Asking Questions and Seeking Answers
              The Many Paradoxes 

             THE JOURNEY
             THE PREPARATION
                 1. Intent to Believe
                 2. Consciousness to Believe
                 3. Imperfections to Believe
                 4. Connectedness to Believe
                 1. The Bible to Believe
                 1. The Word of God
                 2. The Presence of God
                 3. The Trust and the Obedience
                 4. The Sin and the Evil
                 5. The Justice and the Injustice
                 6. The Living in Reality
                 7. The Penitence and the Forgiveness
                 8. The Redemption and the Salvation
                 9. The Awakening and the Enlightenment
               10. The Coming and the Revelation 




We are living in a world of infinite information distributed through the mass media and social media. Unfortunately, some of the information available can be biased, distorted, and misinterpreted. Thus, it may negatively affect how we think and what we believe. In other words, the untruths often generate the disbelief and the unbelief.

So, how can we separate the truths from the half-truths or the myths; that is, separating the sheep from the goats?

To do just that, we need clarity of thinking to give us wisdom. The truth is that knowledge or information does not necessarily make us wise; it is the thinking mind that brings about profound wisdom. Furthermore, we need both human wisdom and spiritual wisdom, and that is what this book is all about. More importantly, the main objective of this book is to help you get rid of your unbelief to begin your own belief journey so that you may embrace your disbelief in the miracle of living. Once you have overcome your unbelief, you can then believe in the disbelief in anything and everything happening in your life.

Your belief journey is going to be long and winding with many detours and sidetracks that may often make your journey difficult and even impossible to continue.

No matter what, take your first step and begin your belief journey. It will be rewarding and enlightening over the long haul.

Stephen Lau




What is disbelief?

Disbelief is a state of mind of an individual who finds it difficult or almost impossible to accept the reality of a situation that is incredible but nevertheless real.

For example, an individual has just won a lottery with the payoff of millions of dollars. The disbelief is that it is just too good to be true!

For example, an individual is standing in front of the scattered belongings in front of his or her house destroyed in a tornado. The disbelief is that it could have happened only to others reported in the news but not to him or to her!

For example, it was disbelief that during the Roman Empire, spectators in the amphitheater could “enjoy” watching gladiators fighting and killing each other. Then, on January 1, 404 A.D., a monk named Almachus jumped into the arena attempting to stop the senseless killing. It was disbelief that the monk was stoned to death by the spectators. But it was also disbelief that the monk’s sacrificial death finally inspired the Emperor to bring an end to the senseless gladiator fights in the Roman Empire.

For example, Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer who had killed more than 17 young men in more than a decade, was convicted in 1992 and sentenced to life imprisonment. In prison, Jeffren began studying the Bible with a church minister, and was then subsequently baptized in prison. Jeffrey’s conversion was disbelief to the public. Another disbelief was that some Christians even told reporters: “I don’t want to see Jesus in heaven if I find Jeffrey with Him.” In prison, Jeffrey was harassed and life-threated by his inmates. It was disbelief that Jeffrey did not want any isolation or even protection; as a matter of fact, he was looking forward to his anticipated judgment from God. In 1994, Jeffrey Dahmer was beaten to death by two prison inmates while cleaning the bathroom. His own anticipated death was disbelief to many.

Indeed, we are living in a world of disbelief in what humans desire to do and what God allows them to do.


What is unbelief?

Unbelief is not believing something, and this generally refers to not believing in faith or God.

Unbelief is common. Why? It is because, to many, God does not exist. Even if He does, His existence is no more than the existence of the sun, the earth, or the moon. God’s existence does not change their lives.

Unbelief also comes from one top theological question: “Who created God?” The answer is simply: God is a Creator who gets anything from nothing. God is a timeless uncreated Creator with eternal existence and no origin. Unfortunately, this simple answer may remain inexplicable and incomprehensible to many, and thus sustaining their unbelief.

Unbelief may be present in those who do not want to seek the ultimate truth about anything, especially the presence of God. To them “seeing is believing” and so they just bury their heads in the sand, thinking that God is “not here for me to see.” So, “Why should I believe?”

Unbelief is the mindset of those who focus on the now. Accordingly, “life after death” or “eternal salvation” is irrelevant to the thinking mind of living in the present moment.

Unbelief is natural to those who are currently struggling to survive or to make a living in the material world. The "self-focus" paves the pathway to unbelief.

Unbelief is the rational thinking of those who observe the lies and evildoings in the world, including those done by pastors, priests, and religious people. Injustice justifies their rational thinking of unbelief.

Unbelief is the self-defensiveness of those who believe that they have done no evils throughout their lives. Their self-denial and self-justification often nourish their own unbelief.

Unbelief is, ironically, also the result of having too many religions in the world that makes some people reject God altogether.


Belief is the antidote to unbelief. That means an individual believes in not only the invisible but also the unbelievable.  This belief develops faith and cherishes courage to continue the belief journey.

Yes, belief is difficult, given that man is inherently a “rational” being, always demanding an explanation for anything and everything in life.

According to St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), in life there are certain things we do not believe unless we understand them, and there are also other things that we do not understand unless we believe them first. Accordingly, faith is not opposed to understanding, nor is it independent of understanding. St. Augustine’s famous statement “faith seeking understanding” is an act of believing first, without which unbelief closes the door to further understanding. In other words, we must always believe first, and our understanding will then follow. It is just that simple.

St. Anselm of Canterbury, a well-known Christian philosopher and theologian of the eleventh century, also echoed St. Augustine’s statement in his famous motto: “I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand.”

So, you must believe first in order that you may see and understand your belief, which is your faith in God.

