Hi Erik. I’ve been thinking a lot about faith lately. I was listening to Theresa Caputo’s autobiography and I noticed that she operates with a high level of faith associated with her Catholic upbringing. My parents raised me with a focus on nature and family, but also with an openness to a variety of philosophical and religious ideologies. We weren’t atheists or agnostic, it was just a years-long evolving conversation of ideas.
As I was listening to Theresa talk about her faith and how she doesn’t think too much about how it works, how she believes in only one God with absolute certainty, something inside me felt like, “Wouldn’t that be a huge relief to just decide to believe one thing?” Personally, I put huge amounts of energy into looking at medium / psychic / spiritual work through various over-arching philosophies and ideas, testing out to see which ones fit my experiences, how they’re similar and in what ways they’re different, what *I* think personally. The idea of deciding to believe in one thing or choose one perspective feels like a huge relief.
But I wasn’t raised in one particular faith. I don’t even know if I could stop this habit of questioning everything. So I thought I’d ask you, Erik, how you see the faith a person had in life and how it affects their experience as a conscious being while incarnated and after death.
Erik’s dressed in a Cardinal’s robes. He says, Do you like my hat? Check out my shoes!
They’re gold, with curly toes and jewels on them – the jewels include a large green-blue stone and ruby or garnet accents. They’re so fancy I went searching for a photo of them, but they’re nothing like the shoes I saw actual cardinals wearing, they’re more like this:
Enough about your wardrobe. (Erik indicates the shoes are part of the historical significance – they place his outfit in a particular point in history.)
(EDIT: I re-read this after I was done writing and understood the shoes are also a reference to the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy discovered she had the power to go home the whole time. I’ve never seen the movie, so I didn’t get the Oz references until Erik was done talking. Forehead smack!)
Erik (using the voice of Nelson Muntz from the Simpsons) says, The most important thing about formal religion is how it holds history together. (He shows the connection of customs threaded through hundreds of years, connecting people to the past, which has a grounding affect.)
Thing about religion and faith is ultimately it’s all about who’s your Daddy. Or Mom. The need people feel for these answers is like the same need you feel for the love of your family. If you don’t have as strong a connection, you can feel like an adopted child of the universe, because you don’t know who your real parents are.
Hah, I hear “Amazing Grace”. Erik says, This custom of being Born Again, or diving into one faith completely is one way people can just say, “Hey, I’ll be your kid, please take care of me.” And no matter who you’re asking, God, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Mother Earth – they’ll say yes and you can *feel* that yes. It even works for cults – but in every religion there’s always the HUMAN FACTOR which is what you really need to keep your eye on. It’s not God who’s going to ask you for money or tell you to go to war, that’s always people. It’s tough to (differentiate) the human factor in religion because religion is the human translation of faith. It’s like paint-by-numbers. People can feel the God power and the God connection in their faith – but if they turn their brains off, they stop looking out for the human factor which is when shit gets fucked up.
So how does that affect you when you die? I read the interview with Mother Theresa and I was surprised to read she still identifies as Catholic. I thought religion was something created by humans and therefore it’d disappear when you left your body.
So, it’s like religion and faith is giving you context for your reality, and your participation in your own reality, how you create that reality, it’s all based upon what you believe, which is how you’re channeling (source, you, me, everyone in the universe)
It’s a really interesting visual he gave me. He showed it like being on the inside of an inside-out doughnut that’s channeling the whole universe – like an infinity sign. I as an individual am only an individual given the context of whatever frame you want to put around me. If you remove all frames and filters, I am literally channeling the entire universe and so connected to the essence of everything from the inside. It’s like this feeling of being inside out, like being inside the doughnut hole.
Hey, is this from the Simpson’s movie? Did I see this in theatres like, 10 years ago?
Oh this is hilarious – there is a doughnut-shaped universe reference in an episode of the Simpsons, and apparently there are real theories about a doughnut shaped universe. Erik are you literally showing me a physical phenomena or are you being funny?
I’m always being funny!!! But this is a real thing, a real energy pattern on a super-huge grand scale, it’s a real model of understanding how you are connected to everything else in the universe on an energy (motion, force, will, intention, life) level. And it’s why every Cowardly Lion discovers he had everything he needed inside him all along – because the connection to the life force is always flowing through us, in bodies or not, and it’s deep “inside” us.
