No matter which spiritual path you walk you will, at some point, explore the Power of Authentic Faith.

I structure this article on the power of authentic faith as follows:

Part I

  • Who is this Authentic Practice of Faith for?
  • What is the Power of Authentic Faith?

Part II

  • Benefits of Authentic Faith
  • Signs of Authentic Faith
  • How to Practice Authentic Faith

Part III

  • Resources for the Practice
  • Related Practices

Who is This Authentic Faith Practice For?

the practice of authentic faith

Authentic Faith as Freedom
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This practice is for anyone who wants to move from being a believer ABOUT the Presence named God to living within that Presence.

In order to understand whether or not this practice of authentic faith is for you it helps to understand the distinction between:-

  • Belief and Non-Belief
  • Blind Faith and
  • Authentic Faith

This is the way in which I understand the above terms and this comes from direct personal and transpersonal experience.

Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing. We are in it. – Father Richard Rohr.

As Rumi would also say, “The river is in us.”

Stage 1 Faith – Period of Belief

stage 1 practice of authentic faith

Stage 1 Faith – Period of Belief
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Belief, as I reference it here, is not the same as faith. In my experience to confuse the two is a foundational error in learning to follow an authentic spiritual life.

Belief and non-belief are two sides of the same coin. Each, in their different but similar ways, adopts a set of concepts formulated in words.

You can, as so many people do, declare yourself a believer in God and never ever have had a direct transpersonal experience that this word ‘God’ points toward.

The non-believer is not so different. They make a choice from the same level of consciousness as the believer. Neither the believer nor non-believer KNOW the experience they profess a belief or non-belief in.

This idea makes many believers angry because it appears that I am invalidating their belief system. The belief system that is accepted or rejected is like the menu they give you at a restaurant.

The menu (belief system) points toward what is on offer. The believer metaphorically speaking eats the menu. The non-believer leaves the restaurant assured that he or she could never enjoy what is on offer.

The word ‘belief’ is a difficult thing for me. I don’t believe. I must have a reason for a certain hypothesis. Either I know a thing, and then I know it – I don’t need to believe it. – Carl Jung

I am not against belief or non-belief as an invitation to infinite potential (the menu). I would prefer that you move beyond the menu and find real nourishment from the experience of authentic faith.

This means you move into experiencing what the menu (the belief system) has on offer.

The Practice of Blind Faith

the practice of blind faith

Period of Outer Authority
Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Most faith on offer from different religious hierarchies is the offer of blind faith. This is because those teaching the words and concepts enshrined in their religious teachings understand them through the intellect.

Thus they become the blind leading the blind into the depth of ignorance. By the word ‘ignorance’ I mean they lead them into “not knowing.” They talk about what they know. What they know is the “menu.”

They have you study the menu. Then they insist that you believe in the menu.

In my experience menu readers feel threatened by anyone who ever asks what is on offer tastes like. In the more radical religious and political sects to ask such a question will probably get you disowned. I have found this to be the case in my life and in the lives of some friends.

This was the experience of my elder sister Mary who belonged to a Christian cult in Northern Ireland. She once was graced a transcendental opening while walking alone on a beach in Donegal while on retreat.

Her sect members and its leader assured her that she should not be alone because that would open her up to temptation by the devil.

The master Jesus says it this way:

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.—Matthew 23:13

Believers and non-believers have not entered into the Kingdom. They have not had a direct revelation of the Divine whereby they become KNOWERS and mystics.

Authentic Faith

the practice of authentic faith

Period of Unknowing

Photo by Moon on Unsplash

Faith is not a belief. You can start with the belief in the potential on offer but don’t call this faith.

Faith is the willingness to enter the UNKNOWN. Belief is where you think you KNOW but what you know is what you know ‘ABOUT.’ This “knowing about” does not come from revelation. It comes from information. This is information, but it is not transformational. It does not come from Source.

Faith is symbolized by the entry into the desert in the Biblical story of the Flight of the Jews from Egypt. This is a story that the believer takes literally rather than as a metaphysical teaching. We relate this teaching story to the journey of the soul out of Egypt (ego or personal consciousness) through the dessert (authentic faith) into the Promised Land (Union with the Divine)

This your story.

Authentic faith is where you enter within and enter into the unknown in order that you might be KNOWN THROUGH. When you experience being known through, you have your authentic faith validated.

Authentic faith needs no validation from clergy, Rabbi, Guru or other authority. This is the real authority, but it is not yours. It comes through you from Source.

You walk the Esoteric Way of inner revelation. You become a potential mystic. You leave the company of the blind leading the blind. This is often a very lonely time.

The mystic is the one who has had at least one encounter with the Divine. The mystical experience makes you a KNOWER. This sounds arrogant but true mystical experience makes you humble. It does however also make you certain.