But knowing about faith and having faith are not quite the same. Finding and having faith requires transformation, which is changing from the inside out. Understandably, any “physical” change in an individual, such as change in the body’s shape, is not easy. The “transformation” of the mind and the soul of an individual is even much more challenging and difficult because in the process of transformation everything is invisible to the naked eye.

In addition, faith and actions must go together, such as sharing faith with others. Actions in anything often generate uncertainty that may result in doubt and fear. Given that most humans prefer to stay in their comfort zones, fear related to faith may be the stumbling block. But your fear, paradoxically, may also show how strong your faith is.

So, stop avoiding your battles against unbelief. Stop retreating and start fighting,
and you will be the winner in the end.





What is wisdom?

Wisdom is essential to the understanding of the many inexplicable myths and mysteries of life and living. To live as if everything is a miracle, you need wisdom more than intelligence.

Wisdom is the capability to self-intuit what you already know and then diligently apply it to your everyday life and living. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and information by intelligence, while wisdom is the connection of these dots to see their logic and relevance in real life situations. For example, a scientist is often knowledgeable in his or her field of specialty, but that scientist may not necessarily be wise

Wisdom has much to do with your thinking mind: how it perceives and processes life experiences, as well as what questions it asks to seek the relevant answers.

Wisdom is all about thinking, which is everything in life and living.

According to Albert Einstein, any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. You may “think” you are thinking, but in fact you are not because you may have lazy habits of thinking. As a matter of fact, many people in this world do not even do their own thinking, just as Albert Einstein also said: “Thinking is difficult; that’s why so few people do it.”

If you are spending much time on watching television, or even browsing through your computer, you are not thinking.

So, what exactly is thinking?

Asking Questions and Seeking Answers

Thinking is a process of self-intuition through asking relevant questions to create self-awareness and self-reflection. It is the natural habit of the human mind to solve all problems by asking relevant questions and then seeking answers from them. Through the process of solving problems, the human mind may then make things happen. Yes, it is only through thinking that things happen in life.

There is an old proverb that says: “He who cannot ask cannot live.” Life is all about asking questions, and then seeking answers from all the questions asked. Ask yourself questions about “belief”:

·   Why do I want to believe the unbelievable?

·   Do I want to believe because people around me believe?

·   Is my belief going to change my life, and am I ready to accept that change?

According to American novelist Thomas Berger, “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” Your wisdom comes from the application to your everyday life and living all the knowledge you may have acquired through asking questions and seeking answers from the questions asked.

So, empower your thinking mind to increase its wisdom by asking questions to initiate its intent to learn, to discover, and then to change yourself for the better through your belief.

Although asking questions is a self-learning process, do not seek absolute answers from the questions asked. More importantly, do no seek answers that cannot be given to you right away. The most important thing in question-and-answer is to experience everything in the process, not just to pursue the knowledge. As matter of fact, knowledge can help, but it can also hinder. When you follow only what you know, and forget what you feel, you may easily be led down the wrong pathway. Remember, extensive knowledge and logical reasoning may not necessarily compound true human wisdom.


Enlightenment comes from the distillation of wisdom to have a better understanding of self, of others, and of the world around.

Enlightenment is self-awakening to what is real and what is illusory.

Enlightenment may dawn on you one day when you ask fewer or even no more questions, because by then you may already have got all the answers to the questions asked.

Enlightenment may or may not happen because the human wisdom is limited; it may require the help of spiritual wisdom.


Human wisdom is limited, incomplete, and inadequate, while spiritual wisdom is eternal, enlightening, and life- changing.

So, seek spiritual wisdom to overcome any unbelief.

Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China more than 2,600 years ago, and the author of “Tao Te Ching”, the immortal classic on human wisdom, believes that the desire to seek the wisdom of the Creator begins with the discovery of true self and the understanding of true human nature:

“The ancient prophets follow the Way to the Creator,
the Way to rediscover our true nature,
which is being one with the Creator.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 21)


Are we spiritual?

We are now living in a secular society, where science is the dominant religion. As a result, nowadays, many people do not believe in the existence of God. However, despite the absence of God in their lives, spirituality may still be present in the hearts of many.

The explanation is that they may believe they have an unfathomable spirit that can still provide the mind of an individual with direction, guidance, and understanding.

So, for any individual believing the presence of a spirit, the spirit then provides that individual with access to self-intuition.

For a believer in God, the soul or the spirit is the connection of man to God. This inexplicable connection is a line of spiritual communication in the form of prayers, moments of self-awakening, divine inspiration, and even the spiritual wisdom.

For an individual who does not have a specific religion, but still believes in the control of a Being greater than himself or herself, the spirit is the deep understanding of the inexplicable control and the natural cycle of all things-that is, certain things in human life are beyond human control and understanding; certain things always follow a natural cycle or order, such as life is inevitably followed by death.

For any non-believer, but still a decent human being, the spirit is the conscience that can tell him or her what is right and wrong, and not just following the law and order of the country.

So, in many different ways, we all have a spirit of some sort, although some of us may separate ourselves from it, either consciously or subconsciously.

The human spirit is like a shadow of ourselves: sometimes we see more of it, and sometimes we see less of it, but it is always within us, part and parcel of our being, forever following us wherever we go, whether we like it or not.

The Many Paradoxes

What is a paradox?

A paradox is a statement with two totally opposite meanings that may seem contradictory to each other and yet together they not only are true but also make some sense.

Believing in God has many paradoxes: the Creator becomes a creature; the Infinite becomes finite; the Eternal One enters time; and death is the way to life. These are some of the paradoxes expressed in the Bible.

The presence of God is one of the many paradoxes of life. Indeed, sometimes we see God’s love, mercy, and justice, but there are also times we see only His indifference, condemnation, and even injustice. In fact, there are many times we are prone to asking the pivotal question: “Where is God?”

