Nowadays there is an increasing percentage of people who consider themselves spiritual but not religious. What does being spiritual mean in the 21st century? Aiming towards a non-materialistic dimension and an inner search for God, do we inevitably develop faith in someone, something or a particular way of doing things? Here The Freemind Experience author Tom Fortes Mayer reflects on his notion of faith, and the challenging journey to bring harmony in life.
The most happy, free or enlightened individual is one who can meet the present moment totally at peace with the moment as they find it. No resistance, no resentment, no desire for it to be different, no hope for more, no wish for less – a total meeting. Yet it is impossible to be 100% at peace with the present moment unless we are 100% at peace with who we are, because we are a part of that moment. We cannot be 100% at peace with who we are unless we are 100% at peace with every single thing that has ever happened to us.
Underneath all of the aggression, the resentment, fear, pain and frustration, the human heart and its capacity to love is one of the greatest natural wonders of the world.
Your freedom, your ultimate enlightenment, doesn’t need to be added to you. It doesn’t need to be created, crafted, learned or taught. It is pure, perfect and ever present, vibrating fully within every part of you. Your capacity to sense that, your ability to enjoy it, you opportunity to experience it, is determined solely by the amount of obstacles you have dissolved in your perspective.
At times of difficulty, rejection, fear, abandonment, loss, pain and grief people resist their experience. They build walls, grow defences, make up beliefs, limit possibilities, contract, protect, squash and disconnect from the true flow of life. Unpicking all of those no moments of resistance can enable you to come fully back to a YES to life and yourself. The very act of sifting through those layers of defence and resentment reveal great wells of peace and vast reservoirs or harmony.
When we can move beyond the denial of our suffering, and enter the heart of our resistance to life and let it wash away, we can begin again to move in harmony with life, we open up our hearts, we become free feeling, free expressing and capable to respond to the divine moment without needing to know what we are doing.
From there, we begin to get a great sense of trust that we are the right person, in the right place at the right time to do what is being called for. We experience a certain sense of ‘knowing’ that the great divine unfolding is happening exactly as it is supposed to and we are a perfect part of it, exactly as we are.
When we flow from that place freedom moves, great things happen, magic abounds and the interconnection of all things becomes obvious. What once appeared as magical synchronicities that could evoked great and jubilant celebrations become simple everyday miracles filled with an almost pedestrian energy of: of course. No fanfare, no frantically sharing of the magical stories, but more of a resting back in to the comfort of the knowing.
Many people mistake faith as being a personal blessing whereby, we as a separate individual will have some kind of golden protection and endless bliss. Life remains full of challenge, complexity and complication. Great talents go unrecognised and good people will still die young. The material realm is always contained within the parameters of growth and entropy and therefore will always be unsatisfactory, insubstantial and impermanent but when we are less focused on the small, limited and fearful personality and more identified with our large, unlimited and loving universality we are able to see the bigger picture. We are able to see the context of our existence beyond our form, beyond our name and certainly beyond our everyday wishes, hopes and dreams. We can still enjoy our great visions and our particular missions but they rest much more lightly within the system.
It is only with that transcendence that we can begin to access the kind of faith that creates real and lasting peace. In many of the ancient wisdom traditions there are stories about the wise sage being able to walk amongst wild animals and never be attacked. There are stories of spiritual characters sitting surrounded by snakes that choose not to attack them. This archetype or theme of graceful enlightened blessedness is common and holds a compelling appeal. However, that kind of faith is not built on the certainty that we won’t be attacked. It is not faith that keeps us safe from harm, it is having a completely different relationship to the concept of harm.
When we truly experience oneness we see no separation or difference in anything. All is one.
If we had that perspective and found ourselves blissfully floating through a jungle and came across a lion, we would be perfectly relaxed about being eaten. From a oneness perspective that person may, while being eaten, be pleased that they (as the lion) were having a good lunch. They would identify as much with the lion as they do with themselves. The lion and the lunch would be one and the same.
To change forms and have atoms in one part of the condensed oneness be disassembled in to human form and then reassembled in lion form wouldn’t make much difference to the enlightened being or the atoms either. I realise that being THAT relaxed whist being eaten would be a stretch to say the least but what follows is an interesting thing to consider.
If we could really be at that much peace about being possibly eaten then when a lion happened upon us it most likely wouldn’t see us as food. There would be no adrenalin. Faith therefore is the ultimate spiritual paradox.
When we no longer require anything, we receive all the blessings. When we no longer care about being eaten, we aren’t attacked. When we are ultimately at peace, in need of nothing, then everything is delivered. When we can trust deeply that everything is connected and everything that happens is meant to we begin to operate in ways that make it much more likely that things will go our way. The spiral can work in either direction. The system is perfect. Your perspective is your choice.
When we, from fear, need things and desperately push and shove in despair, nothing seems to work. We are unattractive, more likely to be mugged, less likely to be loved, more likely to be overlooked for promotion, less likely to get a partner, less likely to succeed, prosper, and travel widely. This vibration of fear only increases the tension in our system, skewing our perspective further.
From the perspective of fear, life is cruel and hard. From the perspective of faith, life is an opportunity to develop the capacity to enjoy deeper levels of non-attached peace and freedom.
It is true, therefore, that the meek may still inherit the Earth but only if they can just be at peace with NOT inheriting the Earth. If you are as open to being devoured as you are open to being nurtured, nothing has the power to ever harm you again. From there, what is there to resist? What is there to fight? We go from resisting our experience to celebrating it. We can begin to see the perfection in all things and when that happens we can begin to trust in our own perfection. The idea that we are somehow able to be great in spite of our past dissolves away and we realise that we can actually be uniquely amazing precisely because of our past. In the furnace of our greatest challenges our greatest gifts are forged. Faith therefore is the undeniable recognition of the perfect pattern of divine universal unfolding.
Tom Fortes Mayer
The Freemind Experience
£10.99, available from Watkins Publishing
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