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The Brotherhood of Light

Faith and Practice

Faith is more than simple belief or assent to a proposition such as "I believe in God" or "I accept Christ as my savior". Faith is a state of striving and of continual seeking. It is a desire to fill "a hole in the heart". A person in a state of faith continually seeks a relationship with God, and is always seeking and calling out for the divine presence.

As modern Protestant thought has it, faith can be either a doctrine or a state of being. Doctrinal acceptance is merely a social state, paying the ticket to be accepted into the group. It says nothing about afterlife. Faith as a state of being is continual striving, not according to ritual, but according to desire. If a person dies in a state of seeking, it becomes a habit of the soul, and after death, the person will continue seeking God. This is why there is hope for transcendence for such a person.

It is difficult to say whether ritualized meditation, or emotional seeking, when practiced during life, helps the soul more. It is a matter of intensity, and how far the person gets along either path.

The best preparation for death is to make a firm mental map of where the soul is to go. Because the soul first encounters the planes of imagination shortly after death, where the landscape is variable, it is important to have a clear idea of direction and purpose. Once the layers of imagination are pierced, the soul can continue to its destination. For souls of a devotional cast, they can call on a god or a guide for help. But in the case where these beings do not hear or are busy, it is useful to be able to travel independently which requires knowledge about the kinds of meditation that induce and control the soul's movements during spiritual travel.

A basic map is one that links the physical, mental, and spiritual worlds together and defines the relationships between them. The mental worlds (sometimes also called the subtle worlds) are worlds whose form is determined by mental imagery. This area is called subtle because it is difficult to perceive and visualize, and requires effort on the part of the individual. Perception of the subtle worlds tends to be an acquired skill rather than a natural ability for most people.

The map must also include the spiritual worlds which lie beyond the mental worlds. These areas are composed of light beyond the mind's forms. These are the areas of radiance, and music, shining brightness, and the harmony of the spheres. Such states may or may not be personified. From this area comes the great tides and currents of light which reflect through the worlds of mental and physical form. Both the meditating person and dying person should have a spiritual map which illustrates that he or she must traverse the subtle or mental planes of being to reach the spiritual realms.

Some souls combine faith and practice in useful ways. For instance, one can have faith in the transcendent power of sound, in order for the sound to cause the soul to ascend spiritually. If the person firmly doubts the power of meditation, it will be harder for the meditation to be successful. Faith in light makes the spiritual light brighter. The light does not appear directly before the eyes, but rather in the heart. And this light can bring the guide or god to the heart as well.

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