So, how do we explain this enigma and the paradox of God’s presence in humans’ lives?

But the spiritual wisdom may provide some explanation to the many paradoxes in life.

The paradox of two-in-one person

You are a two-in-one person. As a matter of fact, we all are, to a certain extent.

There are two persons living inside you: one is your ego-self; the other is your spirit. They co-exist: your ego-self is living in the physical or material world, while your spirit is living in a totally different environment with a different dimension. There is constant and continual contact and interaction between these two personalities.

Your ego-self is assertive, and even aggressive, always telling you that you are separate from everyone else. Your ego-self wants more of everything in life, not only to define who you are but also to separate you from others. Your ego-self is judgmental, not only self-evaluating but also assessing others through comparison and contrast with yourself. Your ego-self is constantly shifting and shuffling back and forth between the past and the future, instrumental in improving the ego-self in the past, as well as in enhancing the ego-self expected in the future. 

Your spirit is the other person living inside you. Your spirit, on the other hand, is gentle and submissive in nature, always nudging you to do what is right and to avoid doing what is wrong.

The paradox is that both your ego-self and your spirit co-exist, and that each strives to dominate and influence the other.

The classic illustration of the two-in-one person is Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous story of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” In the story, both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have a dark side within them, where evil is always lurking underneath to surface anytime. In the end, it turns out that Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are actually “one and the same person.” 

Given that the ego-self and the spirit co-exist, and that one can never totally get rid of the other, the reality is that the more control the ego-self has over the spirit, the more difficult it is to understand God’s presence, not to mention to attain and appreciate His spiritual wisdom. Belief is the way to unravel the paradox of two-in-one person.

The paradox of understanding

One of the reasons for the paradox of God’s presence is rationalization. Man is a rational being, and understanding is vital to believing.

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” (Hebrews 11:3)

The reality is that man has only limited power of understanding. Therefore, let go of any pre-conceived concept or rationalization to appreciate the presence of God, thereby opening the door to further understanding the mystery of His presence.

The paradox of moralism

Moralism is another paradox in contemporary living. To many, it has a somewhat close association with religion or the word “God.” Moralism, to a certain extent, has much to do with how an individual is brought up to believe, as well as what that individual has perceived and experienced throughout that individual’s life. The truth of the matter is that moralism may make people reject not just the behavior but also the very person engaging in that behavior. That is, moralism may make people’s actions and reactions become conditional, judgmental, and even condemning. Pope Francis has rightly said: "Who am I to judge?"

The paradox is that moralism is a two-way street: people look at others from their own perspectives, while others may also look at them from totally different perspectives too. Moralism can drive people away from God because they cannot or are unwilling to change their own behaviors, and thus they somehow feel rejected by God. Moralism can also make people become inactive in their religious life because they believe that they can be “moral” even outside of the church. Moralism, an important aspect of most religions, can, ironically enough, deprive people of the presence of God.

The paradox of good and evil

There is no deny that good and evil exist side by side.

Then, is the nature of man inherently good or bad?

This is one of the most controversial questions that does not have a definitive answer. There are those who believe that man is created in God's image to serve Him; if that is truly the case, then man is inherently good. There are, on the other hand, those who believe that man is inherently bad because of the original sin of Adam and Eve.

According to Hsun Tzu, a Confucian Chinese philosopher who lived approximately between 310-219 B.C., the nature of man is evil, and his goodness is the result of his right actions and activities. Hsun Tzu’s explanation was that man’s innate nature is to seek gain, which is often followed by strife and rapacity that may annihilate his deference and compliance; man’s envy and hatred of others may also obliterate his loyalty and faithfulness; and man’s desire to gratify his five senses may engender his own lewdness and licentiousness. That is how man may have become bad and even evil over the long haul.

According to many Western philosophers, man from the outset is originally evil.

For example, Thomas Hobbes, a sixteenth century English philosopher, believed that the life of man in his natural state is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

For example, Sigmund Freud, the world-famous Austrian neurologist and founding father of psychoanalysis, also believed that man is innately evil and aggressive as demonstrated by the fact that we are violent on criminals; but that in a civilized society, the law is unable to prosecute the more subtle and smaller aggression of man, which can sometimes be just as evil as those violent criminals.

Essentially, good and
evil are only moral concepts that have co-existed since the beginning of time. Humans have been categorizing different actions and feelings based on their own philosophical concepts. Good and evil are closely linked together, just like the concept of the yin and the yang; one cannot exist without the other, but they balance and complement each other.

Undeniably, we all have the bright as well as the dark side of life. The Bible calls the dark side of human nature “sin.” None of us is exempt from sin. Life is always an inner struggle between what is perceived in an individual’s own moral system as “right” and the dark opposing force inside to do just the opposite as “wrong.” To make matters worse, most of us are really good at our self-deception: either we deceive ourselves into thinking that the dark opposing force does not exist in ourselves, or that we simply inflate our own personal virtues to overshadow the dark force within us.

The truth is that many people are not living in realty but instead in fancy with some of the following self-delusional fantasies:

· If others rob a bank, why can’t I steal or burglarize?”

· If priests are involved in sex scandals, why can’t I commit adultery?”

· If politicians break the law for their own selfish interests, instead of protecting the law they have set up, why can’t I too break the law?”  

The bottom line: Humans have intelligence because God created them in His own image. God’s knowledge is eternal because God’s knows everything from eternal past to eternal future. Humans’ knowledge is increasing with the advancement of technology, but humans still get things wrong due to their limited knowledge. So, turn to the Lord as your Counselor and Instructor:

13 Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord,
    or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
    and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
    or showed him the path of understanding? (Isaiah 40:13-14)




Before you begin your belief journey, you must know and acknowledge the one true God.

