How to Grow Faith from a Seed
By: Liam Quirk
Faith can move mountains, heal disease and turn certain defeat into victory. Faith allows us to draw the sword from the stone, turn base metal into gold, even part the seas. Faith is the active face of grace. Faith is our superpower.
We are not talking about blind faith, however. True faith happens with our eyes wide open. And we are also not talking about the feverish co-dependency of some political and religious groups. That is voluntary servitude, not faith.
Faith is born of openness, honest inquiry, surrender and courage. Faith is much stronger than belief, and faith is infinitely more powerful than ambition and determination. At its core, faith is the full acceptance of our birthright as creator beings in a benign, purely positive universe.
The Seeds of Faith
Faith is informed initially by possibility, the quintessential seed of faith. We first must correctly conceive of the possibility of something to engage faith. Actually, this happens all of the time in such ordinary ways that we don’t even think of it as faith. We have faith that the sun will rise, that the thunderstorm will end, that gravity will keep our feet on the ground as we walk. As we venture out from near certainty toward the territory of the unknown, however, our faith may waver. We can become plagued by doubt, insecurity and fear.
Essentially, we tend to lose faith when we step into territory marked by real uncertainty. We may know that something is definitely possible, but we also know that it may not happen. You may not get the raise you asked for. I may not make the Olympic diving team. We may not win the lottery. Faith, however, is not about whether what we want actually comes to pass. Faith is not shaken by outcome.
Since faith begins with the seed of possibility, this is where we need to start. With the seed. A seed is not only about possibility; it is also about potential, which is the power of possibility. The power to become something much greater. Some things naturally have more potential than others. All of our potential is deep within us, perhaps seen only as possibility. We need to pay close attention to our desires to be sensitive to our potential. We need to start having faith in ourselves.
To move our faith from seed to seedling, it is helpful to entertain what may seem like a radical perspective, which is that everything is already created. Everything we can imagine already exists in potential. We do not create things; we call them into being from the infinite field of potential where they already exist. This includes who we are, and our life purpose.
This is a quantum leap from how we usually see things. Our usual lens is that we make things happen. And when things do not go the way we wish, we can say that we didn’t do enough, or not enough of the right thing, or that the timing was all wrong. This view, when we examine it closely, is based on the idea or belief in chance, in randomness. As in sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug. It’s a throw of the dice, really.
When we get that everything already exists in potential, we leave the realm of the random, the world of arbitrary chance. Where do we end up? In complete certainty, the realm of faith.
Faith and Karma
Faith, as we already know, is based on our beliefs and understanding about life and how it operates. And if we are operating even unconsciously with the belief that randomness or chance rules the day, then we will of course be treading uncertain ground. When we trade this belief in for an investigation into the deeper workings of cause and effect, then we have begun our journey into faith. The seed of our becoming has begun to germinate.
The law of cause and effect in spiritual circles is often called karma, which simply points to the concept that everything, absolutely everything, makes sense. Outcome follows input. Like gravity, cause and effect operates equally on everyone—but with a very important footnote. It may not appear that cause and effect operates equally on everyone because each individual has a unique purpose, a unique potential in life. Your personal purpose will determine how things play out for you. In addition, we need to note that not all of our “input,” such as thoughts and feelings, is fully conscious, so we may be getting “outcomes” or life experiences that don’t seem to make sense to us.
Cause and effect, in this sense, also means that life is 100% fair. Even the great inequalities in life are fair because cause and effect is absolutely nonjudgmental and perfect. We often don’t see the perfection because our scope is narrowly defined and because we expect life to conform to how we see things. The truth is that, given the perfection of cause and effect, everything can only be the way it is. Another way to say this is that everything is as it should be because the perfection of cause and effect has rendered it. This does not mean, of course, that everything is as it could be. We have the power to bring what is possible into being.
Faith as Affirmation of Truth
The steadfastness of faith, its confidence, comes from the grounding of faith in what is true. That is in fact the best way to understand and to cultivate faith. Faith affirms what is true. Doubt, on the other hand, leaves us on the shaky ground of uncertainty. The tricky part for some is that moving from doubt to faith requires courage and strength. We must be willing to believe before we see.
