Unmoved by Appearances
By Jennifer Brochu
Faith is the substance of things hoped for- the evidence of things not seen. Faith holds the vision steady and the adverse pictures are dissolved and dissipated, and due season shall one reap, If one does not falter. Have faith in a perfect way. Do not be moved by appearance. – Florence Scovel Schinn
I had always had the presumption that “faith” was synonymous with religion. - Thus an instant turn off for me. A lot of organized religion scares me. Since the beginning of time religions have been created at first to make people feel and do better, provide answers with the questions of creation and being. But Human egocentric tendencies lead to inevitable corruption and down the road these very same religions are used as means of politics, selfishness and control. Most great ideas of religions become lost in translation sadly. The claims of being religious spouted from the mouths of the masses over the years. I have heard more words than actions from those who claim to be religious.
“Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.” ― G.K. Chesterton
Nuff said. It was no surprise to me that when I brushed up against the subject of faith in a philosophy class a few years ago, I was not the least bit receptive. Add the fact that the example being used to convey the concept of faith was a Christian Bible story was enough to make my left eye twitch in distain. In all of my open mindedness on religion, philosophy and being, my first honest reaction to any Christian concept is to shut down immediately. It is the hypocrites I think of instantly and by blood starts to boil. Not a reaction I am proud of, but it’s the truth. I am never pushing any religious propaganda here- just philosophical concepts that may better assist us all on the infinite quest of happiness and being.
So back to my philosophy class and the Christian Example- Faith and the story of Abraham and Issac. REALLY? One of the dumbest stories I had ever heard of to date, in my opinion back then. (Yes- still closed minded in all of my open mindedness.) A brief recap of the story-
After year of Abraham not being able to have children with his wife Sara- they finally have a son in unheard of later years of life. After this miracle happens, God then tells Abraham that he must sacrifice his only son to him as a symbol of his faith and devotion. Abraham follows his instructions and takes his only son and prepares to do the sacrifice, down to the very last second with knife in midair preparing to stab his son. In which only seconds before this act was to be carried out completely, God recounted his request by stopping him.
My reaction: WTFF? What kind of shit story is this? What God would do that to someone? People didn’t even live to that age in those times- historically speaking. So that couldn’t be true. Second of all no one at that age….70s (if even still alive- fat chance) would ever be able to bear a child. And then after all of that to have a child then your God tells you to sacrifice it? What a doushebag! (Yes I just called that God a doushebag. The infinite and I will settle up on all of my opinions- right and wrong -when the time is right.) Then I am sure I ranted on the postings that we were required to respond to with my thoughts on the subject. I just could not break away from the ridiculousness of it all.
It was by all accounts, the most Absurd thing I have ever heard of.
[ab-surd, -zurd] adjective
utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue; contrary to all reason or common sense; laughably foolish or false: an absurd explanation.
I never understood the point of that story and the very existence of that story bothered me for many years. Fast forward to more recent times, and my second round at the study of metaphysics and philosophy- when it hit me. What in my opinion that story is actually about. When I was able to remove my resentment of the origin of the story and remove my over logical thinking for a moment, I saw that the story was not about an unfair god or circumstances such as age that would never happen- but it was indeed a story about faith and being unmoved by appearances.
With the stresses of our daily lives, it is most difficult to maintain a positive attitude or any type of faith in anything. We may start out with these thoughts of positivity and faith- but as time progresses within a situation- appearances adverse to our wishes, hopes and desires being to manifest all around us. We may be able to keep up the faith in the beginning with a few things that begin to falter our faith and positive thinking…but when everything around us points to that very unwanted outcome, fear and anxiety instantly replace any thoughts of positivity or faith that ever existed. We all become moved by the appearances around us. Logic paired with fear and anxiety leads us to believe in the events that surround us. How can it not? All arrows lead to the unwanted or feared result. We become consumed with worry and prepare for our defeat.
This story is about unwavering faith- that even in the midst of the worst possible situation- God directly asking him to kill his own son as a sacrifice- Abraham kept his faith and kept it unwavering until the very last moment- even though ALL APPERANCES were against what he truly wished for and wanted. Now of course this would rationally and logically never happen to us- but we can apply it to any of our stressful situations.
When appearances around us suggest something, it’s difficult to be unmoved by these appearances. It’s almost illogical to ignore them. This is the reality of the present situation- we think to ourselves. We might as well accept the reality check- and set aside fantasy land and move on in our utter disappointment and distain. Playing with this concept has been quit fun and a great learning experience-especially when you a person of extremely low patience and demand instant results, such as myself.
I have personally applied this concept to quite a few things lately. I admit some have proved most difficult. However, it’s been quit the intriguing thing watching situations go down to the last minute, with no evidence of the thing desired anywhere in sight, in fact- all evidence to the contrary. It is a pure mind over matter concept. I suggest you try it out with a little thing. And move upward with many little things and move this act of faith on to bigger and better requests. This way of thinking works for me in the following ways:
1. Things are what they will be. If something is mine by divine right, it will come to me no matter what. No matter how much I worry or how much anxiety I get over a subject matter, I will get what is intended for me.
2. Wasting my minutes worrying and doubting a desire only attracts the opposite of that desire. An unwavering faith changes the energy of the situation and has much better chances of any desire to come to fruition. You may not get it 100% of the time- but the odds are much better.
3. Time will elapse from the beginning of the situation to its end. How I choose to spend my time in-between is entirely up to me. I can choose to have a bad time with it and let doubt, fear and constant worry overrule my existence and be move by appearances. OR- I can choose to keep positive, remain unmoved by appearances, and decide that I will attract the right result meant for me. Even if I do not end up with the result I want and think is right for me, there may be a better result for me.
4. I choose to keep a faith in what is right for me. When we become over pushy with a desire, we let that desire overrule our emotions and thoughts and may be interrupting the “what’s right” for us to find its way to us.
5. Give thanks for the right situation to come to fruition.
6. Being unmoved by appearances is the best advice I can take or ever give. I used to be entirely moved by appearances and become terribly upset and revel in it, endlessly sometimes it seemed. Nowadays I just have a faith in the infinite good knowing it will always find me. It may not always come to me exactly the way I wanted it or thought I wanted it- but it always ends up being what I needed or even better than the thing I wanted. Now when appearances are adverse- I smile instead of cry- knowing that my endless good is always on its way.