You may have some questions to ask:

Why is there only one true God if there are so many religions in this world?

Many religions do not involve God; they are simply a system of beliefs with moral codes and righteous human behaviors to enlighten the mind with better understanding of the meaning of life in this world.

What major religions involve the one true God?

Buddhism does not involve one true God. Buddha was not a god, but a prince. One day, he left the palace and witnessed human miseries that completely transformed his life with the enlightenment that human desires being the sources of all human sufferings.

Hinduism involves many different gods.

Judaism believes in one true God who promised Abraham, who was then childless, that He would create for him a nation with millions of descendants. Over the centuries, as promised, God had overseen the nation with instructions and messages from His prophets. Although His people had disobeyed and rejected Him, God appeared before Moses and delivered them from slavery in Egypt. After centuries of wars and exile, God finally gave His chosen people the nation of Israel.

Christianity believes in one true God -- Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, who was born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus came into this world not only to preach through His teachings and miracles, but also to die on the Cross to give humans their eternal salvation. His resurrection was a testament to His deity and identity.

Islam is the second largest religion. Mohammad, the founder of Islam, claimed to be a prophet who called people to worship him, rejecting idolatry, and polytheism. 
Muslims believe that Allah created the world in six days and sent prophets, such as Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, and lastly Muhammad, to call people to come to Allah and read Quran, the book of Islam.

Why should YOU become involved in the one true God?

If the one true God exists, you will be better off than a non-believer.

If the one true God does not exist, you will still be better off than a non-believer. Why? It is because you have already become a better person doing the righteous things. So, you have nothing to lose whether the one true God exists or not exists.


The belief journey is long and winding, with many detours and sidetracks that may distract and even prevent you from reaching your destination.

No matter what, it is important to take your first step-just as Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, once said: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

So, take your first step to begin your belief journey. This will change your life forever.


Before any journey, you need to prepare yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Your preparation determines how far you may go on your belief journey and what stumbling blacks you may encounter on the way.

(1) Intent to Believe

Belief seldom begins with going to a church or reading the Bible.

Belief always begins with the mind of an individual to believe the unbelievable.

An empty mind

To believe, you must have an empty mind with no pre-conceived ideas about God. If need be, ask yourself how and why you might have those ideas in the first place (what is known as reverse thinking). An empty mindset originated from Lao Tzu:

“An empty mind with no craving and no expectation helps us let go.
Being in the world and not of the world, we attain heavenly grace. With heavenly grace, we become pure and selfless.
And everything settles into its own perfect place.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 3)

There was the story of a professor visiting a Zen master to find out more about Zen, which is an Eastern philosophy. In the beginning of the visit, the professor kept on talking nonstop while the Zen master served him tea. At some point, the Zen master kept pouring tea into the teacup held by the professor even though it was already brimming over. The moral of the story is that you must have an empty mind first before you can accept any new and unconventional ideas.

ise, you cannot come to God with ideas about what you want God to do for you. So, surrender yourself with an empty mindset before coming to Him.


God is above, and we are below. To believe, you must come to God with humility, and not pride.

Humility is the opposite of pride, which is the first of the Seven Deadly Sins. Pride comes from the ego, which, unfortunately, we all have.

Yes, with no exception, we all feel proud of ourselves at some points in our lives: being a mother; seeing the grandchild stand up and start walking; graduating from school or college; joining the army and serving the country; finding a profitable profession; getting married in a church; retiring from work after decades of hard work and accomplishment; and so on. But pride often leads to sins.

An Illustration

“The College Admission Cheating Scandal”

On March 12, 2019, the United States federal prosecutors disclosed an ongoing conspiracy aimed at influencing some students’ college admission decisions at several prominent
American colleges and universities.

In the college admission cheating scandal, some wealthy parents paid as much as $75,000 per test to help their children get a better score. It was reported that at least 50 people, including some famous Hollywood stars, allegedly had participated in that scandal.

Apparently, these parents with “good intention” to help their children’s education had committed “a crime with no victim.” But it was all about selfishness, self-centeredness, and pride to satisfy the ego that their children could go to those prominent colleges and universities.

The antidote to pride is humility, which opens the door to God.

An Illustration

Ann Russell Miller was a celebrated socialite from San Francisco, also known as Sister Mary Joseph. She, who had ten children and nineteen grandchildren, had been living a life of incredible wealth and luxury that she had been so proud of for years. Instead of shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue as she used to do for the past several decades, she suddenly decided to give up anything and everything to become a nun devoted to living in poverty for the rest of her life.

That unbelievable event happened more than two decades ago: one day, she held a celebrity party in which she announced her incredible decision, and her announcement was widely reported over the United States.

Why did Ann Russell make such an incredible decision to drastically change her lifestyle?

She was letting go of all her attachments to the material world. She said she had a "calling" from God that was difficult for the world to understand, and even for the close members of her family.

Humility is living in simplicity with an empty mind without any pre-conditioned thinking and expectation. But only with humility, will you be filled with God’s grace and wisdom.

Becoming and transforming

Humility opens the door to God, who never changes Himself, but who forever changes those coming to Him.

At some point in your life, you may begin to sense your incompleteness, your loneliness, your limitations, your disillusions with human vanity, and you may then begin to turn to God to truly fill and satisfy your inner longing. Yes, your past wayward pursuits in life were all in vain-much like “chasing the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11)  

Now, your belief becomes your becoming, which is self-transformative.

Change is external, and transformation is internal. Change requires you to look outside of you; transformation is looking inside of you. Change may have a negative impact in that you want to get rid of something undesirable; transformation is enhancing something which in good and which is already innate in you. Transformation is the rediscovery of what is already there inside you, but might have become invisible to your naked eye, imperceptible to your mind, and unintelligible to your soul.