What strengthens faith, however, is not willingness or faith itself. What strengthens faith is experience. When we make our choices by fully stepping in to what we believe or know to be true about life, we will experience self-respect, which is the basis of self-love. We will also experience outcomes that affirm our faith. They may not be the outcomes that we wanted or expected, but we will recognize them as just and right. These experiences affirm that we correctly chose the best path forward for ourselves and others, and we are thereby emboldened for future choices. Our faith has deepened, and our confidence in ourselves has been strengthened.
It’s easy to argue that growing our faith in this way is impossible because we do not always know what is true. In one sense, this is correct, but the problem is not usually in knowing what is true. The real trouble is that we do not always believe in what we know to be true. We may, for example, know that life is inherently good, but we don’t fully believe it. As we flex our faith muscles and move forward into our doubt, courageously challenging the doubt, we slowly convert those aspects of our consciousness that are attached to fears of lack and meaninglessness. And this conversion happens not by will, but through accumulated evidence. After all, if it’s true, experimentation will bear it out. As this transformation takes places, what develops is our self-concept. We leave behind the limiting beliefs that have defined us to emerge from the unknown and become who we really are.
The Seed as Teacher
Before you reject all of this as some kind of mystical nonsense, let’s ground what we are talking about, literally put it in the ground. Let’s talk about seeds, the kind that may grow in your garden or on your window sill. Seeds have a lot to teach us about life and about faith. Especially when we’ve never really thought about seeds.
How smart is a seed? Smart enough to gauge by the conditions it finds itself in to grow appropriately. All other things being equal, plants that were started from seeds in small containers will not reach the size of plants that were started from seeds in large containers. How often do we thwart the size and health of our creations by starting them in small containers?
Seeds teach us about how everything already exists in potential. When you look at a seed, it really looks nothing like the plant it may one day become. It constantly morphs as it grows, much like our creations do when given the opportunity to grow freely and naturally. Seeds carry with them their entire genetic history so that they can draw upon what they need from within. It’s already all there, ready to be activated. Same with us.
Seeds can also show us how much our creations depend on others, on cooperation with life. Just like our creations, a seed comes equipped with everything it needs to grow into a strong seedling. Our initial inspiration drives us forward naturally, but then things change and the seed needs the cooperation of others (fungi and soil critters) to make the leap to the next stage of growth. How often do our great ideas and inspirations not make it to the next stage because we don’t get or even ask for the help we need to take things to the next level of growth? Maybe this is because we believe we need to do it all ourselves. The idea of separateness is the first lie we believe about ourselves and all of life.
Seeds demonstrate how faith can only grow where possibility meets the right conditions. Without the right conditions to grow and be nurtured, the plant doesn’t stand a chance. But this is not really the plant’s fault when it doesn’t thrive. The plant’s capacity to care for itself is very limited. It can’t pick itself up and move closer to the pond or off the path across the grass to the mailbox. Not so for humans. We can seek out the right conditions or even bring them to us. In fact, our continued development requires that we learn to make sure that our needs are being met. Without this, our potential will not be realized.
Above all, seeds teach us that we must develop faith to trust and experience that we have within us everything we need to reach our potential. This can be done in small steps, and it can also happen in leaps, in great realizations. And whether our growth is in small, steady steps or transcendent leaps, the seeds of our becoming have one further quality that we need to know about. They are non-local. This means that our power to create through our conscious intention is not limited to where we are placed in time and place. Unlike plants, we can operate outside of our particular time and place to call what we need into being. As faith grows, this capacity grows. Faith, in the end, is a demonstration of the certainty that as creator beings we create our life experience.
Liam Quirk is a Pathwork Teacher. Pathwork is a path of spiritual study informed by the lectures and teachings of Eva Pierrakos. Liam’s book, Being & Becoming: Five Essential Pathwork Lessons will be published by the Pathwork Press in the Fall of 2021. His other books, The Mind of God, The NonSense of NonDual and Please Remember are available on Amazon. More about Liam’s teaching and approach to Pathwork can be found on his website: PathEssentials.com.