Belief systems of any kind are quite similar to a computer partition, because they create limiting parameters (walls) to maintain the structural integrity of the idea (security). One might "think" this is important, but actually it
stifles the full experience that life is by screening out any information that would bring awareness to the limitation.
I commented on Facebook the other night that Ignorance is not a blissful state. A woman I know asked., "Do you suppose the ignorant would agree with that?
There are many flavors of ignorance. At the lowest extreme is being disconnected from your divine guidance to support yourself beyond mere survival. At the highest extreme are those who are disconnected who have fought tooth and nail to get what they "think" they deserve without compassion for their fellow Beings. Each is blind to the nth degree, but it is those who have the most that cause the greatest damage, seeking to fill their emptiness with busy-i-ness and things. The whole escapade is created from "ignoring" one's authentic self. Upon realizing this truth, one has no choice but to embrace it, as the latter is nothing more than a lie; delusion; illusion; mask. Being able to make informed choices arises from having all the facts, and living in the head doesn't allow that.
Happiness is based on getting some thing or some one. When it is lost one becomes unhappy. Joy doesn't require any person, place, or thing, it is the natural spring bubbling up from within one's authentic self. Imagine being so enjoyed that you could be in your own company alone with nothing to entertain you but pure silence. Most have no idea how blissful and ecstatic and golden silence is or how incredible inner stillness feels like. And all those who "think" them irrelevant have sold off the most valuable thing they could ever own; themselves.
Ignorance is actually a form of amnesia, to avoid the full impact of the fullness of a reality that one does not want to be present with. Otherwise, why would one need to be focused on the past and future more so than the present? In the present there are no stories we tell ourselves or that we buy into from others, so that we are fully aware of what any given situation is and we authentically act from our highest self toward whatever is required of us. This is divine intervention, where we are intuned from within, needing no outside idea, theory, rule, approval, or law to respond with our spiritual sovereignty. This is what true faith, of having faith in one's self to bear witness to what is and to face it fearlessly in love, which is to say with authentic presence.
Richard Moss, author of The Power of Awareness," has this to say about faith:
"We associate faith with traditional religious belief systems and notions of GOD. True faith, however, cannot rest on beliefs or thoughts, or even feelings, because we are always already more than these by virtue of our awareness of them. Beliefs, especially as they bring us meaning and purpose, can act as a a transitional medium for faith. Consider how a teddy bear or soft blanket can act as a positive transitional object and temporarily replace the comforting presence of a mother for a child when she is not present. Similarly, to the extent that we cling to beliefs to define and defend who we are, we remain children as far as faith is concerned. Faith can never be proclaimed in words, it can only be radiated or transmitted through the quality of our presence, through an inner poise that is not shaken by outer circumstances. To proudly assert one's faith as unquestioning acceptance of a particular religious belief system is to declare one's lack of faith in oneself. It is a proclamation of ignorance of the nature of one's own consciousness.
One paradox of faith is that when we sense it in another, it gives us hope that we too can face our fears. Yet faith itself is the capacity to meet fear without hope. If we require hope, how ca we say that we have faith? Faith is not a state of fearlessness, but rather an ability to hold fear with the power of our awareness and not lose touch with that in us which is more than whatever we are afraid of.
A second paradoxical aspect of faith is that we can neither see nor measure it. It is defined by the shape of our fears. For example, when we approach intimacy with another but become so afraid of rejection or abandonment or engulfment that we withdraw, these fear mark our limits of our faith. But if we choose to remain in the pure feeling of these fears and not withdraw from a relationship, we empower ourselves and grow in faith, which makes us capable of greater intimacy.
Many people discover the limits of their faith when they are afraid of not having enough money. Too many of us let money fears--basic survival consciousness--keep us in jobs we don't enjoy or in relationships that are no longer healthy for us. When we do so, our faith is only as alive as the security we derive from having enough money. but if we can look at this fear and see that is simply a sensation that can be accommodated and not reacted to, we increase our faith. We demystify the power we have given money and can make wiser choices. Then money ceases to such a defining force in our lives.
In any aspect of life, whenever we dare not step forward because of fear, whatever form it may take, we have reached the limits of our faith. What we must do then is exercise the power of awareness to remain present with our fears until nothing is moving inside of us. In this stillness, there is no longer such a strong sense of me--the me that can be threatened--and so the fear loses its power. As we become transparent, the energy in fear is freed up and just becomes more energy to feed and increase our power of awareness. In this way the power of awareness transforms fear to faith."