The miracle of becoming and transforming is to provide you with new perceptions of your true self-that is, who you really are in the eyes of God, and not who you wish you were.

(2) Consciousness to Believe

Belief is not about “seeing is believing” or “seeing is understanding.”

Belief is about consciousness, which
is everything in your life: if you are not conscious, you are not living your life, if not already dead.

So, what exactly is consciousness?

Being conscious is a "special quality of the mind" that permits us to know both that we exist and that the people and the things around us also exist.
Consciousness is self-awareness of what is happening around us. We are living in a world of information overload that distracts ourselves not only from turning to God but also from looking truthfully at ourselves.
Life is an inner journey that often requires consciousness of the body and of the mind, together with that of the soul or spirit, to continue making its progress to reach its destination. Sadly, since the beginning of time, many have traveled on their life journey but without reaching their destination because they simply lack their consciousness of the body and of the mind, not to mention that of the soul or spirit, to guide them along the long and winding journey with its many detours and sidetracks.

Hippocrates (460 - 370 B.C.), the father of modern medicine, was one of the first scientists to observe and notice that consciousness came from the mind, created by the brain, and that people with brain damage tended to lose their mental capabilities. According to Hippocrates, the human mind is created by the brain, and the mind crumbles piece by piece as the brain dies.

The human brain creates the consciousness of the mind, and thus giving all humans their pleasures and displeasures, their happiness and unhappiness, as well as other positive and negative feelings and emotions. These human perceptions become their subjective experiences which are stored in their minds as memories generating their subsequent thoughts-together they then become the byproducts with which they weave the fabrics of the realities in their lives.

Without your consciousness, you may just obediently follow whatever your mind tells you to do, without seeing how and why you want to do it. In other words, you may have become a slave to your thinking mind, instead of being the master of your own thoughts.

It is through your consciousness that you may gain access to God’s wisdom. Without that channel of connection, you may knowingly or unknowingly distance, if not separate, yourself from God. So, consciousness is your channel of communication not only with your true self but also with God.

Consciousness of breaths

Now, ask yourself one simple question: Are you always conscious of your breaths -- that is, breathing in and breathing out? If not, most probably, you are always watching TV while cooking or eating, or you are always talking on the phone while doing your daily walk.

You are conscious of your mind only if you are always conscious of your breathing and your breaths. The truth of the matter is that l
ife is made up of many breaths. For thousands of years, the Chinese have believed that the lifespan of an individual is determined by the number of breaths assigned to that individual at birth. That explains why traditional Chinese exercises, such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi, focus so much on the art of breathing, especially on extending the breaths, which holds the key to longevity. Western science has already attested to the fact that tortoise, with the longest lifespan in the animal kingdom, has the longest breaths, while rodent, with the shortest lifespan, has the shortest breaths. So, consciousness of your breaths is also a reflection of your own consciousness of life, as well as of many other things happening in your life.

Even the Bible has made reference to the importance of the breath from God, which is not only life itself but also divine understanding.

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and then breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)

Without the wisdom of consciousness, it is difficult to understand why you should turn to God.

Life passions and life goals

Consciousness is “quieting” the mind to find out who you really are, and not who you wish you were. In other words, what are your wants and desires, and what do you want out of your life? Consciousness makes you know and understand yourself, including your life passions and life goals.

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Aristotle

Be conscious of your life passions and your life goals. Life passions are what you desire and enjoy doing in your life, such as playing music, writing poetry, participating in a sport-or what God has destined for you. Life goals, on the other hand, are what you want to do to make a living, and to live comfortably in this world.

If you are young, you may desire a successful career, having a good love relationship, or making lots of money. Now, with consciousness, honestly and sincerely ask God to reveal to you the life goals and the life purpose He has destined for you, and not according to what you desire and want.

If you are old, you may desire health and a life of no suffering. Now, with humility, ask God to show you what He has destined for the rest of your life.

So, ask God to find your true "calling": “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Yes, consciousness with humility will enable you to see God’s destiny for you -- irrespective of who and where you are right now -- and your re-discovery of your true self will stop you from comparing yourself with others.

An Illustration

There was an ancient Chinese fable of a stonecutter who was always distressed by his daily work of cutting stones behind a huge stone.

One day, he looked up at the sky and wished he were the sun that could give warmth to others. A fairy came and granted him his wish, and he became the sun. For a while, he was happy, looking down at the world below. Then, one day, a big cloud came over and blocked everything from his view. Now, he wished he were the cloud that could drift everywhere in the sky.

The fairy granted him his wish, and he became the cloud, instead of the sun. For a while, he was drifting happily in the sky until one day a strong wind came, and he was scattered in different directions. Then, he wished he were the invisible wind blowing anywhere as he wished. Again, the fairy granted him his wish, and he became the wind.

One day, he found himself stuck in front of a big stone that he could not blow away. Surprisingly, that big stone was where he used to work as a stonecutter. Now, he finally realized that was where he was supposed to work. So, he asked the fairy to transform him into the stonecutter again.

The moral of the fable: You are who you are, and what you are destined to be. So, stop comparing yourself with others, or comparing your current self with your past self.

The bottom line: Like the stonecutter, be your true self, and do not compare yourself with others. Consciousness of your true self enables you to develop your spiritual connection with God, who always accepts you for who you are despite your imperfections because He created you to be who are meant to become.

(3) Imperfections to Believe

But consciousness of imperfections may have a negative impact on some individuals who are vulnerable to low self-esteem and self-doubt.

