Faith: A Measure of Courage
Author: Phoenix Forestsong
Trials of faith are perhaps one of the most difficult and seemingly impossible to beat, truths of life. Do you believe because you want to? Do you believe because you need to? Do you believe because you’re afraid not to? Do you believe firmly, and with utter conviction from the fiery furnace that is your soul, simply because you do?
Being the over-analytical and opportunistically studious Witch that I am, combined with the convenient timing of a test of faith (I’m an optimist) , I began to wonder exactly what Faith was. Exciting stuff I know, in fact, it is so exciting that from the earliest days of mankind, we nearly instinctually segregated ourselves based on the unquantifiable attribute of Faith. Man has been gleefully and gloriously engaging his fellow men to kill, rape, hunt, sacrifice, maim, torture, enslave, debase, dehumanize, corrupt, ostracize, ignore, discriminate, and in every other way demean anyone whose beliefs differ in any way.
Faith. It led an entire nation of people who valued their beliefs above all else, their core ideals all based on the same essential beliefs, into the very example of Devotion. From the very earliest of times it was faith that led these people from a nomadic and pastoral way of life, into a Mecca of civilization and legend. From freedom to power to bondage, into one hell of a bad road trip and back into a great nation again, it was Faith, Devotion to their God that has held them together throughout time.
This group of people, their common beliefs uniting them, marched straight into battle for the very land of their new nation. Not only have these brave and noble souls won and lost their land, their nation, their very lives have been hunted in genocide. Even during those times, when the sky looked the darkest, when it looked like the curtains were just about to close and nothing mattered anymore; it was Faith that made the difference. Faith, with its immeasurable and intangible set of life altering philosophies and values, brought them back from the terrifying depths of extinction into the glory of nationhood once again…and again…and again…
Faith – A Test of Time
It is said that Time is the ultimate destroyer, that nothing and no one can ever defeat the ravaging and eroding effects of Time. I beg to differ. Read the following excerpt from an AP article that I found on space.com.
“Current estimates for the construction of the pyramids, based on surviving lists of the pharaohs, are believed to be accurate to within about 100 years.
But Cambridge University Egyptologist Kate Spence said that by analyzing the relative position of Earth and two stars, she has dated the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza — one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — to within five years of 2478 B.C.
That means the Great Pyramid is 4, 478 years old — or 75 years older than one commonly accepted estimate.”
-Stars tell the age of the pyramids, researcher says:
Alex Dominguez – Associated Press Writer posted: 11:18 am ET 17 November 2000
Scientifically, I get it. If you read the full article it states that the Pyramids were built with their north and south sides facing precisely north and south. By mapping the orbits of stars and calculating it backwards, two stars in the little and big dipper were always facing north and south. Thus, if you date it backwards and find where, thus when, those stars would have been aligned with North and South, you find the year! Ingenious!
It’s all Math! The universe, life, all of it and everything can, at some level, be quantified in an equation or counted in an audit. Everything except the spiritual…or can it be? I’ll leave the answer to that question to paranormal scientists, who I do believe are doing some good scientific work in expanding the science of the paranormal, to measure and prove. Until then, I’ll use my senses to detect Spirit, to feel faith, and to live in Devotion.
Faith – The Mouth of the Cave
Upon having our eyes opened with, oh…I don’t know, mankind’s rapid advancement in technology for example. There was once a time where men and women would willingly wait inside a forest for lightening to strike a tree in order to borrow fire. Mankind at this very moment now has the amazing ability to incinerate selected nations, or the entire world with the push of a button. How stupid are we?
Primitive humans understood at a feral level the patterns of the natural world. In fact, these primitive people thrived by living in harmony with their world. If I were a primitive human, I would like to think that I would have enough common sense to stay away from things that obviously attract lightening!
“Enlightened Man” has left the comfortable embrace of the Mother and ventured out into the wilderness to visit her gorgeous daughter. Man has traveled into space, landed on the Moon, split the Atom, and discovered infinite possibilities and solutions to problems and ideas not yet encountered. Humanity, in only the past hundred years, has learned to fly without wings. He has decoded the message of DNA and broadcast a message of peace to anyone who is listening in the rest of Universe via intelligent machines that he built.
