Faith — From My Heart
Three or four years ago, I worked with a man who committed his life to spiritual service. As we began the session, I asked him about his experience of the Divine.
He told me a story of growing up without any deep sense of the spiritual. One day as an adult he went for a hike in the woods. At one point during the hike he was overcome by the presence of the Divine – a feeling that permeated his entire being and the forest around him. He responded to this experience by committing his life to spiritual service.
I asked him if he had ever had that, or a similar experience since, and he answered “no.” He had sustained his decades of service since exclusively on faith. As we sat together, I found myself in awe of his faith. One experience of God, and he turned everything around and dedicated his entire life to service.
This past weekend I found myself thinking about this man again. One direct experience of God. One. An entire life rearranged, re-purposed, and remade.
On many occasions I’ve said that I help people move from faith to direct experience. I think that’s true – but here’s my question: If that’s true, why is my faith still not as great as this man?
If we distill the key themes of surrender down to their simple essence we could say it comes down to letting go of control, and faith.
Faith grows with surrender. And it seems, it is required (or at least very helpful) to fully surrender.
Faith grows with direct experience for many – and that’s certainly true for me. With proof, I have greater faith. I have surrendered completely (and continue to practice letting go each day) and have had thousands of direct experiences of the Divine.
And yet … my faith, as powerful as it may be, isn’t complete. Who don’t I trust? Is it me? Is it you? Is it the Divine?
If you asked me if I ever doubt going into a session, if the Divine is fully present in the other, and in me – I would tell you: “no I never doubt” – and that’s the truth.
Where then don’t I trust?
I can trust as the witness – that’s easy. Or at least I can say trust (faith) is easier as the witness, than as the recipient.
But aren’t we all recipients when we witness? To see another as the Divine sees them … isn’t that to receive as well as observe?
What changes when I’m the recipient – or you’re the recipient? Is the only change attachment?
Is the greatest challenge with surrender, as with faith, attachment?
What is the most essential thing we’re attached to? Is it making our dreams into reality? Or is it love?
If love, is it the love of another? Or is it love of self (love of God)?
What would it mean to let go of all our attachments to what we think love is? What if we let go of our attachment that we have any clue how to experience self-love?
What if we had so much faith, that we could do that not just one time, but over and over again until we were fully present to whatever was showing up right now?
What if we could hear and feel the presence of the Divine just once, and change our lives completely as a result?
At the beginning of the session this man and I were talking. I was asking him questions about something after he shared of his experience of God. He was struggling to find the words to answer the question and I said “let’s not focus on words, for they are borne of the illusion of separation” and he said “that’s right isn’t it?”
We were in silence and deep resonance for a great long while.
And when our time together had come to an end, he said to me: “You know, I’ve been doing some woodworking lately. After I finish what I’m making I start sanding it. I sand it over and over again until it’s so smooth it’s polished. Right now I feel polished.”
May your faith bring you back to your truth and the Divine within, and may you feel polished each step of the way.
Whatever your faith, the Divine is within without reservation, ready to be experienced by you, witnessed by another – ready to express fully through you and as you.
And no matter how polished you may feel, underneath all the noise, you are so perfectly polished, the most perfect mirror doesn’t begin to touch your brilliance and your clarity.
May the experience of your true polished self erupt into your life with each breath and each step step that you take.
That’s it for this week … From My Heart.
Ken W. Stone
The Soul Archaeologist
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