So, the remedy is self-acceptance, which is self-love. It should be noted that “loving yourself” and “loving your ego-self” are not quite the same. The former is loving and accepting yourself for who you are; the latter is loving or craving to be the person you wish you were. “Loving yourself” means you can also love others because they are not different from you in that they, too, are as “imperfect” as you are. On the other hand, “loving your ego-self” means others must somehow satisfy your ego first before you can love them.

The bottom line: If you cannot love and accept yourself, it is even more difficult to love and accept others.

Yes, “love” is a big word in all human civilizations and religions. God loves us because we are all imperfect and incomplete. So, your recognition and acknowledgment of your own imperfections is your only pathway to your belief.

(4) Connectedness to Believe

Nowadays, living well is not easy. Contemporary wisdom may provide you with a blueprint for living, but it is often too “exclusive”-- even to the extent of wishing others fail so that one may succeed in life. In addition, it often states that one must do this or do that to oneself to succeed and live well. It is not uncommon for many even to push over someone while climbing their own ladder of success.

Now, your belief may begin to reveal to you the wisdom in the connectedness of all life, which is based on one of the basic laws of Nature that all humans are somehow inter-connected with one another.

The famous English poet John Donne said: "No man is an island." This universal moral principle of the oneness of all life leads us to true and lasting freedom and wisdom in living. Once we understand that the life flowing in our veins is the same as that flowing in the veins of others, we will then learn how to show love and compassion toward others. After all, we are all created in the image of God, and we are no more than an expression of God’s creation.

The wisdom in the oneness of all life may free you from the human bondage of anger, competitiveness, disrespect, discrimination, envy, and other negative feelings and emotions. The inter-connectedness of all humans must be understood in subtle ways. For example, even if you just "kill" the enthusiasm of someone, you are also "harming" that individual because you are in fact taking away the life within that individual.

Empathy and sympathy

Love intensifies with the recognition of connectedness to others. With intensity through belief, it may develop into your empathy and sympathy.

Empathy is more than just sympathy. It is a deep understanding of the painful experiences of another individual that are as meaningful as those of your own, because either you have actually experienced them yourself or you can somehow realistically put yourself in that individual’s shoes.

Sympathy, on the other hand, is just an acknowledgment of the painful experiences of another individual with your own offer of comfort and assurance.

Empathy is initial human goodness that must be cultivated and developed before it can be easily expressed. Your belief can do the job for you.

An Illustration

There was a Jewish story of a man who died and was shown two images in both heaven and hell, in which people were sitting at both sides of a long table with a meal before each of them. He noticed that the people in hell were starving, because each of them had a spoon that was much too long to fit into his or her own mouth. However, the people in heaven were well fed because each was using the same long spoon to feed the person across the table.

Compassion and loving-kindness

Compassion means “suffering together.” It is an emotion or a feeling that when you see an individual suffering, you feel motivated to relieve the suffering of that individual by any means.

Loving-kindness is an act of kindness motivated by love and expressed in behavior toward another individual. Develop the mindset for love and care toward others around you so that loving-kindness becomes a habit or second nature to you.

When a person is not nice to you, what would be your immediate response and reaction to that person? Maybe your mind may tell you: “I won't let him or her step over me like that!” Over time, your natural response will become habitual and spontaneous-a natural way of expressing your individuality and your own rights. In other words, it has become your mindset.

Showing loving-kindness is not about “an eye for an eye,” or about your “rights” as an individual. Loving-kindness is an act of love that you consciously express to another individual simply because that individual has the same desire to be happy and to avoid suffering, just like yourself. Accordingly, your response is an expression of your love for that individual, irrespective of the behavior of that individual toward you. However, that does not imply that you accept, approve, or even condone the inappropriate behavior of that individual. Loving-kindness is a response in your attempt to change the inappropriate behavior of that individual. The outcome of your attempt to change that individual, however, does not affect your own response, because the attempt is out of your compassion and love for that individual, irrespective of your success or failure in changing the inappropriate behavior of that individual.

Loving-kindness is tantamount to what Jesus said about “loving your neighbor” and “turning the other cheek.”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor] and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5: 43-45)

“But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” (Matthew 5: 39

With awareness of the co-existence of others, you can now develop a positive mentality toward not only yourself but also others-which can improve human relationships by expressing your compassion and loving-kindness.

Forgiveness and forgetting

When you are unable to forgive others for the wrongs that they have done to you, you carry those negative feelings in your bag and baggage with you wherever you go, and thus distancing and separating yourself not only from them but also from God.

The reality is that you can never control what people may say or do to you; even avoiding those individuals does not necessarily eradicate your mental stress caused by the memories in that emotional bag and baggage you have been carrying with you.

An Illustration

On September 24, 2016, runner and cyclist Dean Otto was struck by a car driven by Will Huffman, a 27-year-old salesman, with his buddy on their way to a football game. The crash left Dean Otto paralyzed with his broken vertebrae, broken tailbone, a broken right leg, and several broken ribs.

After assessing Otto’s condition, Dr. Matt McGirt told the Otto family that Dean Otto was 99 percent likely going to spend the rest of his days in a wheelchair. It was sad and scary news for the Otto family.

But Otto was never scared-or even resentful. Instead, he said a private prayer and instantly forgave Will Huffman. “I knew if I didn’t, the resentment would eat me alive.”

After the surgery on his spine performed by Dr. Matt McGirt, Otto began his miraculous recovery. As a matter of fact, a few hours after the surgery, Otto was able to wiggle his toes.

Through Facebook, Will Huffman and his wife were finally able to contact Otto’s family, who welcomed them graciously with open arms.

Huffman was not surprised that Otto would forgive him, but he did not expect or imagine that they would become good friends afterwards. Huffman even said: “I think most people would stop there and say, ‘Nice meeting you, but I’m done.’”