Our “Golden Age of Humanity” who has created new worlds via Computers and the Internet, who will shortly fill that world with a new form of life, has discovered many secrets and realized many dreams. Yet still, as we discover incredible Life-Giving techniques and technologies, we for some reason still stand in the forest amidst one hell of a lightening storm.
Personally I don’t seem to recall, but at what point did we decide that actually building many something’s that could potentially have the ability to blow up the planet was a good idea? Yet one wave of humanity passes over the horizon and realizes “Gee, that probably wasn’t such a great idea huh?” another wave is right behind assembling their weapons as they run to catch up. As a species, we haven’t really advanced all that much have we?
Humankind has traversed uncounted miles and topped many horizons, each time discovering and dreaming just a little bit further and further ahead. In the days when life consisted of finding the nearest cave for shelter and the weakest deer for food, minds did not stray from survival. Thinkers were born who were a little brighter than the rest of the herd. Eventually new ways, safer ways, better ways were discovered, dreamt up, imagined and manifested into reality, and were learned by the whole of society. Thus, mankind has advance one step at a time from the cave and onto the shores of other worlds.
Yet still, even with the realization that the bounds of knowledge and discovery are limitless, mankind refuses to believe in what he cannot measure. The allegory of the cave is an example of this, for once you have left the cave, wouldn’t you want to see what else exists? For time and time again has history displayed the arrogance and folly of those who refuse to dream. I can quantify a tomato because I can see it, touch it, taste it, smell it, and perform numerous measurements on it. It is real because I can see it. Photons are light particles, a strange hybrid mixture of substance and energy that moves like a wave and a particle. The great inventor, Leonardo da Vinci, dreamt of some of our modern technology. Would the Photon, immeasurable in his day, be thought of as fantasy and magick? When I raise power, when my mother prays for one of her clergy, when I experience the divine, is that too not real?
Jules Verne, the great author, wrote works of fantasy and fiction. In his day his books were the stuff of dreams, a demented mind with too much time on his hands. It’s funny the way it is, how just a short time ago the works of fantasy are the stuff of our history. There are very few people who still live today who were never born into a world without flight. It’s commonplace. Hell, we have frequent flier miles!
If you were to go back in time and speak to the greatest minds of their day, a lot like two surfers’ excellent adventure, and tell them of our world and our dreams, how would that go over? Explain the mathematics involved behind thermonuclear fission to Socrates and then explain the very same thing to Thomas Jefferson. Which one will have the greater understanding? The more we advance, the further we see, and greater our dreams, which urge us onward over the next horizon…and the next….and the next… Why then, does our scientific community, people who were executed for their beliefs in provable science, and thus the “official world” still refuse to at least consider that which has not yet been quantified?
Our most brilliant minds have been able to prove, to the world of science, the existence of Black Holes. Black holes have no mass, thus no “weight”, their gravitational pull is so great that they eat stars and not even the light escapes. The only problem is this; no one has actually seen a black hole with his or her own two eyes. We have detected them based upon mathematics and theory, yet they are not really a physical object, rather a paradox of logic of and existence. Yet it is a scientifically proven and accepted fact that, yes indeed, black holes do exist.
I stand in a circle of power and I can feel my own energy. Seven nodes of light are mine, my chakras. I balance these energy centers and grow roots to ground. I feel the power, center my energy, and begin to raise power, attuning into the mighty torrent of Divine energy, spiritual energy. I focus my will into this power, this mighty and ever increasingly growing ball of energy, programming it with my intent. The time is right and my focus changes, I now direct this energy onto situation I am trying to better. I feel exhausted and must rest, but the wisdom gained from the brief communion with My Gods and the knowledge that the situation will be changed make a joy rather than a burden. I rest and I wait. Within weeks the situation begins to change, shaping itself to outcome, if not the imagined manifestation, of my will.
