I am almost always in awe at how the deepest and truest things in life are those things that are intangible. Things like love, fear, peace, faith and even God. We can’t really hold them in our hand, or really point definitively to them. And while we can’t see them with our eyes, we can see the fruits of these untouchable things when we engage them. Interestingly, it is these intangible things that most shape our lives. They are what we deeply long for, and yearn to have and to know.
“The beginning of the culture of the mind that enables it to make contact with the realm of creative ideas is faith, and faith is superenthusiasm. You must have such confidence in your ability to make union with creative Mind that you fuse the two and the invisible elements melt and fall into the mold you have made for them.” – Charles Fillmore
One of the reasons I believe our lives are shaped so intensely by these principles is that they are tuning forks for our instrument of being. They point us to staying faithful to what is true, good and beautiful – to being harmonized to that which doesn’t change inside each one of us.
Faith is one of the most powerful of these principles. It is not a set of principles, dogma or creeds. It is the activity of trusting, committing, of a constant listening to the eternal voice. It’s about how we are related to each other and our world. Faith is not absolute, rather, faith absolutely knows, and at the same time asks us to remember that we don’t know at all. Faith involves both a connection with the immensity of infinite spirit and a feeling of the intimate touch of God. Faith is content with this eternal paradox.
In Jesus Christ Heals, Charles Fillmore says that faith is superenthusiasm. And while I can never know exactly what he meant, this idea of superenthusiasm is liberating. The word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek en theos, which means to be “possessed by God” or “in God.” We tend to think of enthusiasm as great zeal, and very upbeat. Acting in a particularly joyful manner, but I think it is more than that. To be “in God” is to lose oneself.
Have you ever felt as though you were so immersed in God as to be lifted out of yourself? Have you ever felt “lost” in the awe of God, or caught up in worship or wonder of creation? This is not just enthusiasm, but superenthusiasm. And we can know this experience whether we are stumbling in the dark, humbled by life, or radiating the light of love and peace.I think we forget though, that even when we feel lost, or life has rearranged us to the point of exhaustion, we can still be “in God.” We can feel totally alive in a thunderstorm or when we look into the eyes of a child.
For me, anytime I have been brought to my knees by pain, anger, jealousy or grief, there comes a point when everything seems so uncertain the only thing left to do is surrender. Surrender is not outer capitulation, but rather an inner opening. As I open completely to everything unknown, I am “in God” completely. Spiritual traditions all teach about letting go, releasing what we don’t need or what doesn’t serve us. In surrendering we get humble enough, vulnerable enough and naked enough in order to be “possessed by God.” Only then do we discover we have all that we need. Only then do we connect with that place inside that never changes.
Superenthusiasm begins as a discipline, acquiescing to all that we do not control and trust that a pattern of wholeness emerges. As this wholeness emerges, we then begin to express the enthusiasm in ways we are accustomed to: exhilaration, joy, glee, laughter, passion, desire or excitement.
This is faith, superenthusaism – believing in that pattern of life that is “possessed by God” even though you can’t see it. As you humbly live your life falling down and getting up, opening to all that is, you live your faith and create moments of surrendering and opening for others to see. Your faith is making the invisible, visible. It is the time of celebrating the thrill of life, of engaging the affirmative impulse of life – it is superenthusiasm.
originally published in Unity magazine, Sept/Oct 2014 issue.