Being a social scientist, I have been trained to find comfort in numbers, although I am equally dependent upon faith. In research, if we set a certain standard and can measure whether an idea or a result exists, then we have a construct for at least a theory. In fact, we just might have the basis for a belief.

Just last week, I gained further insight on this concept, when I took both my sons out to dinner at our favorite local sushi restaurant. At thirteen and eleven years of age, I was amazed at their worldview, probably as a result of some coursework they’ve been exposed to on the subject of world religions. Jason, a critical thinker at thirteen, told me that society feels the need to construct belief systems – and there is not necessarily any proof behind such beliefs. He argued that humans have a natural need to do this in order to explain what cannot be explained. Without proof, he said, why should he subscribe to anything he can’t see, especially God? I was further alarmed when Vaughn chimed in, putting in his two cents about why he’s just not sure there is a God, Goddess, or a higher power for that matter. I have never forced them to believe anything because beliefs are something we construct as a result of our own life experiences. Their life experience will be totally different than mine. Although I can offer a foundation and continually teach them how spirit infiltrates our every move, I can’t fill in the blanks for them. That they must do on their own.

Not to be rattled off my wise, mother-track, I realized the boys are just beginning to question the world at large. They also have a limited view because they have experienced minimal adversity, failure, loss and grief in life – some, but not enough to know how important it is to believe there is a reason for it. By the time we are 40, our adversity resumé is quite long – we’ve got a vast inventory under our belts in multiple categories. We need to believe and depend upon reasons we can’t fully explain – life seems to lead us that way in order to cope.

Seeing is not necessarily believing

As we continued to have a spontaneous discussion about belief systems, I realized that, at their tender ages, they have already been indoctrinated into the comfort level a Cartesian viewpoint provides – if we don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. How did this happen, I wondered? Do our children have so much difficulty in believing and having faith because somehow physical evidence must confirm the constructs of parental belief systems? Or do they simply feel unblemished by life’s circumstances and secure enough not to feel the need to rely on faith?

I spent the rest of my wakame salad and miso soup time explaining that just because we don’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there. We know love exists, even though we cannot see it. What would the world be like without love? Well then, they replied, then let’s conduct some focus groups and find out what percentage of people believe in love and see if it’s statistically significant. Finding love, or proving the existence of love, by taking a poll first? We’ve done a very good job, I silently thought, of indoctrinating our kids into a world replete with an over-estimated value of proof.

A Good Mantra: Less Science, More Faith

Overall, I think we need a little less science and a lot more faith, especially when it comes to the subject of life’s adversity. Granted, faith sometimes does not give us the level of certainty we want to accept bad circumstances. It’d be awfully nice if we’d get a progress report at the day’s end that explained just what the heck was going on. Some days we get an unusually large dose of the nasties. But the last I checked, nobody was getting any statistical feedback in terms our soul journey g.p.a. Our scores, in terms of our progress, are greatly determined by our own self-evaluations. The ‘knowing why’ of life’s circumstances can’t necessarily be part of the formula because if we knew everything, the reason for everything, there would be no point in the dance. We all agree - there doesn’t seem to be any consolation in not knowing. And as a researcher, it does go against my nature to come up empty handed in the knowing category - not knowing, after a really good analysis, just doesn’t seem acceptable. Seems like we missed something along the way or left our part of the equation. Is it a lack of insight?

Perhaps we don’t always cast our net wide enough about our spiritual development. I think we evolve into faith because we can’t make meaning without it after enough living has gone by. Proof soothes mainly because most of us are limited to our five senses – which serve as our conceptual parameters. Although some are gifted to extend past those limitations in distant realms, or have had extraordinary psychic experiences that defy current logic, the rest of us need pure faith to keep us on track. Never diminish the value of faith. You’ll find less energy spent on asking ‘why’ and surrender to the ‘not knowing’ more readily.

Keep The Faith

Until we are ready to accept that many conditions are brought upon by our own doing, and know the quality of our lives depends upon our mental equivalent, we cannot begin to put faith to work to produce a more balanced life. Accepting the truth about ourselves, in that we are One Mind, and all one universal Spirit, is the first step to knowing how and why certain limitations exist in our lives. Instead of spending energy on proving the existence of God, why not focus on accepting that which you are – which is an individualized spark of Divine Power? With this assumption, you can skip past agonizing about “why?” and begin the process of projecting more of what you want into your daily experience something better than yesterday.

Ernest Holmes, in The Science of Mind says in order to have faith we must first have a conviction that all is well. In order to keep faith, we must allow nothing to enter our thought process which will weaken this conviction. Faith is built up from belief, acceptance, and trust. So, if we allow anything into our thought process which destroys these convictions, faith is weakened.

Many of us have found that our mind must be steady in its conviction that life is some part of God, and that Spirit is within us. It’s our gift – and if we desire to vitalize faith within our teenagers, families, communities, and world, we must focus on knowing, without a shred of doubt, that Spirit exists within us. It is our job to guide it, deploy it confidently without judgment, and simply know that our perfection is the foundation of all demonstration, conditions, and healings. And this knowing is our “proof” of God everywhere.

See The Divine in Everything

During the times you feel most challenged by everyday strife and unsavory circumstances, look around! Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. When I wish to manifest a new condition in my own life, I simply stop to pay attention. I look for simple, daily miracles – everything from finding a parking space to the way spring sounds outside or the way the grass grows without asking. I pull it in me, around me and through me, inhaling my appreciation for what keeps the universe in constant rotation. Be in unity with life at every level – which includes feeling success, health, and joy each day and do so without doubt.

Having unshakable faith in the Divine is about knowing truth of who we are. It’s a participative partnership based upon trust. It’s always accessible. Faith in God (and in yourself) is consciously generated. Let it be your own definition. Remember, no matter the wisdom tradition, when we embrace God and accept Spirit on our own terms that’s when we begin to invite less pain, less unhappiness, less poverty, misery in our lives and embracing more good. Get God, goodness, and faith back into your day… and get started!

© The Goddess Network, Inc. and Charlene M. Proctor, Ph.D. 2007. All Rights Reserved. See http://www.thegoddessnetwork.com/connect.php?page=eshow for more empowering thoughts! Register for The E-Show, a series of enlightening lectures!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Charlene M. Proctor is the founder of The Goddess Network, Inc. an on-line educational resource for topics on spirituality, relationships, and women's studies. Author of Let Your Goddess Grow! she is a researcher and educator in the field of women's empowerment and develops self-empowerment strategies for women in all walks of life. She is a subject matter expert for Beliefnet.com, the world's largest self-help and personal growth website. Her affirmations from The Women's Book of Empowerment reach 2.7 million web visitors daily. She currently facilitates the PATH to Empowerment program for Lighthouse Path in Michigan, a residential women's shelter for homeless mothers, teaching them how to cope with life and increase self-esteem and confidence. To learn more, visit http://www.thegoddessnetwork.net

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