So, since I started writing an exposition on faith and how it has somehow made itself a driving force in my life, I thought to list the things that I believed, things that seem to be ingrained within me so deeply that even though they, for the most part, were introduced through a logical deduction of experience and thought, now seem to be a matter of faith.
1. 1. An Ultimate reality, with a nature that is benevolent, infinite, and in many ways, indescribable.
This is the one that comes from some innate belief that has been shaken only by the problem of what appeared to be unjust suffering. This is the big one, which alienated me from many teachings of the church and interpretations of what Jesus had to say. This is what got me angry with God. If you’re supposed to be so loving, then why are there children starving, born into this world without a chance to survive while others grow fat with their abundance? The answer to this is reincarnation, which I’ll get to in a moment.
I’m not sure where this belief came from, to be honest. Perhaps my mom instilled some idea of love that was beyond anything I could ever hope to experience fully in me from birth or something. Or maybe it came from an experience I had when I was about four. For a kid, I was pretty hip on the God thing. It was definitely brain food, as one night I was trying to imagine how huge God would have to be for everything that existed to be within him. I’m not sure why I thought God would have to be bigger than everything that exists, but I did. I started out small. The Earth, the entire Earth, upon which I was a speck of unnoticeable sand, then the solar system—and then the galaxy, in which the gigantic Sun was a speck, and how many countless galaxies existed? God would have to be huger than all of those things.
Then I felt myself sliding a little in a direction I’ve only felt once again. I sensed a massive thing like a giant ball of tinfoil, collapsing forever inward on itself while also expanding forever outward, remaining basically the same, but constantly moving. Scared by the feeling, I jolted out of the experience, and immediately wished to have it again. I asked my mom about how God was like the tinfoil ball thing, but alas, she had no answers for me, and in fact seemed a bit confused and uncomfortable (why do people become so uncomfortable with questions about God?).
The infinite comes from the second experience of sliding, a feeling of a sort of in-between space itself. I moved out of time, and experienced it as three-dimensional. Yeah, I know time is usually described as the fourth dimension, but if you are outside of it, you experience it in an entirely different way, as a direction you can move in, which is a simple way to understand what a dimension is. In time-space, where time is experienced as 3D, you can move forward, but you can also move backwards, as well as left, right, up and down. In normal space-time, we experience time as being a straight line through which we move forward through observing new experiences, but in 3D time, the left, right, up and down are alternate times, representing different experiences one could be having at that particular time. The thing is that they all exist, and that consciousness moves through them.
Imagine having a jar of beads and reaching in to select one and put it on a string. All the beads exist, but you select which one comes next until your necklace or bracelet is full. You don’t have to use all the beads, and you can make other necklaces and such, but they all exist at the same time. Additionally, there is only one consciousness threading these beads. Seeing that jar of beads, the vast sea of infinite alternatives all in one place jolted the recognition that outside of my usual experience of time, there was no separation of consciousness. Each bead contained a perspective to experience, and that included personality, ego, distinctions that created the experience of being an isolated individual.
I went through this time-space, slowing the passages of these beads of experience until I was suddenly outside of them all, watching these interlaced toruses flow over and through one another, recognizing the simultaneous unending collapse and expansion as my experience twenty years prior. A moment of glorious now, unending, infinite, and the realization as I returned to the experience of time: There was nothing to be afraid of, ever. I was all of it. I was the only thing that existed, in multitudinous forms. Just consciousness, pure and unending, an observer shaping itself in unique ways to experience the fullness of its own existence.
This was what mystics throughout our space and time have recognized and found peace from, and I had a bare glimpse of a reality that contained my usual limited perspective. Although I had understood these things intellectually, experiencing—realizing them—changed me. And this is the difference between believing and knowing and from this knowing comes what I would define as faith for myself. Experiences build belief in an instant what words cannot ever accomplish on their own.