Thursday, January 12, 2006

Life Lessons in a Time of War, 10

Belief is a poison upon progress; perseverance is the antidote. Do not worry about which of the god-camps you will join: they are all equally toxic in their varying images of the cut and color of god’s beard, or the length of his sword.

Self-awareness is knowing that all of these pictures are distortions of reality. Burn them inwardly and you will not have to destroy their manifestations. For violence, as the crusading and carnivorous religions have shown us, only stops up the voice of god, and makes Life itself a malignancy.

Kill belief, and you will awaken trust. There is such a vast gulf of meaning between them—like the difference between a plastic sapling on a highway median and a majestic redwood whose roots stretch to the depth of Atlantis.

Belief is an aged paralytic, unable to move without assistance, something that has been kept seemingly alive past its natural span. It is a rootless, gaping, drooling lump that cannot move or create; it is the voice of a machine that pledges allegiance to a pair of rocks or a lifeless shred of colored cloth. Belief is fixed, inflexible, immobile, and dead.

Trust is a dancer: it turns inward and reaches outward in one fluid movement. Though it has lived a hundred years, its face is young, its breath sweet, its body strong, its spirit free. It is always in order, though never fixed or unyielding. It emanates the oxygen of its own essence, and is nourished in return by all that it touches. Trust nurtures trust: it creates, responds, and creates anew; in a cycle of beneficence that never tires, never ceases in its dance of renewal; its sparkling and spontaneous rush of Life.

Belief is the voice that says, “thou shalt”; trust is the voice that says, “I can.” Every day, discard another belief; every day, awaken trust. There is only a little effort to it, at the beginning; and then it is the dance of the liberated god within you, the vibration of a jewel in the web of nature—reflecting and resonating with the tone of every other gem in the boundless sea of being.

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