Trust is an absolute necessity for our spiritual development. Without it, it is difficult to even enter the path and transformation will be nearly impossible.
Transformation means that something changes into something else. Copper turns to gold. After transformation the copper is not the same anymore and it cannot know the gold until it becomes it. In the same way the butterfly cannot know itself while being a caterpillar.
In other words, we have no idea what will happen when we let go of our old familiar ego structure.
I use the word trust here in the sense of basic trust. This is something else than psychological trust, which is based on trustworthiness.
Basic trust means that we have the feeling that our life naturally unfolds and evolves in the right direction.
That whatever happens, it will always be good, even though we don’t know yet what it will be.
Basic trust seems to be a pre condition for us to let go into the unknown and not knowing.
You may have noticed already that not knowing is one of the most difficult things for our ego to tolerate, while for the aware part in us it is the most natural state.
The thing is, we NEED trust on all levels, also in the normal daily life.
And certainly in this moment, life on the planet probably rarely knew such a lack of trust and had such a fear consciousness as today.
We seem more estranged from our true nature than ever before.
Everything is moving and changing so fast.
Nobody is sure anymore about the future. All predictions about the climate changes or the financial situation have to be adjusted on a monthly or weekly or even daily basis.
Not knowing is lurking around every corner.
This “not knowing” makes us fearful.
We want to secure our future; we want to know what is going to happen to our money because we are not at all sure that things are moving in the right direction.
For sure not now.
For me, a big part of my life trust meant:
Keeping the strings in my own hands and never giving up and never letting go of control.
I was convinced that all the good things in my life were a direct result of my own efforts.
Everything that came from the outside was at its best dubious. I had learned very early on, to keep my own course. This tactic had proven again and again to be the trust worthiest of all.
When I came close to the spiritual path, messages like: “let go” and “trust” seemed simply dangerous and unintelligent to me.
However with the support of a new group of people and all kinds of books on meditation and the soul, I started to “practice”.
Then drugs presented themselves. First a joint, later the other stuff.
That meant trusting and letting go in huge leaps.
LSD brought a big opening in the sense that it showed me for the first time ever that there was a reality beyond the mind. In this reality everything was connected to everything else and on top of it, the whole was moved by a force that was way beyond the personal.
Later on meditation came and by and by drugs left. Over time my meditation grew, but my basic trust however did not grow that fast. It was a slow process, little step after little step. I remained self sufficient and self-reliant.
During my meditation trust was okay, but outside of that it remained a dangerous affair. This created a split in me. I could trust in god by now, but people…and life…. that remained another story.
After some years I became so desperate. I wanted to let go of control but could not do it.
I knew beneath that was fear but I could not feel this fear.
I started to pray.
Praying is a dangerous thing, in the sense that if a prayer is sincere, it generally gets heard. It was heard indeed.
Very soon , my partner left me, I lost the house in which we had lived together and my health collapsed to a point that I had to stop working for quite some time.
Now, it was not very difficult anymore, to get in touch with my fears. I was terrified, all the time.
I used the therapeutic tools that were available at the time, to move through yet another layer of old pain and fear and mistrust.
Looking back, a year later, I could see clearly that everything that had happened had been absolutely perfect.
My ex had not really fitted with me and the direction my life wanted to take; it was also better to live alone for a while to allow for the new course of my life to unfold. This made it possible for my work to take on a whole new course as well. The whole drama had changed me profoundly; I was more open and more clear.
All these changes had been necessary for a transformation in me that I would have never been able to create myself.
Throughout the years that followed, life presented me of course again and again with new situations that evoked fear and asked for a letting go.
And every time I was surprised that my previous experience was not sufficient to let me trust once and for all, in the loving intelligence of the universe.
I mean, I “knew” that everything always turned out for the better. Then why would I get so scared again?
Even my awakening into oneness did not do the job. It did not bring a lasting direct contact with this basis trust yet. I did not know at the time, that the ego survives many stages and levels of enlightenment and that there are certain essences in the soul that restore trust.
Still I noticed that the part in me that is aware, awake, knows and sees that all is one and that all is good and that everything moves and unfolds according to a completely loving and intelligent plan.
I saw that we all have our karmic place in this whole and when we really start to understand this, we know that whatever happens is perfect and that it fits perfectly on our path.
Great justice reigns, always and everywhere, however difficult it is sometimes to experience this.
A deep trust grows both from insight and from the direct contact with an essential quality of our being.
While we experience the part in us that is aware its clarity, the ego, which I also call sometimes “the inner child”, hides somewhere in a corner, usually deep inside of us.
The light, the realization has not reached here yet. In fact, to our ego it feels as if it is a child that still lives with the parents. So it is only logical that there is not much trust present in this separated closed nucleus.
When we come in touch with difficulties now, or things that bring us fear, we, as aware beings, have two choices.
We can negate the ego/child in us (it often only makes itself noticeable with a small voice) and split it off in our desire to follow our knowing.
On the level of the absolute source this is also the truth. But we function on different levels at the same time, and each level has its own laws and experiences. rephrase
I call this: living from realization and direct knowing.
This brings a certain amount of freedom.
However the danger here is that it can give rise to a certain split in our consciousness that we can justify in the name of awareness.
E.g. we can stop having personal relationship in order not to be confronted with issues that can stir our ego and think that there is no longer an ego. In most cases this shows more that we have become masters in avoiding and denying our ego activity.
