"METAPHYSICS: A Branch of Philosophy That Deals With 'First Cause' and 'The Nature of Being'"



Faith; the supposition of the existence of an empathetic and benevolent interloper without physical actuality. As an extension of the hope that clarified incentive / reward scenarios, faith was ready to assume its rightful place, at least by implication, in the growth of the manifest ego. Our paths now afforded us the opportunity to look outside ourselves for answers to questions we had yet to ask. This is timely only with respect to the fact; ego has to shed layers it has taken care to construct over the ages to protect and individualize itself, in order to become vulnerable enough to recognize its place in the larger scheme of things. Needless to say, the personal threat represented by allowing the influence of anything to arbitrarily conduct affairs on our behalf, was something that we––as mere infant egos––were unlikely to enter into voluntarily, or even consider as an option. That being the case, it’s clear just how much of an obstacle we can be to ourselves, when we hold ourselves above all else. When we refuse to let go of that shell we’ve put ourselves in, or the walls we’ve so carefully built to protect us, we forget that the very safeguards we rely on to keep out every imaginable threat, are just as affective against letting opportunities for growth in. In spite of having faith to lean on, for all the “end of the rope” scripts this theater we call life provides, we stubbornly continue to push aside most of the demonstrated benefits associated with accepting any other means to a particular end than our own, whatever the cost. The unspoken logic was of course; our ego trip had gotten us this far, why change now? Putting our trust in something not of our own making or control was alien to the pride, ego identity had fostered as a result of its separation from the clan identity. Understandable in its common sense, and entirely appropriate, in the world of no wrong turns. Nevertheless, and without cognizance, the time was approaching that would forevermore be defined as the threshold beyond which; faith began its appropriation of the age old territory occupied so robustly by pride. As an obvious requisite to spiritual growth, and especially in order to reestablish our eventual “at-one-ment”, displacing the prideful with the faithful would advance, if only from the perspective of the “now”, at a pace generously described as immeasurably lethargic. Not unexpectedly, given the tenor of original instinct, the only progress made in faith would be by example. Chipping away at the walls of pride, one example at a time, set the stage for the “mother of all” sieges. The possibility that reward might be a result or benefit of inaction, could only be discerned as a demonstration of faith––and its consequential prac-tice––if we found reason to believe; choosing not to act––or not do anything––was wiser than doing what every fiber of our being was urging us to do. The likelihood of a people whose very survival was threatened on a daily basis to adopt such a belief system, spoke clearly of the travail that lay ahead on our paths. Even so, faith would make methodical headway––in spite of all the efforts by the finger pointers to impose their spin as the one of choice––finding its place as a key ingredient in the spiritual recipe, forevermore tempting our growing appetite for answers to the questions our imaginations were only beginning to spring on us.

Opportunities, or more specifically, the recognizing of them, are always quicker on the uptake when the need for their implementation is at hand. To paraphrase; “necessity has always been the mother of invention”. Growing comfortable with its independence though, ego would resist the influence––or suggestion of any––that implied its choice of action should be relinquished in favor of “letting nature take its course”. Not always taking the initiative, is not to encourage an absence of action, but merely to suggest being more open to the ideas of others, especially since the manifestation Divine Guidance assumes usually comes from the most unlikely and unexpected sources. If we insist on being the first or taking the lead, with regards to expressing or defining a course of action without the input of others who would be equally affected, we are very likely to miss an obvious clue or directive whose inclusion will make the challenge less of an effort, as well as more beneficial and rewarding for all concerned. The road to The Truth is traveled at a speed appropriate to the revelations received only after relinquishing control. Natures course is Divinely Guided, how and when we fit in, is up to us. Our path continues to reveal the availability of options, even after their consideration is usually to no avail. Divine Guidance is unrelenting in that respect, presenting the same challenge as many times as necessary to promote the proper, most beneficial response.

