The ability to trust is pivotal to the healthy functioning of the human psyche as well as a pre-requisite for establishing deep connections to others.
At its core, trust for others arises from our ability to trust ourselves. And in order to trust ourselves, we have to connect to our deep intuition and instinct. For most people, this trust is problematic because we have been taught to disregard this deep source of non-rational intelligence as an invalid source of knowledge since it can’t be proven or justified. Though initially, we may pay lip service to our “gut” instincts, when push comes to shove, we typically rely on our rational intelligence when making decisions or evaluating what is going on around us. What can’t be seen in the light of day and “proven” is relegated to the realm of La La land and distrusted as a less reliable type of intelligence.
Anne and I make our living trusting our deep intuition and subtle awareness. In our practice, we work intuitively with the higher guidance of Angels to provide insights and powerful transformations that promote profound healing of the body-mind, soul and spirit. It is not a practice for those lacking trust in themselves and their perception of the world around them. For me, the ability to relate to the unseen world of Angels started years ago when I was in my 30’s.
Since then I have had a variety of unusual experiences where I perceived unseen guidance and heard distinct voices and, as a result, I have an expanded subtle awareness of energy and healing phenomenon. But the following event was so unique and powerful that it has been firmly etched in my memory.
It was October 17th, 1990 and I had flown from Vancouver to Toronto earlier that day to attend a four-day Upledger Institute course on Somato Emotional Release Techniques, which taught a method for bringing psychotherapeutic elements into CranialSacral Therapy. I arrived at my hotel in downtown Toronto late in the afternoon and chose to dine at a charming Italian Bistro nearby. I was walking back to my hotel room after a wonderful dinner and was on a sidewalk that passed the front of the Raymond Massey Theatre. I was walking at a good clip when I heard a distinct voice in my head directing me to turn off the main sidewalk (I literally heard, “Turn Here” ) onto a path leading obliquely toward a flat metal door positioned on the side of the building. Because the voice I heard was so distinct, I turned onto the spur sidewalk without missing a beat and walked straight toward a solid metal door that had no handle and was situated on the side of the building which had no windows. I did this without hesitation and never slowed my pace. I was fully prepared to strike the door and bounce off it. Yet to this day I have no explanation why my action seemed so compelling and so perfectly reasonable to me at that moment. I was just completely convicted to carry on straight up to and, if necessary, straight into the solid door without pausing and that is exactly what I did.
I had no expectation whatsoever that it would open or that I would be entering the building, yet, at the last possible second, the door opened and a janitor stepped out to have a smoke. Apparently so perfect was the timing of my entrance that the janitor never even saw me – he stepped out as I stepped in like clockwork in a perfect choreography of simultaneous movement. I never broke step and walked straight into the well-lit foyer, where, unbeknownst to me, a gala event was in progress in which Peter Appleyard and his renown jazz band were giving a concert tribute to Benny Goodman. I proceeded down the closest aisle of that packed theatre hall to an empty front row seat where I spent the rest of the evening enjoying the fun and the music. A seemingly supernatural synchronicity had taken place. The experience left me in awe, feeling that I was being taught a profound lesson in trust by the unseen benevolent forces in the Universe.
This was not my first encounter with unseen guidance revealing itself to me nor would it be the last but it was well beyond the pale of anything I had experienced up to that date. Because of this, my trust in my intuitive capacity deepened. The experience confirmed to me that there is a higher level of intelligence with which we humans can connect to and from which we can receive guidance.
There are potential pitfalls when it comes to Trust. To reliably experience high-quality guidance, we must have a capacity to trust our own subtle perceptions and a good healthy dose of common sense so that the development of this 6th sense doesn’t go awry. Too little trust and the guidance will likely be neglected. Ungrounded openness to the unseen worlds and the misperception of subtle guidance will lead to disappointment and possible misfortune. Either way, the confidence necessary to receive higher guidance will be diminished. These hazards plus many others may cause us to become alienated to our own capacity to experience intuitive knowledge, let alone trust it.
Since the door to higher guidance is opened through trust, it is essential to understand what the object of this trust is and what the purpose of the guidance is. Misplaced trust in something or someone that is innately not trustworthy will likely lead to a bad outcome. Many people trust that only good things will happen to them because they identify as being good and deserving only good or, they believe that God is in control of the universe and will surely prevent tragedy from occurring. The popular movie The Shack is primarily oriented to exploring this question of how a good God could create a world where bad things happen to good people. When a person trusts God but takes exception to the tragedies of life and blames God for them, faith becomes problematic. When there is no trust in God, dealing with the vicissitudes of life can be difficult indeed.
Generalized faith in God or the Universe or the Tao is fundamental, yet at another level, the subtle perception necessary to interact with higher guidance on a day to day basis requires a lot of practice and refinement. Life requires discernment in regard to what paths we follow and how we react to the various people and opportunities we meet up with. Though not all our choices will work out the way we wish or expect, the learning curve can be meaningful. In the process of learning to interact with Higher guidance, prayer, meditation, and patience are helpful. Declaring Divine order, come what may, helps us to maintain our center and connect to the flow.
Intuition can be experienced as a direct knowing, a strong conviction or come through a deep feeling. Timely synchronicities can also reveal the hidden hand of higher guidance. Win, lose or draw, learning to trust this 6th sense through the feedback life itself provides is an essential part of the process. How many times do people experience misfortune and regret after having taken an action in spite of a deep sense to the contrary. It’s not a failure in the big picture though. It’s part of the learning curve.
So what is the way out of this dilemma of developing unwavering trust in God or even in ‘the universe’ or life itself? These are very personal questions which not everyone can answer. But I propose the following: the one thing we can count on is that behind all of life and every unexplainable event such as the one I experienced in Toronto, is a creative intelligence force or energy that, however complex the source, is operating at all times. So this statement proclaims my faith, that life is essentially not random. Therefore it behooves us to seek the wisdom operating behind the scenes to discern the nature of the background energy of the manifest world. German Theologian Richard Wilhelm, who helped bring the I Ching to the West and wrote an early translation of the I Ching, (or Book of Changes) commented about Hexagram 50, “All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible. Thereby it receives true consecration and clarity and takes firm root in the cosmic order.”
Essentially, it is the work of the human to discern and harmonize with the energy generating what is actually taking place, the Tao, the cosmic flow. Thus the needs and the flow of the cosmos is sought and aligned with. Trust in the cosmic order is essential to this process. For us, this is the true resolution in understanding and accepting tragedy, disappointment, and difficult challenges of life, namely, to transmute suffering through aligning with Divine Will/Cosmic Order. Our task is to trust that our lives have meaning and that redemption is possible which brings us to compassion and forgiveness, and ultimately, the ability to transcend grief through love, wisdom, and service.
From this perspective, there truly is meaning, love and goodness in everything. All humanity is challenged to discern the forces and meaning underlying what has come to be and to align with the Divine or Cosmic intelligence being expressed. At the deeper level, this is the soul and the spirit of Radical Trust.