Dr. Matt McGirt was also inspired by their close friendship, and he earnestly believed that it was Otto’s attitude, forgiveness, and loving-kindness that had brought about his phenomenal recovery. The doctor also remarked: “He not only turned lemons into lemonade, but he’s selling that lemonade, too.” Yes, Otto raised $11,000 for Carolinas Rehabilitation’s LIFE Program for spinal cord injury patients.

On July 22, 2017, Otto, Huffman, and Dr. McGirt reunited and participated in a half-marathon race. Their reunion was widely reported in the news.

The bottom line: Always forgive with no judgment, and you, too, will be forgiven. Forgiveness is a powerful spiritual medicine that cures all negative emotions and feelings about yourself and others.

So, let your belief free yourself from that bondage of unforgiving and unforgetting.

Generosity and gratitude

Love of others should be expressed in generosity. Be generous with your time, your labor, and with what you have. Show generosity to others around you. Form the habit of giving without expecting any credit, recognition, or just anything in return for your generous gesture. If you give with the intent of receiving, you are a “user” and not a real “giver.”

Generosity does not necessarily involve spending your money. It is not solely based on your economic status or how much money you have, but on your pure intention of looking out for society’s common good and giving from the bottom of your heart. Generosity should reflect your passion to help others who are in need, or who are less fortunate than yourself.

Giving generously is spiritual giving because God is forever giving:

“And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” (Acts 17:25)

God constantly sustains man by giving His providential gifts: 

“He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” (Acts 14:17)

God gave His beloved Son so that man may have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John. 3:16)

So, your generosity should be an expression of the contentment of what you already have. You do not give simply because you have more. Your generosity comes only from your heart. Your generosity will change your perceptions of life, especially with respect to letting go of all attachments in this material world. Your generosity is a necessity, and not an impossibility, in seeking God’s spiritual inspiration.

“‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (Malachi 3: 10-11)

Your generosity is also an expression of your gratitude for what you already have, and not for getting what you rightly deserve. So, your gratitude is your appreciation of what God has given and provided you. Without gratitude, you tend to focus on your lack, and thus generating your craving for more.

An Illustration

At the end of 2007, John Kralik, an attorney who owned a law firm, experienced debts and disasters in both his life and his career.

One day, after a walk in the mountains, Kralik became enlightened: As his 2008 New Year’s resolution, he decided to write a “thank-you note” a day for the rest of the year to everyone he knew.

Kralik’s 2008 “gratitude project” had changed his life completely. Instead of his feeling of discontent regarding his lack, and his envy of those who had what he did not have, he had learned to be grateful for his law firm, his practice, his friends, and his family, despite the many disasters and drawbacks he had previously experienced. Kralik’s gratitude began to change every aspect of his life. His relationships with his family, his friends, and his staff improved significantly; his law firm avoided bankruptcy and turned around completely.

The bottom line: Gratitude is something that you get more only by giving away more. Your expression of gratitude may help you overcomes the feeling of lack. So, let your belief in gratitude get you closer to God.


To go on your belief journey, you need a compass to tell you where you are right now.

(1) The Bible to Believe

The Bible is the compass to believe. You can always go to the Bible to ask for guidance and divine instructions to tell you where you are and which direction to go.

What is the Bible?

The Bible is the Word of God. Through the Bible, God speaks to every one of us if we are willing to believe and listen. In other words, the wisdom expressed in the Bible is God’s divine instructions to man.

The Word of God is not just for the Israelites, but for all believers and non-believers.


It is because the Word of God expresses the absolute truths of living in reality, which is making the most out of life, as well as avoiding any disorder and disharmony in life that may bring about premature death. To meet this tall order, human wisdom is often inadequate and incomplete. Biblical wisdom, expressed in God’s Word, may show humans how to live life to the best and the fullest, as well as how to conquer death, which inevitably comes as the end.

Is the Bible only for believers?

Before answering the question, you must ask yourself this question first: Does God really exist?

Many do believe that God exists -- but His existence has little to do with their daily lives on earth. Few believe that they can somehow communicate with God to make their dreams come true, such as giving them abundance or making them happy in their lives.

For a true believer, the Bible is the source of inexplicable communication and subtle relationship with God.

To go on your belief journey, you need a compass to show you where to go, and the Word of God is your compass to give you directions and instructions.

What is the authenticity of biblical truths?

According to Guinness Book of Records, the Bible is the all-time best-selling book, as well as the most translated work in world literature. This indicates that many people do believe that the Bible is a book of absolute truths with divine instructions from God.

Indeed, the Bible is a book of wisdom based on biblical truths that require faith to believe in the authenticity of all historical manuscripts reporting those events that had already taken place.

An Illustration

In the Bible, it was reported that Jesus “walked on water” (Matthew 14:22-33). Some may ague that the miracle was observed by only a few and they could be “delusional”; without faith, unbelievers may doubt the authenticity of that miracle reported in the Bible.

There was another more contemporary miracle: “The Miracle of the Sun” that occurred on October 13, 1917. The Virgin Mary began to appear as early as in May 1917 to three young shepherd children in the town of Fatima in Portugal. Her repeated apparitions began to attract crowds going up the hill with the three children, although only the oldest one saw and spoke to the Virgin Mary.  

As the crowds continued to increase with many skeptics, the Virgin Mary told the children that she would appear one last time on Octob 13, 1917. As many as 70,000 turned up. The Virgin May said that World War I would end soon and she predicted that another World War would be forthcoming because of the evils of man. She ended her apparition with “the Sun spinning in the sky and heading toward the Earth.” The miracle was witnessed by tens of thousands, including reporters who took pictures of the miracle.

The bottom line: You need faith to believe in the veracity and the authenticity of a miracle, irrespective whether it was witnessed by a few or by many.

