In traditional terms, the power of faith has largely been symbolized by a rock, which is a symbol of steadfast strength. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus claimed that the Apostle Peter would be the “rock upon which I build my church.” So for many, to have faith has largely meant to be like a rock, steadfast, imperturbable or unshakable. While these qualities of perseverance and endurance are beneficial to the creative process, I propose that they are more appropriately the domain of the power of strength, rather than faith.
Rightly viewed, the creative power of faith is an active power. A rock is inert, inactive. As Charles Fillmore describes it in his metaphysical classic, The Twelve Powers, faith is the “perceiving” power, the faculty to see what is not yet seen with conviction and assurance. Stated another way, faith is the spiritual faculty that allows us to see creative possibilities before there is any evidence of its physical form or manifestation. Since a rock has no ability to see or to perceive anything, it is, at best, an incomplete symbol to stand for and symbolize the active energy of faith as a creative power.
Reimagining Faith For The 21st Century
At the dawn of the millennium, Unity Minister, Michael Maday published a book titled New Thought For A New Millennium. The book’s stated goal was to reimagine Charles Fillmore’s twelve powers for the 21st century. Maday asked twelve leading new thought thinkers, writers and ministers to each take one of Fillmore’s twelve powers and reimagine its place in our lives and in our ever-evolving creative consciousness.
“By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear” (Heb. 11: 3)
Best selling author, Rosemary Ellen Guiley drew the assignment on reimagining the power of faith. Guiley, who has authored numerous best sellers, tends to focus on “exceptional human experience.” She studies and writes about the events and discoveries that serve to expand the boundaries of our understanding around the “nature of the human soul and consciousness.” In her essay, “The Fire of Faith,” she proposes that fire is a more apt symbol or metaphor for the power of faith. Fire is an active energy with the power to empower, energize and purify the spiritual perception required for creative manifestation.
Faith As A House With Many Rooms
For Charles Fillmore, faith is where the discussion of the twelve powers begins. Before even bringing Peter and the rock into the discussion, Fillmore first likens the power of faith to a house in which we abide. In John 14:7, Jesus reminds us that “my Father’s house has many rooms.” Just as there are many rooms inside a house, there are also many different kinds of houses, each with its own rooms and variable living conditions. It is the same with faith.
As a creative faculty, everyone has the power of faith. However, everyone does not understand faith in the same way, nor do they use it to the same ends. There are many expressions of faith in action, some with good outcomes, others, not so good. It is helpful to remain mindful that there is a big difference between rightly expressing the creative power of faith that is within you and having faith in something that is outside of you.
Faith is always active, always present in the house of your consciousness. It is impossible to not use the power of faith. It is always active in everything you think, feel, say or do. You can never lose your faith, for it is always present with you wherever you are. You can only choose how you will use or direct your power of faith to express and manifest the abundant good that is yours. How you do use it determines the condition of your house.
Without Faith, Creation Is Impossible
Without faith in the possibilities of creation, all action is impotent, bereft of creative power. If we cannot see it first in our mind’s eye, then we have no vision to pull us forward, no creative juice to see our ideas through to their manifestation. We cannot achieve what we cannot see. Without faith, creation itself is impossible.
Charles Fillmore locates the source for the power of faith in the middle of the brain in the pineal gland. The pineal gland serves as a sort of crystal receiver that is directly connected to the infinite field of pure potential, the realm of all creative ideas and truth principles. This connection is inviolable; it cannot be broken. This power center is in ceaseless communication with this quantum field of ideas, whether we are tending to it or not. It perceives possibilities even when we cannot see.
Faith: The Fire That Never Dies
When energy is needed for personal transformation or healing, being steadfast like a rock in one’s faith is essential to overcoming and ultimately achieving victory. However, in the actual experience of transformation or healing, there is an energy required to light the way through the darkness, to spark the imagination and fuel the passion necessary to see it through to its ultimate healing. For healing and transformation, fire is perhaps a more appropriate symbol for faith.
Fire energizes the crucible of personal transformation, where we require its purifying energy to burn away the dross clogging the channels of our creative expression. Insofar as transformation is ongoing at all times in our lives, we need the fire of faith to light the way, to purify our thoughts and feelings so that we might hone in and more clearly see the target of our creative desires.
Let There Be Light
As it was in the beginning, all of creation began with the words “Let there be light.” These words put the creation story into motion. Yet, underlying their surface meaning, the power of faith is in play. At the level of God, or Divine Mind, there existed the power of faith that saw or knew there was a property called light that would allow things to be seen, where before there was only darkness and void. There was faith that by saying those words “Let there be light” that it would be so.
When Jesus said, “What I can do, you can do. In fact, you will do even greater things,” he was expressing his faith in the power of our own indwelling Christ Presence. Jesus’s faith in our own individual Christ potential is what first lights the way for us to see, to perceive the creative power of which we are capable. He did not light the way with a rock, but rather with the fire of his own faith, so that we might more rightly see and perceive our own indwelling power.