Everyone has this ability. Faith or faithless, it does not matter, for energy is energy, and energy is that which can be neither created nor destroyed. It is our Faith in our spiritual connection, whether it be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan, Pagan, or even in the all-mighty spirit of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers; it doesn’t matter. What matters is that everyone can experience it, we can’t see it but we can feel it and its effects. X-Rays were accidentally discovered in 1895, but in 1894, or 4 for that matter, If a person were to be exposed to high doses of X-Ray radiation, that person would be just as dead whether X-Rays were “real” or not.
We Are Spirits In A Material World and Other Law Enforcement Sayings
I really like the name of that song, because we are Spirits in a Material world. Science is the study of the world of the physical and learning the secrets of how things work in order to make newer and better things. Magick is the study of the world of Spirit, of energy, and learning the secrets of how to manipulate the physical world through the spiritual. It is impossible to find a person who has not had a spiritual experience, for a spiritual experience is not the same religious experience. The brief moment of peace and feeling of oneness with the local park during your morning jog is a spiritual experience. The feeling of love and acceptance from a parent while you were very young, all these are spiritual experiences as well.
Even the most devout science-loving atheist, who believes in nothing but the physical, has had the same or similar experiences. Some people are afraid of the spiritual while others disregard it. Regardless, Atheists, Christians, and Wiccans choose their own paths and personal beliefs based upon whatever makes that spiritual connection for them. So, if it can’t be quantified and personal experience is not scientifically acceptable, where can the materialist look to find some proof of Spirit? Something that is real will leave an impact on the physical world, the world of measurement, while something that is unreal, will leave no mark for it does not exist.
There is a way in which to see firsthand the mark that Faith has had upon the world. Look to Egypt, the great Pharaohs and their great tombs, built so long ago that their civilization has passed beneath the sands of time into myth. Their monuments remain, those great tombs, standing tall and proud amidst the stinging erosion of flying desert sand. We look to these monuments of our ancient brethren with awe and wonder, amazed by the incredible precision and craftsmanship involved in an age of bronze, stone, leather, and rope.
Look now to the people of Israel, the people of God, a group whose faith, whose belief in their spirituality runs so deep, that it predates the pyramids. For over two thousand years of recorded history the Jewish people have been repeating the tale of their enslavement in Egypt, where they were used to build pyramids. The official judgment is mixed, because there were some Hebrew names that were involved in the pyramids, but in any case just remember that at the time of the pyramids, the people of Israel were plentiful.
Today, the pyramids have cracked, crumbled, fallen, and deteriorated from the time of their construction. Some of these great tombs have vanished below the sands of time, leaving no mark of their existence. Israel is a nation once again, for its history is turbulent but infinite. While the Pyramids are aging and falling, and time is taking its cruel toll on them moment by moment, the Jewish faith is still alive, well, and having babies! Their culture is still largely intact and their faith still runs as deep as ever before. From slavery to power to genocide to being scattered, the people of this faith are what keep the faith strong.
Mass and Energy – Science and Spirit
Which is stronger, Material or Faith? Stone and steel are the tools of the material world, which are those things that can be created and destroyed. Energy, Thought, and Will are the tools of the spiritual world, which are those things that cannot be created or destroyed; however, they can still manipulate the material world. Which is stronger, the stone or the soul? Which of the two choices takes more courage; to grow and transform into something better or to be that which simply is and always will be until it is ground into dust?
As a race, we have evolved from the feral animals of our forefathers, to a deeply spiritual people rooted in nature. We then moved from the realm of spirit to the realm of science, where human understanding blossomed. Spirituality and science are not mutually exclusive, so as one blossoms, the other withers. It is time for humanity to take the blinders off and see the many beautiful vistas that await us. Leonardo da Vinci knew his helicopter would fly, just as his submarine would work along with his tank and his glider. He didn’t have to even build them but I’m sure that Leo knew that one day his ideas of fantasy would be manifested into reality.
-Stars tell the age of the pyramids, researcher says:
Alex Dominguez – Associated Press Writer posted: 11:18 am ET 17 November 2000