Shanghai Confucian Temple
Photograph by the author
Xiamen, October 20
The third thing that occurred to me this morning is that I'm not going to be able to trust.
Regular readers will know I have asked this question about trust for some time, because I see all of my fear arises within me because of a bad relationship between who I am, my Being, and my trust God. I am fundamentally unable to trust on my own; that's the issue. Trust doesn't arrive until I am in relationship with something higher.
Yet somehow I always want to build all of my trust on what I am here.
I think there is a mistaken idea here about building my inner church, and what the foundation ought to be. In my own case, I feel certain that my church does not need to be built on faith; one doesn't need to have faith when one knows that it is true God exists. Faith is for a human being before that understanding arrives; and for people in that position, one could wholeheartedly say that faith is exactly right. But in the case where one knows, faith has already been superseded by something much greater; and whereas one might think (foolishly and blithely) that that was going to be the answer to everything, it definitely isn't.
Once one knows, one must confront one's lack of trust, which is in many ways much more disturbing than any lack of faith could be.
I'm beginning to see that I'm never going to have any trust. It only arises in me as a gift, reciprocally, in relationship to a higher energy. When the energy is present, it trusts me; when there is no relationship, I can't trust anything — especially myself.
That isn't entirely true, actually. One thing — perhaps the only thing — that can be trusted in me is suffering and remorse of conscience (yes, they are one thing expressing multiple aspects.)
Remorse is the only part of me that doesn't lie. That, actually, I can and do trust. This may be the only part of me that I can trust.
I hadn't thought of that before, but I do see that in this one regard, I have trust here.
I trust in my suffering and my remorse for my life.
Lee van Laer is a senior editor at Parabola Magazine.