Not surprisingly, after my thoughts about faith and discernment I came upon a teaching of rabbi Natan of Nemirov relating to this topic.
What I am calling “discernment” he refers to as “expanded consciousness.” He explains that every day we are enlightened by the particular hints in our reality pointing to our individual mission.
If we expect to understand everything on our own and do not include faith in the picture (faith being the capacity to accept what is beyond our capacity to understand rationally), then we lose on both counts. We will neither be able to understand nor will be capable of accepting fate in good faith.
But if we start from a place of faith and accept that not everything can we understand from our perspective then we will develop an expanded consciousness to find the meaning in the hints that speak of our mission in life. (Likutei Halachot Birkot Hare’iya Ushe’ar berachot peratiyot 5:11-12)
What came in my box today from a friend is a perfect way to top it off:
“We do not do what we do on our own and therein lies the true power. It is the power to allow, to acknowledge and evoke the work of Heaven. “Avodat Hashem”, usually translated as ‘service of G-d’ takes on a whole new meaning as ‘allowing the work of G-d’ in our world. It is a glorious holding back of human exertion of influence either physically or metaphysically. True empowerment is “Stand still and see the salvation of The Lord” )Exodus 14: 13) A profound allowing of the ultimate power.”
Thank you Haya for that piece of enlightenment! So to expand consciousness we have to let consciousness in.