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Faith is a Human Issue Because We Need It!
Having Faith in your own Spiritual Progress
"MIssing the Mark" Instructs Us
"Grace Keeps Us in the Game"
Your Sense of Disappointment Can Actually Increase as You Grow
Invigorate Your Life with a Sense of Progress
You are not just a Dignified Ape
Have Faith that you are Supposed to Have Faith
The Sin that Teaches. The Grace that Electrifies.
What is Sin? Technically from the Greek, it means "missing the mark". But that supposes and presupposes many things. And these things are particularly instructive. Are you in the job of tending to your conduct and being conscious of your state of mind and the outlook of an Aspirant. Many people are "sinning" in great multitudinous barbarian selfishness. They are "sinning" because they are steeped in hedonism, appallingly self indulgent, violent or rapacious!
"Missing the Mark"
Aha, but they are not "sinning" in the theological sense. They are not trying NOT to sin. And therefore they are not being classified as "sinning". They are simply cut off from communion with the Divine Process. Their soul is darkened by being cut off, but the question of whether they are sinning is comparable to an orphaned child lost in the woods and coming upon a loving family. When they take that first bath, are they dirty? Oy Vey. Yes, they are dirty, but does it matter? They have to find a family and live a new life. Perhaps the phrase "coming short of the Glory of God" has more to do with the real point. When you are consciously trying to live a beautiful and grace filled life, and then you slip and fall and pick yourself up, you may have sinned, but you are not cut off, or darkened by your conduct.
Increasing Your State of Elevation
Often, the act of sinning increases your awareness, your enlightenment, the lightness of your being. You become more deeply engaged in the reviving elements of the Divine Process. Sinning in this sense drives pain and agony into you and through you. It means so much to you not to sin, that the corresponding angst has to be worked off. In a sense, the more you grow, the worse off you are. You feel the failure when your standards get higher and higher.
Awash in Grace
And this is why GRACE is so important. Remember this: You are not awash in a Sea of Judgment afloat in a Boat of Mercy. Quite the contrary: You are awash in a Sea of Mercy afloat in a Boat of Judgment. This is why the Seeker and the Aspirant must be completely aware of the Action of Sin. It has specific influence upon you in your little boat, in which judgment can fall so quickly. But because of Grace, you do not despair. You are overjoyed because you know the Ocean of Love and Sea of Judgment floats our little Judgment Filled Craft. A religious man should never act superior. Religious Self Righteousness is experienced when people lose the appreciation of the State of Grace and Sinlessness. The human brain plays games. It says: "I am so great. I am in a Boat of Mercy. I wash myself in it daily. The rest of the ugly world is awash in an ocean of Judgment which does not apply to me". They never sin in their own minds. Because of this strange state of negative transmogrification.
Jesus' Daily Dealings
Jesus dealt with people who had a sense of loss and alienation. The Self Righteous would not listen to him. They were in their little Self Righteious boats, impervious to a sense of natural alienation. The Sense of Sin is good to have. The appreciation of Forgiveness should live with you daily. The Deep Feeling of Grace should shine all about us. The Sense of Self, full blown in your little boat is the the State of Sin, unfelt, unreallized. Almost the worst state a person can fall in.
Much Like a Sickness
For those who might view this nonreligiously, "Missing the Mark" for your Spirit is like damaging your body because of abuse or neglect. You get a bug. You suffer. You ask yourself, can I be cleansed of this? The answer in biology is much like with the spirit. We can not undo our deeds, but we can get smarter. We can try to make new progress. Reach a higher level. The Grace of the Body is that there are antibodies. The forgiveness in the body is that those anti-bodies can attack the bug (virus or bacteria or immune disorder). You can be healed physically because the white cells of your system are deeply committed to keeping you free of sickness. Are you "Are you forgiven" of acquiring this bug? When you are well, yes. Also you now have a store of antibodies that lay in waiting for the body's next defense against this enemy. Will you be grateful? Will you learn to take better care of your body? Yes. You probably will. This state of Grace that you develop will most likely help you prevent this bug again. If it attacks you again, you will most likely be better armed, able to change key behaviors, apply medicinal help and bring yourself back to health even quicker. This is Grace as a metaphor. It is literally all around us.
We Must Have Faith that The Core of Us is Nonphysical
People who believe that we are simply animals that are somehow more clever, that we are dignified apes, that we do not really have a soul --- suffer with an inner emptiness that leaves them feeling existentially alone and desperate.
We must have Faith about our Internal Nature. We actually have tons of faith: Faith that the Sun will rise tomorrow. Faith that when we go to work they will have a job for us. Faith that our loved ones will keep on loving us. Faith that our bodies can heal themselves from a multitude of daily assaults. Faith that the weather will remain what the weather is. We have faith in the continuity of physical life. Do we have faith about our insides? This is a question we should pursue with all of our hearts. Just the act of asking ourselves about our own faith will do wonders for our heart and yes, what we might want to call a soul.
Think of it this way: You can talk yourself into believing you have a soul, and if you don't it will still make your life better. But if you do, it will definitely enhance the meaning of your life!