The Power of Faith
A little while ago a friend of mine asked me how he could strengthen his beliefs. It seems he was having trouble achieving, within his time restraints, the new goals that he was following. Nothing that he was doing seemed to be working towards achieving these aims. Although, one would have to admit, for the most part his goals were very superficial and once he got these goals they were self-gratifying. After I had given him what I believed was the best advice that I could I remembered a little story that I had heard many years ago when my teacher had been asked the very same question.
A humble fellow from out near the Ashburton River, in that hot, dry wind-swept area between the coast and the Pilbara Ranges, was looking for spirituality. This fellow had a deep longing to follow the way but he had no idea how to set about attaining it. There were no teachers in this part of the world to guide him. He read book after new-age book all of which promised to show the way to attainment. Some even were emphatic that it could take as little as ten minutes a day! But none of them satisfied his lust to become a spiritual person Disillusioned, he could think of nothing better to do than to kneel all day, month after month, year after year, before a withered tree, begging it to bestow the bloom of immortality. All day long he cried
“Give me immortality!”
“Give me immortality!”
Not surprisingly, this went on for many years without having the least noticeable effect. However such was his tenacity that at last the withered tree was constrained to put forth lovely blossoms and extrude a liquid sweet as honey. Not knowing what to do next, this simple fellow ate and drank of these and he was immediately transformed to a heavenly state.
This anecdote may at first reading seem nonsensical but in fact it possesses a certain poetic truth as in many Western fables. For it promotes the necessity of tenacity in the repetition of a single-minded formula as an effective method of so concentrating the mind that the senses are sealed against contaminating inflows, with the result that profound mystical insight is attained. This is recognised by mystics everywhere and they all have their own version of this story. Thus faith may become the pathway to self-attainment.