Believing is Seeing, Part Four

Written by Master Charles Cannon, Will Wilkinson

Group of Introspective People

“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”
- Voltaire

Imagine life without the magic of faith. Not faith in a religious sense but confidence in life itself. How desperate we would become… much the way we have become in a world withering through lack of true faith.

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The ability to believe without proof that we should believe, knowing that it’s safe to believe, and that what we believe in this way will be right and true and won’t bite us… this ability isn’t something we’re taught in school! School teaches us otherwise, to have faith in absolutes, absolutes — it turns out — that are actually mysterious. Remember the atom, that final building block of the material world? It’s mostly space!

Einstein advised that we must “learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” The kind of questioning he champions is fundamentally different from the cynical demands for proof before faith. This noble skepticism dwells in faith, within an evolving universe — not out there somewhere … but right here in this personal universe of the moment.

Group of Distracted People Staring at Mobile Phone Screens

Attention is fickle. It’s easy, plus, it’s a learned habit, to be fragmented, to labor on our multi-tasking treadmills, senses dulled to the emerging reality we’re soaking in. When we stop questioning we stop learning and we settle for life in the shadows, where complaining about what we’ve lost becomes a lifestyle. Meanwhile, as it was in Plato’s famous cave, the sun is shining outside our self-created prison.

“And now, like a dammed spring that has been released to flow freely, faith flows and the desert of a lonely, Godless existence is rapidly nurtured back to health.”

Believing is seeing. I can choose to believe that this moment, with all that it holds, is somehow uniquely perfect and I can embrace it. I will feel the good, the bad, and the ugly. All of them “prove” I’m alive. I can also question what I’ve believed before this very moment, exercising my mental resiliency by opening to the novelty of creation, a happening of the present moment rather than a story in a book. Doing this thing, I ease into the experience of divinity that has eluded me for eons. Here it was, this pearl of great price, this enlightenment, here where it has been all along, within me! And now, like a dammed spring that has been released to flow freely, faith flows and the desert of a lonely, Godless existence is rapidly nurtured back to health.

Spiritual epiphanies mark the biographies of famous sages and good for them. But let’s not leave it to them. And let’s never deny ourselves the blessing of a good cup of coffee or the trembling little joy we feel when a bird chirps in our direction and we imagine that she sees us without fear. In this wide human world of surprises that we have struggled to control and stuff into boxes of the ordinary, freedom and fulfillment is always just a choice away. That peak experience we imagine could free us from the treadmill may never come. But now is here, isn’t it? And, with it, another choice. And another, and another.

Happy Group of People

Eternity is not a long time; eternity is beyond time. The timeless moment is where we live; the rest is illusion. Centered here, now, we sense the magic… if we don’t we’re not here! The magic lives here, beyond belief, beyond hope and striving. Life itself is it, not the accessories!

“The magic lives here, beyond belief, beyond hope and striving. Life itself is it, not the accessories!”

French poet Guillaume Apollinaire wrote a compelling invitation to this experience of faith before belief:

“Come to the edge,” he said.

“We can't, we're afraid!” they responded.

“Come to the edge,” he said.

“We can’t, We will fall!” they responded.

“Come to the edge,” he said.

And so they came. And he pushed them. And they flew.”

If there is value in writing such as this, it is to push us over the edge so we can fly. Yes, we feel the fear of that moment of choosing, of risking. But, as Shannon L. Alder wrote, “Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck. Faith is the solvent that sets you free.”

This completes a four part series on Believing is Seeing, offered to help push you over your own personal edge. That sounds dramatic and it is. But it’s also simple because this is not some heroic feat reserved for special occasions, it’s the opportunity of the moment. That’s the real value of our questioning, to evoke a new understanding right here to this moment, and to fly right now!

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1. Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Gay Science, Section 125, tr. Walter Kaufmann

2. John Milton, from Paradise Lost, lines 258 - 263

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About the Author

Master Charles Cannon

Master Charles Cannon

Master Charles Cannon is a modern spiritual teacher, founder of Synchronicity Foundation for Modern Spirituality, and developer of the High-Tech Meditation and Holistic Lifestyle experience. His work over the past 40 years has helped transform the lives of millions worldwide who respect him as one of the truly innovative spiritual teachers of our time.

Will Wilkinson

Will Wilkinson

Will Wilkinson has been a professional collaborative writer for decades. He has two of his own non-fiction books In print, a novel on the verge and two more non-fiction books in final edit stages. Meanwhile, he collaborates with contemporary wisdom keepers, helping them discover and refine their voice.