Or we can notice the deeply hidden fear in us and allow it to surface. In this way it can open and we can experience it. This is a very simple and direct, but also confronting and painful way, to allow the fear to dissolve.
We don’t deal with it in a traditional therapeutic way though, we let it be and sense it and in that way it gets released.
If we keep following this process, we may begin to experience an emptiness or a hole behind our fear. Not a positive emptiness but rather a sense of lack.
If we stay consciously present in this hole/lack and accept the not knowing, sooner or later this emptiness will fill up from within with an essential quality of our soul.
In the case of trust it is the quality, which Faisal and Almaas call:”Living Daylight”. It brings us a very direct physical experience of the loving goodness of existence. Basic trust arises as a natural and direct result out of that. The “knowing” has now landed in the cells. It also has reached the ego nucleus and now we can speak of transformation.
This process is often very slow. Little by little the light and the knowing land in our cells.
This part of the journey is often referred to as the process of integration, a stage needed to come to stabilization first and actualization later.
It is a slow process, which needs time, patience and practice.
It reminds me of the story of Meher Baba*, a guru from Pune/India. He received a kiss from Babajan* on his forehead when he was 19 years old. This transmission brought him a very direct awakening. Later he said that he had needed 30 or more years to integrate this kiss and come to full actualization of his enlightenment. (He received help from other masters and teachers in this process)
But let us come back to trust.
How easy or difficult this process of trusting is in a life is of course very dependent on how the “holding environment” in the family of origin was. By this we mean: the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual climate in the family.
In other words: Does the child get touched and held in a loving way?
Does one sense and recognize its sensitivity, does one see its true nature, is there intelligence present in the parents?
If all this is the case, then the child feels itself safe and held in the family and it will not lose its inborn contact with the goodness of existence so deeply. His soul can open and unfold itself in a natural way, like a flower opening to the sunlight.
On top of that, it will also learn that people are good and loving and so learn to trust in both an absolute and a relative way.
Is the environment however not safe or even hostile, and then it is clear that the contact will be disturbed on both levels.
As soon as we lose contact with this living daylight, we cannot truly trust anymore and we will increasingly hold on to the ego structure that we built around this lack.
We will base our trust now on this false structure. Our way back home will be a lot more difficult, because on this road we have to meet the unknown again and again and we need to let go of the old. Our false structure does not let go so easily.
Living Daylight. God’s goodness smiles at us.
Existence is filled with and made of this living daylight, this living goodness. In fact it is the only thing there is in all its different appearances. On a physical level it feels as if we are surrounded by an atmosphere of goodness, warmth, light and space. Some people say they feel like they are held in the arms of God when they sense it, others say they feel safe and supported when they experience it.
If our early experience was one of fear, then we keep our doors and windows closed for this warm light. Often we close ourselves to many other things as well that come from the outside and mistrust becomes a way of life. We create an energetic barrier that can start already on the level of the skin. And the loving daylight cannot reach us anymore. We are locked up in our self-created prison.
The way back to this basic trust is not without pain or fear. It may seem like a contradiction but the more contact we have with this light, the more we also come in contact with the barriers and the old fears.
Someone who has a lot of basic trust is particularly capable to allow the deepest fears to surface from the depth. On the surface it can then look as if that person does not have any trust.
The deeper layers of mistrust can however only be allowed and felt when there is a certain amount of trust present. Trust is like the bedding for it. The more light, the more darkness.
In this way deep wounded parts of our psyche can be felt and through this a letting go of old ego structures can take place.
This means a letting go of our identity. This can be felt as disintegration, a sense of falling apart.
Again this can be fearful because the old falls away while we don’t know yet if there will be anything to replace it. It feels more like the famous fall into the abyss.
If this falling or jumping is easy, then the original family settings was usually fairly healthy and the transformational process will be relatively easy.
Was the trust very disrupted or disturbed, then we don’t jump so easily but rather clamp or hold on to our old safe ego identity. Make shorter and simpler
What could ease this process?
As I said before, the absence of this light is felt as a hole. As a lacking, a missing of something that should have been there. The more we can tolerate and accept this hole (often it is filled with all kinds of unpleasant or fearful memories), the more the loving daylight can stream in again. From there, the passage to our basic trust is restored and letting go will be less hard. This takes place step by step. Each time we notice that our true nature DOES show itself when we let go, by itself, we trust a bit more.
The disintegration of our ego structure is not a matter of one jump or one fall. We would not be able to let go of this structure in one go.
If we did, we would not know how to function anymore. Just like Meher Baba who was in coma after the kiss of Babajan. When he came to, it took years before he finally could manage to live from his new essential and healthy structure.
The good news is of course that whether or not we feel it or know it, the goodness of the universe is always here. It never left, it never diminished and it can never leave because it is intrinsic to existence itself.
And on that we can always count.
*Meher Baba ( Indian Guru from Pune 1894-1969)
*Babajan ( Hazrat Babajan, a Persian guru who became 141 years old and who lived in Pune under a neemtree, 1790-1931)
*Faisal Muqaddam is the founder of the DiamondLogos work and co founder (with A.H. Almaas) of the Diamond Approach.
*A.H.Almaas is the founder of the Diamond Approach and the Ridhwan School