Question: From: (
Newsgroups: alt.consciousness.4th-way
Subject: Re: a question about an aphorism
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 22:07:03 -0700 wrote:

Was wondering if someone could elucidate on this:

35. Conscious faith is freedom. Emotional faith is slavery. Mechanical faith is foolishness.

    To begin to make sense out of these things one only needs to remember one thing: one may or may not speak the language, even though it appears to be the native language that I speak, read and write all the time.
    Given that, one first must find out somehow what the words mean in the technical language in which they are written (which merely appears to be English). Only then can one begin to look for the meaning or principle from the use of the words: when they are read as a technical description of some real event that one may experience.
    I assume that you have some acquaintance with the way that emotional and mechanical are used in this technical language. You are, no doubt, working on understanding from experience what conscious refers to: and probably have many opinions and beliefs on the subject, and perhaps a degree of actual experience. Let's leave the word ``conscious'' aside for a moment, and look at the word that is probably giving most of the trouble in understanding what this aphorism might mean: faith.
    The word, as used by unevolved conditioned man, refers to a strong belief: sometimes a belief in something that is also believed to be unprovable one way or the other without evidence of any kind other than taking some one or some book's word for it. In other words, when used in this way it is just another word for gullible. Other times it is used as a strong belief in something the person ``knows from experience is true.'' Of course, that comes from someone who has probably had two or three experiences in their entire life: the rest of ``their life'' lived itself without them experiencing a moment of it (minimal exaggeration for effect :).
    In this work, faith is a technical word for something besides being gullible. In fact, it is one of those words that points to an apparently infinite experiencing, so any definition at all is only an aspect of the real thing that the word is referring to. There are a couple of definitions that we could consider -- one of which is quite useful to begin to approach the experience of faith -- so we'll consider that one first.
    That is: faith is the ability to make up the mind singly. Mechanical man does not have this ability. The mind, when made up, is done so by a mechanical process which requires only the presence of a living being associated with the body that is performing the process, but not that being's active, conscious participation. In other words, there does not need to be an operator of the machinery that makes up the mind that most people call ``making a choice or decision.''
    Thus, we all have a little faith in this sense. Enough to go the bathroom and relieve ourselves of waste. Enough to open doors. Enough to drive cars. Some have enough to build huge structures and organizations of all kinds, and make what passes for art and beauty in this interesting time.
    And some don't have enough faith to leave their house: they cannot make up the mind singly to do so. They want to, but they always have second thoughts on the subject.
    When a person has less faith than society considers necessary to ``normal'' functioning, they are diagnosed with some physiological and/or psychological dis-ease. Imagine that! So, if I were to say that a degree of faith less than that which I normally experience is dysfunctional, then I could tell everyone with a lesser degree of faith that they have a dis-ease! Very amusing.
    Every time you struggle with opposing and conflicting beliefs and opinions, unable to decide which is right and which is wrong, you are demonstrating your lack of faith: your inability to simply make up the mind regardless of the fact that you don't know ahead of time what the outcome of your decision will be. Some call this choosing between a rock and a hard place ...
    This demonstrates one of the biggest obstructions to faith: the desire to be safe and secure and always know ahead of time what the outcome of all events will be, so that I will enjoy them. Once one believes that one has found the outcome (whether that belief is accurate or not), one can then make up the mind easily to act in such a way as to bring about what one believes will be the favorable outcome. Of course, one often then finds out that one is wrong; because that is not the actual outcome ...
    Which then makes a bigger obstruction next time one needs to make up the mind: after all I've been certain in the past and been wrong, so maybe I'm wrong again and I should think about this and figure it out and analyze it some more, so that I can be absolute certain before I make up ``my'' ``mind'' ...
    And then there are those who claim to always know whether something will lead to a favorable outcome, because ``they can feel it, and it feels good'' ... As though these feelings were any better a guide than thinking.
    It has been seen by many that when someone makes up the mind single-mindedly, without allowing second thoughts or any other considerations to disturb that faith, incredible events take place. Thus, one with faith says, ``I don't know what the outcome will be. This is what I decide.'' Any thoughts that come along and present doubt or second thoughts or other choices are simply ignored: I have made up the mind, and this is the way it will be. It may also be that one of the secrets of creation lies in this experience.
    Let's just reconsider the aphorism in the small light of this meaning of the word faith:

The ability to consciously make up the mind singly is freedom.
Making up the mind with the emotions is slavery.
Making up the mind mechanically is foolishness.