It is hard to acknowledge that you KNOW that you are part off but never apart from something that is eternal and GOOD. This is a goodness beyond the duality of opposites. You as a mystic want this experience beyond belief to be KNOWN to everyone.

Hafiz says it this way:-

I wish that when you are lonely and in darkness that I could show you the astonishing Light of your own Being—Hafiz.

Hafiz is a KNOWER. He doesn’t invite you to believe in the Light. He wants you to experience the Light. He knows that you are lonely because of your belief in separation. As a believer, you are standing on the shifting sands of time.

The mystic has stood in the land of the Timeless.

In Ireland we refer to this metaphorical land as The Land of the Forever Young. It is the Land of Tír na nÓg. It is the land of the Beautiful People the Tuatha de Danaan. This is the Irish equivalent of The Promised Land.

Experience of Conversion

authentic faith as a converstion experience.

Period of Transition

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

As the above shows the entry into the Power of Authentic Faith is a real challenge. It is more about NOT-KNOWING than knowledge. This is the real conversion experience.

We normally understand conversion as being from a non-believer to a believer. Or it is a conversion from one religious belief system to another. Real conversion is where you, because of Divine revelation are graced to be a KNOWER. When this happens belief is no longer necessary.

Why believe when you know—Jiddu Krishnamurti.

When you teach from this place of KNOWING you shine a light in the individual’s darkness and collective sense of separation from God. You are not the blind leading the blind. You become one as the mystic poet Hafiz invites.

Why not become one who lives with a full moon in each eye speaking that sweet moon language that every other eye in the world is longing to hear?

At least you are a light (moon) shining in the dark speaking a language that the heart and soul can be nourished by. It isn’t theology. It isn’t intellectual. It comes from the wildness of deep understanding.

Give up logic for bewilderment—Rumi

You give up the overthinking personal mind for the wildness of being though through by the One Mind.

What is the Power of Authentic Faith

what is the power of authentic faith

Opening to the Power Authentic of Faith
Image by Alfons Schüler from Pixabay

The Power of Authentic Faith is the willingness to be open to the experience of NOT KNOWING while trusting in the possibility of being KNOWN and being KNOWN THROUGH.

Faith is like the open window.

Keep the window open and the singing bird will come—Chinese Proverb

Your spiritual practice  is, metaphorically speaking, the practice of keeping the window open. Many religious teachings I received in my youth where about the open window inviting in the presence of the Devil.

When the Singing Bird flies in through the open window you will KNOW it. You no longer believe about the Singing Bird. The window is the heart and mind open to everything and attached to nothing.

It is pure allowing.

Believers want to put the singing bird in a cage and shut the window so it becomes “Our faith.” Authentic faith is where you long for the song of the bird of Presence to sing through you.

Birdsong

Birdsong brings relief
to my longing
I’m just as ecstatic as they are,
but with nothing to say!
Please universal soul, practice
some song or something through me!

Rumi

PART II

Part II relates to the:

  • The Benefits of Authentic Faith and
  • The Signs of Authentic Faith.

Benefits of Authentic Faith

In the second part of this article on Authentic Faith I share with you the

  • Benefits of Authentic Faith and
  • Signs of Authentic Faith.

The benefits of authentic faith include:

  • Security
  • Authority
  • Belonging
  • Purpose
  • Empowerment

Let us explore these in more detail.

Authentic Faith and Security

authentic faith and security

KNOWING the Universe has Your Back

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Authentic faith will give you real security. This is a living paradox that has to be experienced.

In the beginning, you move from 1st stage faith, which is the attachment to a specific system of belief into 2nd stage faith whereby you enter the unknown. You leave Egypt to travel through the desert.

The search is on for direct communion with the Divine. What will happen through this journey will be the experience of death into life?

Mystics from all tradition invite this death into life experience.  Established hierarchical religions, for the most part, do not. The reason is that most who promote such teachings have not had the death into life experience.

Such an experience gives you the KNOWING of eternal life. It is no longer a belief. Out of this experience, you KNOW that the reality of invitation from the modern mystic Eckhart Tolle:

Die before you die so that you KNOW there is no death—The Power of NOW—Eckhart Tolle

This is the meaning of the Biblical statement:

And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. – Exodus 33:20

The revelation (seeing) of the Divine means that for one glorious moment the sense of the personal self dies.

You cannot describe what this feels like in words. There is no loss here. You have arrived in the Promised Land. You come home to the KNOWING of the truth. It sets you free.

What better security than to KNOW you are forever.

You are never born and you thus never die. You are the play of eternity in the realm of time. This is what it means to be one of the chosen people. We are all chosen, but we have to enter the desert of UNKNOWING to KNOW this.