Being in control has roots that run far deeper than conscious decisions. It began innocently enough as a defense mechanism against very real, daily threats in order to benefit ourselves and those we chose to take responsibility for. This instinct wasn’t the product of our newly realized emotions or any diabolical scheme, because the control thing we now have so much trouble getting past, holds a reference to innocence––predat-ing the infancy of actually practicing control––pointing all the way back to a time when the predominant purpose in doing so was to increase the odds of our genes becoming dominant in the local population. Naturally, or so it seems, control has been the instinctive goal of every reproductive act since fertilization became a mode of cell division. Almost from the onset of time itself, plants, insects and animals have found and when possible, controlled those of like kind in order to satiate their instinct to procreate. Considering the depth of the roots of this instinct in time, it should be no surprise that our awareness of “self”, as represented by the independence of ego, did little or nothing in suppressing the urge whose season instead quickened at that time, from an annual renewal to an impulsive lunar cycle. If anything, being a free thinking entity gave us every reason for more control, and lack of compassion for those suppressed, by adding that layer of rationalization called pride to the list of excuses for our behavior.

So if faith needed examples for its advocacy, instinct and pride proved more than adequate adversaries in dissuading the ease with which any reward might be realized. Opportunities for applying and nourishing faith––and its attributed qualities; i.e., promising results without committing ones own talent or time or energy or, for that matter, without being physically present––had always manifested themselves for the benefit of our growth on every level. We had, for instance, long accepted the occasional fortuitous outcome of an event we had in fact been unsuccessfully struggling with. So much so that when instinct failed us, our pride would find a rationalization appropriate enough to take credit for what surely seemed the “serendipitous” results of Divine Guidance. With this redundant self defense mechanism in place, surrendering to the uncertainty of not being directly involved in producing the best of all possible solutions was rarely if ever a behavioral option, especially early on our path. We are so blinded by fear and suspicion we would choose to act in the least responsible way and face disaster, even when the most obvious of benevolent gesture is offered in our behalf, rather than accept the possibility that a more favorable affect might be rendered by doing less. At any rate and in spite of us and our clumsy egos, faith would find the means of getting the attention it required with examples we could not ignore, for in times of desperation we attribute value to things we would otherwise take no notice of, and in doing so make adjustments––if only infinit-esimal––to our belief system.

Though determined to maintain every semblance of control in our world , with or without Divine Intervention, imagination found a slit in the fabric of our ego’s wardrobe offering faith an inroad, putting itself on the map of our spiritual path. The ensuing reality check, which amounted to an invasive maneuver into the stronghold of our comfort zone, needed to illustrate in the clearest terms possible; we are not in control of all aspects of our life and despite frequently blazon efforts, there are particular events we will never be able to influence the outcome of. The most obvious, serious and feared, because against which there was no defense, were the natural occurrences relating to climatic and geologic phenomenon, that with little or no warning, produced disasters capable of decimating entire populations. Any who witnessed and survived catastrophic events, suffered the foreboding spectre of that experience weighing heavily on their psyche interminably. Enough so, the fear of a recurrence offered our imagination the opportunity of choosing the direction we could take away from such an experience. We could either grow outward toward faith or inward toward obsessiveness. At that time in history those choices weren’t as opposed to each other as they might seem by current vernacular. While knowing full well these things were beyond our control, which only served to heighten the associated anxiety, imagination would fabricate manipulations designed to encourage the enlistment of our fledgling faith––to beseech on our behalf––our being spared should a similar calamity befall us again, or to prevent it from happening altogether. From this desperation borne by fear, we began considering faith as an active influence in the natural world and instead of being the passive victim, we focused the practiced our beliefs on things we could affect, in hopes of making a difference if and when the time came. That said, we could only emulate behaviors we were already familiar with. We knew, for instance, what pleased us––or improved our mood enough to be more conciliatory toward others––so offering some reward to induce favorable consideration from malevolent forces, even if they didn’t fit into a previously known category, was the logical extension of a common desire when it came time to appease an uncommon, perhaps threatening authority.