In a Nutshell | Four Pragmatic Steps for Finding Faith and Addressing Doubt

After humankind gave up the “punishing deity” concept, we started casting about in another direction for a doctrine that would free us from any culpability in our own dramas. Oh, here it is. And the woe-is-me victim was born…

When we finally stop justifying and rationalizing, we will see the way we hate instead of love, and where we separate ourselves through our defenses instead of openly trusting. We’ll realize our tendency to look away rather than face ourselves, to deny rather than affirm, and to distort truth rather than be in truth…At some point in time, we won’t be able to see things any other way. Because, truth is, it isn’t any other way. And yet, we try…

At some point along our path to spiritual freedom, we will face this strange situation of not wanting to let go of that which causes our own destruction and suffering. And in our fear that we’ll find this negative nucleus and not want to let it go—or we won’t be able to—we continue to look away…This is a common trap and we need to watch out for it, so it won’t barricade our way. In fact, we’re going to need some more powerful tools for getting over this hurdle…

We often think of faith as a blind belief in something we have no way of knowing…And indeed, if that’s what faith’s about, it would be right to discard it. For who wants to be stupid and believe in something that has no grounding in reality and can never be experienced as truth?…

This perspective keeps us perched on a platform from which the only things that are real are what we can see, touch, know and prove. From here, we will never have to leap into the unknown. But here’s the rub: the only way to expand and change is by leaping, gulp, into the unknown…

True faith involves several steps, or stages, each highly grounded in intelligence and reality…So step one in acquiring faith is to consider that new possibilities exist of which we currently know nothing…From here we can meditate on opening to the divine within to show us how to find better ways of functioning. There is nothing unrealistic about this approach. There is no blind belief called for…

The second step in faith requires more of a leap. Here we must open ourselves up to the divine ground within so it can bring us the knowledge our intellect is hunting for. So first we made some space, and now we find some solutions…Which brings us to the third step, which is that basically we have experienced something new but we can’t yet hold onto it. To make it our permanent ground, we have to keep surrendering to the greater reality…

Doing this consistently will bring us to the fourth step, where faith becomes a fact that is so securely anchored within, no one can take it away…This new reality exists beyond the narrow confines of our little egoic minds…Getting here requires us to overcome that momentary anxiety when we must leap into the unknown. We must do this for the sake of truth and love. Or really, for the sake of God—our own inner Godself.

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