Authentic Authority

authentic faith and authority

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With the practice of Authentic Faith your authority comes from the Still Small Voice within. Sometimes there is a voice. Mostly it is not a voice but a sense of Presence and enthusiasm.

It is the felt to the degree to which you feel in alignment with Y-E-S—your energy system. You will explore wisdom teaching but you will authenticate these for yourself. This authentication comes from within. These will not be something you parrot but explore in depth.

They read their Bibles day and night. Where they read black, I read white—William Blake—English Mystic.

Finding your connection to your inner authority (which is not really yours) by way of the Still Small Voice within takes:

  • Patience
  • Courage and
  • Commitment.

These are the three essentials needed needed to practice The Art of Love as shared the German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher Eric Fromm in his international best-selling book The Art of Loving

The Art of Loving

The renowned psychoanalyst and social philosopher Erich Fromm has helped millions of men and women achieve rich, productive lives by developing their hidden capacities for love. In this astonishingly frank and candid book, he explores the ways in which this extraordinary emotion can alter the whole course of your life.

Most of us are unable to develop our capacities for love on the only level that really counts–a love that is compounded of maturity, self-knowledge, and courage. Learning to love, like other arts, demands practice and concentration. Even more than any other art it demands genuine insight and understanding.

In this classic work, Fromm explores love in all its aspects–not only romantic love, steeped in false conceptions and lofty expectations, but also love of parents, children, brotherly love, erotic love, self-love, and the love of God.

https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Art-of-Loving-Erich-Fromm/9781855385054?

When you step into the desert of UNKNOWING, it often feels very lonely. It really is an adventure of trust You have to leave behind a lot of baggage.

A major item of baggage is that you feel unworthy of Divine grace. There is a paradox to be known here. However, you can only KNOW this paradox on the other side of the grace experience.

You are forever worthy enough but with the grace of revelation you fully recognize that you could never be worthy enough of such a great blessing.

Such a revelation will make you authentically humble.

Authentic Purpose

authentic faith and purpose

Photo by Danica Tanjutco on Unsplash

The modern mystic and spiritual teacher Guy Finley states the purpose of life as follows:

Your purpose is to serve Love’s Purpose – Guy Finley

I love this definition. This is your PRIMARY purpose. How you serve Love’s purpose is secondary. It is intimated in the talents you come into the world with.

This PRIMARY PURPOSE is clear once you receive the grace of revelation. Before then you will probably struggle with clarity of purpose.

Rather than live the dynamic of the wisdom teaching, “Thy will be done on earth,” you will have your tribe, your family, your culture dictate as to who you will do and become

The tragedy of not being able to follow the promptings of the soul.


.

Without soul alignment your purpose may take you up the perpetual ladder of success only to find that it has been leaning against the high wall of separation.

Authentic faith is where you have you personal will focused on the Will of the Divine. You commune with the sense of Presence within. This is you real authority and your true spiritual guidance system.

Authentic Empowerment

authentic empowerment

Authentic faith gives you a feeling of real confidence. Confidence means “with (con) faith in. This is not the pseudo confidence of outer authority founded on advice or instruction of others. This is confidence lived from the feeling connection of Presence.

The modern American mystic Joel Goldsmith shares this expanding confidence in his book The Infinite Way

One day something happens within. Consciousness expands and sees that which before was invisible. One feels a flow of warmth, a Presence never before known becomes tangible, very real.

This is often a fleeting experience. One may not be certain it occurred. It lingers in memory, but more as a dream, than an actuality, until it happens again, and this time more clearly, more definite, and perhaps lasting longer.

Gradually there dawns in consciousness the realization of a Presence always present. This Presence may be felt as if lurking in the background of one’s consciousness. At times it becomes a very commanding Presence dominating the scene or experience of the moment.

Signs of Gradual Awakening

Now however, separation is becoming less real, sickness is not so acute; financial stress or even lack gives way to sufficiency; concern for one’s self disappears as every need is met without taking thought or planning or worry or fear.

The people or powers which heretofore have been feared now fade from view and either disappear from one’s experience or else are seen for their powerlessness.

Desires become less acute. Fears evaporate. Assurance, confidence, alertness, keenness – these become evident not only to one’s self but to those who are met and dealt with in everyday life.

Established Awakening

The Inner Presence likewise has become an inner

Power. From an occasional experience it has become the constant awareness. Forces of pain and pleasure in the outer experience diminish, whereas one becomes conscious of inner powers which are real and produce and govern the outer life harmoniously and fruitfully.

There is no longer fear of the evils of the outer world, nor is there intense pleasure in the happier things of the outer world. It is possible to have the pleasures of the world and enjoy them, or not to have them and not miss them.

There is a constant joy within that needs no outer stimulus.

From The Infinite Way – Joel Goldsmith – American Mystic

Signs of Authentic Faith

Being posted 10th March 2020

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