What Am I?
Our special theme says, “Ours are the eyes through which Christ’s vision sees a world redeemed from every thought of sin. Ours are the ears that hear the Voice for God proclaim the world as sinless. Ours the minds that join together as we bless the world.”
What jumps out at me from this excerpt is, “Ours are the eyes … Ours are the ears … Ours the minds…” In other words, we are the ones that have the direct experience of awakening.
Direct experience is different from belief, and belief is different from faith.
As we have already seen, faith is important on the spiritual path. We cannot know the direct experience of what lies ahead of us. The fact that it “lies ahead” means it is not our experience yet.
When we have faith in the direct experience of masters, we are motivated to continue this journey so we can find out for ourselves. Faith is a motivating factor.
However, belief has an opposite effect. Belief is intellectual. When we believe something is true, we do not have a driving motivation to find out. We think we know.
It is fair to say that faith has a healthy amount of doubt in it. It isn’t the kind of doubt that holds us back. It is the kind of doubt that isn’t satisfied until one knows for herself, from her own experience.
Belief doesn’t doubt in that way, nor has it gone far enough to know for itself. Belief is a type of delusion, where one pretends to know what he doesn’t know.
Direct experience is the only means of knowing. It is firsthand experience. For example, the only way to know what a pineapple tastes like is to bite into one. You can never know the taste of a pineapple by reading about it or by listening to others describe it. At best, you can only imagine it.
As another example, most humans who live on earth believe in death. However, no living human knows death as a direct experience. No living human has tasted death directly. Death is perceived indirectly when we see a body. The living sees a body and thinks “death.” Death is an intellectual belief. It is not a direct experience.
Death is an example of a belief.
Awareness is an example of direct experience.
Faith trusts the teachings of masters enough to want to find out, but it seeks the proof of direct experience and will not settle for belief.
It is important for a spiritual aspirant to have enough faith in the teachings to seek direct experience. However, like a scientist, the genuine spiritual aspirant has no use for belief. Belief is seen as the cause of delusion.
Sickness is but another name for sin. Healing is but another name for God. The miracle is thus a call to Him.
Please read today’s workbook lesson in full. Notice a phrase, sentence or excerpt that you feel particularly attracted to and go into it more deeply through writing.