I went for a walk yesterday morning contemplating how religions spend a lot of time, effort, and money to get you to "believe." Believing is an intellectual process, so how is one supposed to have a direct experience of spirit if one is in the head believing a set of protocols on what spirit is? Spirit isn't an idea, it's a living, breathing, moving, conscious being of such immense proportions and intelligence that no words can ever explain its presence; one can only experience its presence.
The experience of it, being present with it, doesn't mean you have arrived at a destination. On the contrary, one has to remain aware and present in oneself to ensure one is not distracted into the dog chasing its own tail syndrome. I shared this realization about religions with a friend who told me I was truly authentic. But then there was this inner reaction I noticed and realized that the egoic mind grabbed that and puffed itself out, and I got caught in that momentarily. I sat with it for a few moments and became aware of the fact that I don't want to be validated for "being authentic." I want to experience being authentic with others who are being authentic.
I have my days like everyone else when I'm not authentic. In fact, it goes from hour to hour, minute to minute, second to second, always being aware of the inner game that plays itself out; Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde. The trick is not to identify with either of them at all. I was meditating late last night due to the mind going warp speed. At some point, it was like I moved backwards away from this chattering box called Sherman and realized it was not me; the experience was incredible. I know this, and have experienced this before, but this was way more obvious, like experiencing the pull of a black hole, only this is the cultural software pulling your awareness in to identify with it as if it is you; and it so not true. It's like getting stuck in the tar pit and trying to extricate yourself, or quick sand, where the more you struggle the more it sucks you in. The trick is not to resist at all. Resistance is futile and it is the only way out of that nonsense; until you get pulled into the past and future again. As spirit has told me countless times; keep letting go…repeat as often as necessary…
I have had numerous times, some momentary, where I have been connected with this inner presence called by many names, but I don't get a name from this Being that is greater than I. I just get this profound sense of acceptance, nurturance, love, and compassion that is completely non-judgmental of all the things that go on within my divine spark. And this presence has no judgments about anything that I have done, not done, contemplated doing or not doing, good or bad. There is nothing you could give me to give this up. Nothing you could say or do that would make me give up the unique being that I am that is nothing more than a mirror of this divine presence.
Each day that goes by, I settle more and more into a troubled sense of wonder, as more and more of this amazing presence gifts itself to my awareness. I look around me at the state of affairs in the world, to include my own and realize how empty most of it is. I find myself more and more seeking solitude and silence, finding myself wanting to connect more and more with this inner presence to find my way through this desolate desert of intellectual masturbation. Richard Moss spoke about stories, saying :
"We can wake up the moment we see our minds fashioning stories that lead us away from the immediacy of the present, and turn our non-reactive eye of attention toward who we are right now."
I suddenly realized that one of the spiritual poems that came to me in 1995, had mentioned stories in it, and I had never really understood what that meant. What Richard said was exactly what spirit was trying to tell me 15 years ago. When I got home from work, I looked up the poem and read it and it all made perfect sense. Here's the specific paragraph:
"The river cleanses the slime from my mouth.
Stories told and
untold wrap around me in the waters. Churning up a
reminds me of piranha and I panic. But, it's not me
they are after,
it's the stories. I think back to all those moments of
ideas, dreams, and it is puzzling to wonder where this
Could I know and not need to know. Would it matter? Am
I only one,
only a mirror. Here I go again..."
The complete poem - http://shermanbuck.com/poetry/prince_aaron_2.html
There were times in the past when I would read this particular section and become frightened, only it wasn't my authentic self that was frightened, it was the darkness that was striving to keep me unconscious of what the true meaning was that spirit had channeled through to me, seducing me into identifying with the fear and it worked.
I spent the next several hours contemplating on the stories I have bought into for decades. Whole libraries full of stories that in hindsight are completely worthless. I have realized much about cultural software and beliefs, but this story thing put a new twist on the whole dynamics of how we get distracted from our authentic selves. So, the layers continue to come off as I let go more and more. Each layer like a stair leading up this immense staircase, which reminds me of yet another one of the poems that was presented to me - http://shermanbuck.com/poetry/music_at_the_stairs.html
After reading the poem about the stories, I went back and read all of the others. I have often minimized my own gifts and writings, but in that moment I realized that they were all guide posts to understanding the divine in us all. These aren't just words to be read and intellectualized, but metaphors and paradoxes to free us from the imprisonment of the lower mind. So, with that said, what messages are being channeled within you that you are not listening to or misunderstanding?
What stories have you bought into within your own psyche and from external cultural sources. The only way to find out is to take the time to observe the mind and all that presents itself, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second.