In the interest of continuity, I have a suggestion for those who may be first-time visitors to our blogging site.  I recommend that they ‘come up to speed’ by reading the last 7 posts, starting with the post entitled ‘A Platform for Our Blogosphere II’, dated February 29, 2016.   faith-road-sign-with-dramatic-clouds-and-sky Taking the first steps on our celestial latter climb, visualized in the post ‘Discovering the Supernatural Realm, Part One’, reminds us that we are making this expedition as a passage from a known physical  existence to a lesser known yet higher reality. What is absolutely needed to initiate and sustain us in this spiritual journey is a rock-solid and reliable basis. That foundational basis is called faith.  This establishment of faith may have been in the mind of Martin Luther King, Jr. who is quoted as saying, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” When we dissect, so to speak, this insightful quote of faith, we may identify several aspects of faith that he had in mind. For instance, who is the ‘you’ that King is speaking of? It might those of a certain age. Well, one’s age does not matter, whether a child, teen ager, adult or a senior citizen, faith is needed at the start of one’s journey toward a relatively unknown domain. The journey of faith begins on physical footings which are followed by mystical steps that are just as shaky as is that of knowledge of an unseen spiritual realm. King’s admission of not being able to see the stair case suggests he does not know the means by which he will ascend. In addition, there is an implication of what lies ahead is sometimes elusiveness and vague. Lastly, the question must be asked, why can’t everyone clearly see where future steps will lead?  The obvious answer to this question is that we do not possess the kind of sight needed to begin and end the expedition with our physical eyes. I trust that our fellow bloggers will remain with me in our journey.  We can be fully assured that during the upward trek, each step will provide an enhanced perspective of the unseen domain and a unique type of knowledge that is now applicable and prevalent for the rest of our everyday lives on earth.

Who has Faith?

Do our fellow bloggers realize that everybody has faith?  The question arises: does theistic faiths also belong to other contexts not usually thought of as religious at all?   First, in these instances, it may be appropriate to speak of the faith of a humanist, or even an atheist, using the same general sense of ‘faith’ as applies to the theist case. Secondly, others may view faith as merely an outcome of the inborn propensity to self-conservation and self-betterment which is a part of human nature. Thirdly, most non-believers and some nominal believers may have a strong faith-like craving desire, whether advertently or inadvertently, to literally love and/or manifest a profound adoration of material objects. From this brief examination of who has faith, we can conclude that perspectives of faith vary widely and largely depend on a person’s attitude toward trusting in another person, thing, and deity or in doctrines and teachings of a religion.

Faith is not:

Lists about, who has faith and what faith is not, are somewhat helpful for those who seek truths about an unseen realm. In the next post we will continue by mentioning what faith means for Christian believers. Also, we will go directly to the Holy Scriptures in order to grasp some of things said about faith.

 Awareness

One of the greatest tragedies of mankind occurs in some "blind" people who don’t even know that they are blind!  As mysterious as this may seem, how can this be?   Maybe it is because they are unfamiliar or uninformed and have erroneous perceptions about the reality of an unseen world. More likely, these individuals who do not recognize their blindness includes a profound abhorrence of any belief system that indorses the spiritual nature of humanity and the existence of a monotheistic God.  Unless there is a willingness on their part to change their minds and reverse their distaste of spiritual matters, it is likely that they will remain in a state of spiritual blindness. However, there may be a cure for this type of blindness, but only when the prerequisite of awareness precedes the remedy. Generally speaking, the human trait of awareness is truthful knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.  Awareness can be further described as a realization, insight, or merely a familiarity with certain life matters.  One of the things we are concerned with in this post is self-awareness, which means having the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize the true state of spiritual healthiness that a person is in.  Regarding concerns of health, many people only  understand that  humans’ over all well-being consists of physical, mental emotional health.  Sometimes spiritual health is not included as part of well-being, which then becomes problematic. Self-awareness is particularly important for those individuals who perceive they are less than  healthy.  Therein lies a problem.  These people are those who sense a lack well-being, acceptance and approval.  Moreover, it is not hard to understand that such deficiencies may indicate that certain human needs are not being met in their lives.  Could it be they are unaware that a significant a part of of their well-being is missing? If the need for well-being, acceptance and healthiness remain unmet, these people may feel deep sorrow or contrition for past wrongdoings.  Because this last perceived mind set is bothering to their consciences, individually, each may willingly declare, “I really have a need to make some changes in my life”.  It turns out that this admission of transgressions (repentance) is a necessary perquisite to what Christianity calls 'salvation'.  Here is the solution to their problem. The topic of human needs was discussed in my book 'Your Health in World of Conflict' and was presented as basic imperatives that required promoting, sustaining and improving states of healthiness.  Some in the fields of philosophy and religion have suggested that one’s needs include certain intangibles, such as the meaning of life—its significance, origin, and purpose, as well as one's conceptions of divinity and the question of what happens after we die.  We have to comprehend that these types of desires are subjective in nature and sometimes controversial.  This view is especially validated by researchers in the arenas of social sciences and belief systems. Then, along these same lines of thought, there is spiritual and godly awareness. In Christianity, this is the God given ability or power to see, perceive, and/ or understand spiritual things of God.  Isn’t this insight the very thing we are attempting to discover as we journey from the seen realm to the unseen domain of God? Of course it is! (We will deal more with spiritual awareness in upcoming posts.) Next is Step One, Faith.

In my latest book, Your Health in a World of Conflict, I invited all readers of this publication to accompany me on a journey from a physical domain of the earth into an unseen realm. To be sure this passage is not a literal one. However,as will be shown later, it can be accurately described as as metaphorical or allegorical. 

Those who have successfully navigated such an adventure one or more times in the past from the natural to the supernatural realm should be exceedingly pleased to repeat it.  Those who never wandered outside the physical realm may be hesitant to even take the first step.  Whatever the reader’s present thoughts are, he/she may want to think of this expedition as a passage from known physical existence to a lesser known yet higher reality. Before we proceed, let’s take a break in this post because a word of caution is needed. If fellow bloggers are reading this post without the beneficial understanding gained by reading the five preceding posts, much continuity will be lost. Therefore, in the interest of completeness, I earnestly suggest doing so now begining with 'A Platform for Our Blogosphere II, dated Feb. 20. 

Ascending-the-Stairs-of-Faith-Part-11-300x300

Normally we think of metaphorically journeying via pathways through valleys and hills to reach our destination. For the moment, instead of walking up and down hills, let’s imagine we first progress vertically by climbing on horizontal crosspieces of a ladder; stepping on each rung and momentarily deliberating on what we may learn about heavenly things as we ascend upward. We also ponder about what we may encounter, it is necessary that each of us pause long enough on each step before taking succeeding steps. Why?  Because the matter of obtaining a spiritual understanding of an intangible, lesser known unseen world is progressive, similar to orderly advancements made within most educational institutions in our physical, well known and seen world. Toward the goal of attaining knowledge of an abstract world from a Christian perspective, we will next consider the subject of awareness.