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Faith: Believing in the Oneness of the Creator

Faith in the Oneness of the Creator implies that we see the entire world, including ourselves, as vessels in the Creator’s hands. And conversely, if we think ourselves capable of influencing events, it reveals that we believe in the presence of many different powers in the world, rather than only in the Will of the One Creator.

Therefore, by destroying our egos, we can bring ourselves into accord with the true condition of the world, where nothing exists but the Creator’s Will. Until then, however, we will not have the merit to act as those who believe in the Oneness of the Creator, and thus, our spiritual progress remains idle.

The only way we can become convinced of the Oneness of the Creator is by working hard on ourselves, and by cultivating appropriate aspirations in ourselves. Only after achieving absolute unity with the Creator in all our perceptions, having risen to the highest level of the worlds, can we understand His Oneness. Only then can we proceed to act in accordance with this accurate view of reality.

Before achieving this condition, we must act in accordance with the level that we are on, and not the level about which we fantasize and dream. In order to genuinely improve on our present level, we must combine confidence in our own powers at the start of the work, with the belief that what we achieve as a result of our own labors would have happened anyway.

We must realize that the entire universe develops according to the Creator’s plan, and according to His idea of creation. We may say that all goes according to the Creator, but only after we have put forth our best efforts/

It is beyond human comprehension to understand the essence of such spiritual qualities as total altruism and love.

This is simply because human beings cannot comprehend how such feelings can exist at all, as everyone seemingly requires an incentive to perform any act.

In fact, without personal gain, people aren’t prepared to extend themselves. That is why a quality such as altruism can only be imparted to us from Above, and only those who have experienced it can understand it. But if this quality is awarded to us from heaven, why then, should we try so hard to attain it? Won’t our labors fail to yield any results by themselves, until the Creator helps us and consigns to us new qualities and new natures?

The fact is, we must pray from below and request these changes. We must, express a strong desire for the Creator to change our qualities, for only if the desire is really and truly strong will the Creator grant it. We must also put great effort into making this desire strong enough for the Creator to grant it.

While we are trying to accomplish this goal, we will gradually realize that we have neither the desire nor the ability to achieve it on our own. Then we will have a real demand of the Creator: to free us from the constraints of our old qualities and to grant us a new characteristic—a soul.

But that cannot possibly happen unless we first attempt to apply all our powers and abilities to change by ourselves. It is only after we have become convinced that these efforts bring no result and cry for help, from the depths of our hearts, that the Creator will answer us.

We can utter this cry for help to change our qualities only after we have found that neither our desires nor a single limb of our bodies agrees to this change of nature to the extent that we will unconditionally hand ourselves over to the Creator. In fact, we are equal in our desires to remain a slave to our nature, and to become a slave to altruism.

Only after we realize that there is no hope of our bodies ever agreeing to such a change can we appeal to the Creator for help from the bottom of our hearts. Only then will the Creator accept our plea and respond to it by replacing all of our egoistic qualities with their opposite, altruistic ones, so that we may draw closer to Him.

If we consider that we must work unwillingly in this world, then what is the result of our efforts at the end of our days? What is the point of our efforts in this world? When we consider these questions, we will conclude that working to change ourselves is not as difficult as we might have thought.

And when we have achieved change, our changed qualities will have revealed to us great pleasures as a result of our inner efforts. The pleasure arises when we see what we are working for.

Therefore, we see our efforts not as troublesome, but as bringing joy. The greater our efforts, the happier we are to receive these new qualities, since we immediately feel a great and everlasting reward for each of them we now possess.

Even in our world, we can see how excitement and exaltation make it easier for us to expend strong efforts. If we feel great respect for someone, and that person is the most exalted person in the world in our eyes, then everything we do for someone so worthy of our esteem will be done with joy and gratitude – simply to have the opportunity to serve such a person.

The greatest effort will seem a pleasure. Just as we may love to dance or exercise, our exertion is not considered as work, but rather, pleasure. For this reason, one who feels and recognizes the greatness of the Creator feels joy at the opportunity to please Him.

Thus, what at first seemed to be slavery actually turns into a freedom full of pleasures. Consequently, if our spiritual aspirations come to us with difficulty, and if we must make a formidable effort to attain the spiritual, this should indicate to us that the Creator is not yet great enough in our eyes or our perception, and that our attention is being drawn to other goals than attaining the spiritual.

As long as we pursue these other goals, we will receive no support from the Creator and will only be moving farther and farther away from our primary goal.

But even when striving toward the Creator, we will not receive His spiritual support immediately.

For if we received immediate inspiration and joy from our efforts, then our egos would certainly rejoice, and we would continue to make the effort only because of the resulting pleasure.

However, we would have lost the opportunity to transcend our egoistic natures and rise to pure altruism. Ideally, we should only be interested in the pleasures derived from spiritual self-improvement, which are greater than any others.

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