That’s why fractal thinking is useful too, because you need that kind of brain-bendiness to understand you’re part of the doughnut, you’re the center of the doughnut hole, and you’re connected to everyone else through the doughnut, and everyone is at the center of the doughnut too because the doughnut exists without the brackets / frame of space and time. Everyone’s inside the doughnut, everyone IS the doughnut.
An’ a lot of people are going to say, “Well, yeah. I call the doughnut God. That makes sense.” It doesn’t matter what you call it, what matters is the STREGHNTH of your connection to this sacred doughnut. You can connect though ANYTHING. Though an idea of god, through a super-cool human who walked the earth, through mother earth herself, it doesn’t matter HOW you make that connection, only that you DO MAKE IT. How you choose to make that connection is going to determine the strength of it. That’s where faith comes in. Faith is the voltage that you set on your connection with all the crazy-powerful-infinite energy of the doughnut universe.
This is actually so incredibly helpful.
(Erik teasing) Why are you so shocked?
I’m not shocked, it’s just like a click happened – I changed the way I think about faith, actually. Faith isn’t necessarily the assembly of ideas or beliefs you’ve decided to adhere to as a mortal and temporary human being. Faith is more like hooking your limited mortality up to the power source and dialing it up. So strength of faith / that connection isn’t determined by what you believe or how hard you believe it. And it doesn’t get weaker when you change the way you think about things. Faith has nothing to do with what you think, it’s defined by that connection you feel when you’re in the center of the doughnut.
Erik indicates he wants to monologue. He gives me the stink-eye, and now he’s in Shakespearian dress – Oh it’s the “to be or not to be” section of Hamlet. Oh, “soliloquy” not monologue. SORRY! Erik has the floor.
The thing is, a lot of people who were raised with a strong faith that’s defined by their connection to God through a church and a specific set of doctrines, when they start to recognize the human factor in these sacred traditions and may even decide that some of these things are WRONG, like, that old shit from the bible about slavery and stoning, the real important thing to remember is not to let the change in your THOUGHTS interrupt the connection to your FAITH.
Faith in humanity, faith in your own decentness, faith that there’s a point to this whole existence thing. Faith is like a very raw version of the life force itself, because it’s a connection to Life with a capital L. That connection doesn’t have to be defined by a religion but humans are intellectual beings and most people are going to try to relate to faith through a series of THOUGHTS.
The trouble with THOUGHTS is that different thoughts can conflict with each other. That’s why some spiritual practices focus on the elimination of thought through meditation, fasting, sleep deprivation, sweat lodges, isolation, vows of silence – all this crazy shit. It works because thoughts can be a tool you use to create a faith connection, but thoughts can also get in the way of a faith connection, which is where that feeling of being a lost orphan comes from.
Some faith traditions REFUSE to define connection to God / Spirit in words. Instead, a faith connection is something that has to be personally experienced, and it’s something that can be created through a lot of different ways including the stuff I said before, spirit journeys (that thing where young adults who have hit puberty go on a journey by themselves for a period of time, or are ritually isolated in some way.) Sometimes it can happen through mind-altering plants / drugs (CAREFUL!) through near-death experiences (extreme sports types) and other ways that jerk you out of your body a bit so you can experience that connection for yourself.
When you’ve experienced it, it’s tough to define it in a way that isn’t going to sound like clichéd bullshit to someone else. So that’s why some people just don’t put words to it, and they keep these rituals to only certain people, like healers or priests or medicine men.
That’s also why someone can read a story like mine and still find reasons to think this is all bullshit – because no matter how many times or ways you put words to a thing, faith is always something you make for yourself.
*Flusssshhhhh* (Erik’s toilet flushing to say he’s done.)
When E was finished talking, I went online to look for a visual aid for this doughnut he was talking about. It’s a lot like a black hole.
Kate Sitka is a spirit medium and animal communicator located in Tofino, BC. To learn more about her and her work, please check out her professional website: tofinopsychic.com and her personal blog psychicintraining.com