Monday, March 26, 2012
Doubt, Faith, Surrender
The nature of doubt can be of two varieties. One is a closed door, and is not really even doubt, but belief. Another is an openness and a humility which is willing to see. In the Zen tradition it is said, “when doubt is total, then awakening is total.” The problem with most peoples doubts is that they are particular and afflictive/prejudice/self serving, and not total. Something true never requires belief, but rather the willingness to see, and if it is indeed a truth, then an openness (in the spirit of true doubt) should serve revelation. That said, to doubt what has been revealed is an indulgence, so while one need not take up belief, they should have faith. Faith is a loyalty to what has been seen in openness, and this loyalty to what is revealed leads to surrender and deepening. There are many people who have a sharp faculty and great insight, but they never measure up in a fundamental way or make a giant leap because they are ever betraying their wisdom. They are not loyal to what has been revealed to them, so don’t have faith, which is to say they never allow the wisdom to settle in their heart.
While there is certainly realization which leaves no doubt, the precursor to this timeless penetration is a willingness to be true to what is seen and to not compromise based on circumstance. Moreover, while realization is sudden, the assimilation of that profound non-event and it’s highest expression within a life stream take form via a deep and unmoving conviction. While one may not “will” the ultimate realization, one can wholly decide (via a fierce unbending loyalty/faith) to be wholly true to what they have experienced. A teacher once said to me, “refuse to divide your heart.” When one absolutely refuses to divide themselves or refuses to live (both in an inner way and as an expression) in a way that betrays their highest wisdom, then they are living in faith. This faith is a never ending opening and a moment to moment invitation to surrender into it. And surrender at it’s highest levels in not only a passive affair, but a willingness to take up and take responsibility.
Surrender is really such a deep and beautiful subtle art. It includes the openness to connect, the willingness to see, and the humility to conform. In surrender, one becomes aware in such delicate and profound ways of where there is accord and where the “knots” lie. One falls into the knowledge that sharpens accord and falls into the light of love that melts knots. To surrender into the true highest nature can often be expedited via a mirror which is the service of a guru (or devata, pitha etc.). Leaning into this spaciousness, one can see within themselves what opens up, and it can also reveal where there are contractions. Ultimately, coming into accord is a communication and transmition, of self to self (or losing of self), and this accord becomes a loyalty to the great primordial essence. When one can not only surrender completely into this accord (as both awareness and energy), but also remain complete in it within their “own” sphere, then one has surrendered into a refusal to compromise it. When surrender is complete, then one can move in compassion. The true nature of people is compassionate, but it is overshadowed by self concern, and self concern gives birth to fear. When one is no longer worried about themselves and no longer in fear, then the natural spontaneous compassion shine forth. So refuse to compromise, have faith, surrender into the deepest accord, and let the compassionate nature shine.