, I wondered if the recycling of the same thoughts is due to resistance? I keep asking what am I not seeing, what am I resisting but still get nothing. Frankly, I feel like doing nothing except watching but sometimes I do get frustrated with the constant recurrences (even though I ask for them, I believe).

    PS I ended up here from your most recent post on fear!

  7. Davidya

    Hi Masi
    I posted another article on faith today you might enjoy.

    When the mind is identified with its experiences, we think “my body”, “My emotions”, “my thoughts”. What is happening is coming from me. I did it.

    When the experience deepens and we begin to see ourselves as something deeper, the “witness” or observer arises. We find we are awareness of, not the objects of awareness. We discover we observe the body but it continues to act. Emotions and thoughts arise but they are not mine – they are simply there.

    The thoughts are not the illusion. The illusion is that they are “my” thoughts. That a “me” identifies with what is happening as mine or about me. We take it personally.

    If you consider your experience and see your thoughts as “mine”, this is what is true for you. But as the development deepens, this will change. We could say the thoughts become part of the environment. The wind arises and thoughts blow by.

    If you consider this, you’ll notice the witness introduces a new kind of separation. Before, we felt separate from the world. Now we feel separate from what we used to think we were. As the growth progresses, these separatenesses come together in oneness.

    What you describe is a greatly increased clarity of the way the mind works. Thoughts will keep coming back until their energy source is removed. That energy source is the feelings. So it’s the feelings that are behind the thoughts you want to watch for, not the thoughts themselves. In fact, observation of the thoughts gives them more power. (laughs) This is not something to try all the time, that just divides the mind. Just here and there, notice what is happening and see if the emotional drivers are noticed. Like frustration 😉

    You ask what am I not seeing and feel frustrated. This is describing resistance itself. (laughs) See how tricky it is to see through the mind games? Try doing nothing, even watching. Then notice what arises.

    Sometimes blankness in meditiation is due to fatigue. You may find it better to get more rest. If you find meditation hard, you may find an effortless practice easier.

    Hope that offers a bit of clarity.

  8. Masi

    Hi Davidya,

    You’ve described all of what is being “blown my way” as of late. All of the above, and then some!

    I will try doing nothing. Or I may find that I am doing something. LOL.

    I loved what you said “We could say the thoughts become part of the environment. The wind arises and thoughts blow by.” I am just starting glimpses of this.

    Thank you for giving me some clarity.

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