Verses 36 and 45: “Moreover your kinswoman Elizabeth has herself conceived a son in her old age; and she who is reputed barren is now in her sixth month, for God’s promises can never fail….How happy is she who has had faith that the Lord’s promise would be fulfilled.”
Sometimes we know something deep in our gut. We feel an energetic resonance but can’t explain it. The sensation that is not really physical, but nonetheless felt, tells us something. If we listen, usually a word or phrase seems to correspond to the felt sense. Sometimes, we have sensory experiences of our connection to something larger than our selves. Out of such moments, the knowing called faith comes.
The word faith comes from the Latin word fidere, which means to trust. In a religious connotation, faith means to believe. Trust and belief in our embodied experience are the basis of life. Each day, we move in response to our felt experience. Most of us do this without any conscious awareness, although after saying or doing something, we may reflect on what we were feeling/experiencing that prompted the action. In the moment, we just act (with inner thoughts or outer expressions), automatically trusting and believing our perceptions.
The spiritual path of Incarnation and the psychological path of individuation involve moving toward a conscious awareness of what we trust and believe. Our felt sensory data/perception is automatically filtered through assumptions that have grown out of prior experiences. The assumed beliefs and ideas may be true about an experience or set of experiences we had but may not be true about the whole of life. The assumed beliefs and ideas may not be congruent with the reality of the Divine that flows into our psyches/souls.
Carl Jung’s model of psyche reminds us that our psyche/soul is connected to the numinous/spiritual realm, as the Self/God Within is the organizing principle of our psyche. The energies depicted as gods and goddesses throughout history are at work in us. These energies (called archetypes as they are overarching templates of how feeling states operate) are larger than any one experience. The presence and activation of these energies within us break us out of limiting, distorted beliefs and ideas held by our ego/self.
To live the truth of who we are requires a conscious awareness and choice to let go of distorted ideas and beliefs that limit the Inner Divine Spirit to the pathways of expression based on prior experiences. This Scripture reminds us things can happen outside the patterned, conditioned experience. Elizabeth, “who is reputed barren,” is pregnant. What seemed impossible has happened!
The starting point of faith is our sensory experience. By striving to see and feel and know the Divine Within our life, we move towards felt experiences that let us perceive and move in new ways.
By connecting to the something in us—that we know and feel as the strength and center point of our psyche—we connect to the something in us that is the Inner Divine Spirit. We each have to find our own way of doing this. Our experience of faith and connection to the Self/God Within is specific to each person.
Take a few minutes today to seek and consciously acknowledge the Inner Divine within you. A simple practice of sitting quietly and becoming aware of your breath as a connection to the Ruach/Breath of God is a starting point.
For each “in” breath, hold the intention of feeling your connection to the Divine. With each “out” breath, release the distorted ideas and beliefs that block a conscious knowing of your Inner Divine Spirit.