    Of course, the words freedom, slavery and foolishness all have technical meanings as well.
    But, does this begin to make more sense? One who consciously and purposefully considers what will go into the make-up of the mind might well discover freedom.
    Woops, we've looked at the meaning of make up the mind in a second way, haven't we?
    But it does mean that, too. Every time I intentionally make up the mind singly, throwing out all second thoughts and doubts on a subject, I have also determined the make-up or form that this mind will take: rightly or wrongly; for better or worse. Thus, by using faith I am building a mind the way I want it to be built -- instead of the way it was haphazardly put together by conditioning and other mechanical processes.
    Making up the mind emotionally requires belief, as does mechanical faith.
    Mechanical faith is a matter of which false i runs the show right now. That i has made up the mind, and it will last for a few moments, until some other i decides differently and does something else, and then another i comes along and ... I can see that some might call this foolishness.
    Emotional faith can be much more powerful than purely mechanical faith, simply because it lasts a little longer and therefore allows one to act on whatever the subject of the faith is -- possibly even until one sees an outcome. This is primarily the faith of the theologians (amongst others), who believe something because it generates a certain feeling that they enjoy by so doing. This becomes addictive after a time. I can see that some would call this addiction to a pleasant sensation slavery. And it has (and is) certainly been used by many to place millions into bondage to institutions: even as this is being written this goes on.
    Conscious faith may eventually lead to many other things: for when it is truly single-minded, it is unstoppable -- the most powerful force known to mankind. There is a catch, though, that assists one to look at the idea of faith in a fuller way: one really has faith (has the ability to make up the mind singly) about that which one loves. I don't mean the odd emotions that arise with possessiveness, attraction and taste that people usually refer to as love. (Although those lower, animal, emotions do form the basis of the little faith that most of us experience, being the only love that is available to us.)
    A conscious faith that eventually comes to be based on the love that many refer to as agape (the love that is Life itself) becomes the expression of that love and is, as far as anyone has ever discovered, all-powerful. (At least, it is as powerful as the love on which it is based -- which like everything else in this world is a matter of degree.)
    Freedom, like most other things in the world we know, is based on love (just as it has responsibility as its inner force). Many have experienced emotional faith, and many, many more have experienced mechanical faith. Few ever experience conscious faith.
    And, as one has pointed out before me, faith that exists without expression is useless. And a faith whose expression is not solidly grounded in higher love is dangerous: therefore most have been given very little faith, that they may not be unnecessarily dangerous until they are adult (evolved) enough to be responsible with faith.
    Thus faith must be consciously developed and practiced by making up the mind singly for a time before one is entrusted with a fuller experience: for one who does so demonstrates that they are responsible for themselves (for the proper use of the form they have been entrusted with) -- that they can act freely-and-responsibly enough to be entrusted with such power.
    We neglected another aspect of this interesting word: trust. But I don't feel like going into what trust refers to tonight. There are some hints in here if one were to explore the experience and not just think about the words that have been used here to describe the experience. Suffice it to say for now that most people trust only in one thing, no matter what they may say: lack. This form of trust is not conducive to consciously developing and experiencing a very high degree of faith.

    I may never do this again. Please indulge me for a moment and let me tell you the purpose behind this particular action. By showing the means by which a brief statement of the ways things work can be turned into understanding-from-experience, I hope to allow others who are able to follow that way if they can see it the possibility of developing understanding-from-experience. In another posting, I showed the outcome of not using this method.
    Unfortunately, for those who just like to think and feel about things, and then act on those thoughts and feelings, they may now consider that they have done the work of understanding the principle which these three sentences express. So, for them, I have stolen the possibility of their actually experiencing this principle for themselves until they discover the difference between feeling-and-thinking-and-acting and understanding (which is a conscious act of love): because they now believe that they understand it (assuming that they agree with what they have read). This might be considered to be a criminal act by some.
    But one who sees that their belief that they can understand almost anything that they read in a language that they speak, read and write is questionable may see another way of reading. Firstly, find out the actual definition of the words as they are used in the technical language they are written in. The whole point of a technical language is that it is made up of words stolen from its primary language and then given a precise and specific meaning. In the primary language from which these words are borrowed, words have synonyms and connotations. In a technical language they have a single, precise meaning. (This is true of all technical languages, not just the technical language of the Work. It may not always be obvious, because the humans who use technical languages rarely consider this and often treat the language as though it were the same as the primary language.)
    Once one has learned the use of the words one is attempting to study, one can then see that the words contain a description that can be experimented with. In this case, one could begin to experiment with making up the mind singly. What are the obstructions to this? What principles operate in those obstructions? What principles operate when I actually manage to make up the mind? Can I prove that making up the mind emotionally does not lead to slavery? And so on.
    Then, one may begin to experience for oneself that there is much more to the experience that the word faith refers to than just this beginning description: ``make up the mind singly.'' For one is beginning to experience a greater degree of faith, and one begins to learn from that experiencing much more than one could ever ``learn'' by reading words about the experience.

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Science of Man's Conscious Self-Evolution