How many books are there in the Bible?

According to Protestants, there are 66 books, and 77 books according to Catholics; and 27 of them are in the New Testament. These books or manuscripts are about the ancient prophets, the history of the Israelites, the salvation of mankind, the growth of the early church, and the spread of the Gospel.

All these books in the Bible contain the instructions to live rightly and righteously to please God.

How to read the Bible?

To begin reading the Bible may be a daunting task for many; they simply do not know where to begin. Reading the Bible does not need to follow a certain order or blueprint. All you need to know is what to look for and let God’s Spirit guide you along the way

The Old Testament is about the Law of God, the History and the Prophets, the ancient Poetry of Wisdom.

The Genesis tells the departure of Adam and Eve from God’s way to go on their own way, leading to sins and evils of humans. It also tells how God uses Abraham to begin saving His chosen People.

The Proverbs give you words of wisdom from God.

The New Testament is about the coming of Jesus Christ and His salvation.

The Gospel of Luke gives a thorough and orderly account of Jesus Christ.

The Acts provides the history of early church.

The Ephesians is Paul’s letters, giving his own perspectives of Jesus, to the churches.

The Revelation is a prophetic book revealing Jesus’ leadership and His Second Coming.

Remember, the Bible is not meant to be read at a certain order. Just, begin reading it, and you will become enlightened regarding where to go next.

What are the biblical life instructions?

Some of the biblical life instructions are specifically for all believers;they teach them how to pray, how to form a good relationship with God through trust and obedience to His will.

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)

But many of the biblical life instructions are also for unbelievers because they simply teach all and sundry-irrespective of their faith or belief-what is right and wrong, what are sins and what are virtues in their daily lives. That is, these instructions correct them when they are wrong and teach them to do what is right and righteous. Given that all these instructions are inspired by God, all major and significant life areas are addressed in the Bible as God knows that they all need His instructions or guidelines on how-to living in a world of fancy and fantasy.


On your belief journey, a compass only tells you where you are right now; you also need a roadmap to tell you where to go next.

(1) The Word of God

Jesus said: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Yes, God’s Word is everything in human life. Because God’s Word is the truth, it never changes; it is always true.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:25)

Through His Word, we know who God is. Through His Word, we know about the creation and fall of man due to the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden less than 10,000 years ago. Through His Word, we know we all have sinned. Through His Word, we know we are living in a world of sins and evils, making it difficult not only to live but also to survive in it without God’s help and guidance.

Yes, only the gift of God to believe in His Word can help us jump out of the dark well of sins and evils.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

To receive that gift of God is the only solution to all human problems.

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

God made His Son die for our sins on the Cross that we may live without being haunted by our sins.

“For He made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Through His Word, God has delivered us from His wrath to come by providing an opportunity for us to be born again and to receive a new life not living in sin. "Jesus said: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” (John 14:6)
Given that Jesus is the door (John 10:9), open that door and step inside to be transformed and to be born again.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

(2) The Presence of God

Let the Word of God be present in your daily life so that He can be present in your heart.

To maintain and sustain the presence of God, meditate on His Word, and memorize some of them so that you can easily recall and remember them at any time in your life when you need His help and advice.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119: 105)

“The LORD is My Shepherd” (Psalm 23) is one of the most important and widely read passages in the Bible. If you are now a believer, maybe you should memorize it by heart. Let the Shepherd guide you along the rest of your belief journey.

“The LORD is My Shepherd”

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
   He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
   he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   For his name sake.

Even though I walk
   through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
   for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
   forever.” (Psalm 23)

Several decades ago, a former colleague of mine had the opportunity to meet and dine with Gladys Aylward, a British missionary to China, whose amazing story was made into a Hollywood film in 1958: “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”, starring Ingrid Bergman.

My former colleague told me that at the dinner with Gladys, she found it very “odd” that Gladys had repeated almost non-stop “Praise the Lord!” throughout the dinner-when someone passed her a dish, some bread, even salt and pepper, or when someone made a positive comment on something. Evidently, Gladys was self-strengthening and self-reinforcing God’s presence in her heart on any occasion. It might not have looked “odd” to someone who would like to feel the presence of God in every moment of his or her life.

So, from now on, whenever you say: “Thank you” aloud, maybe you should also try to say in silence: “Praise the Lord!” so that you may feel God’s presence in your heart.

To feel God’s omnipresence, you must every now and then still your thoughts with mindfulness, and live in the now to let God speak to you.

(3) The Trust and the Obedience

If you truly believe in God and His presence, then you must trust and obey Him. Trusting and obeying God is action, which always speaks louder than words. But the action to trust and obey God is never easy because we are humans with many human flaws and shortcomings innate in us. For example, we want to control the happenings in our lives, and we think we have the right to choose whatever we want to do.


We are all controlling to a certain extent because we all have an ego. We want to control people around us, such as our spouses, our parents, our children, and the people around us.

An Illustration

Several years ago, a pastor from Hong Kong was invited to give a sermon in China.

A woman from the congregation asked the pastor if it was “right” to give money to get her son into an elite school in China. The pastor replied by saying: “Your son getting into that elite school would also imply depriving another child of that same opportunity you’re seeking for your child.”

A year later, the pastor met the same woman, who told him that her son had got into that elite school but without using her kwangxi or financial connection. The pastor then said to her: “See, God is in control; if you’d just let Him.”

A question for reflection: Is buying the lottery your disobedience to God?

An Illustration

According to CNN news, near the end of December 2018, the nurses and staff of the neonatal intensive care unit at Mercy Children’s Hospital at St. Louis, won $10,000 in the Mega Millions lottery.Entering the lottery is what they have been doing for years to overcome their stress from their daily work.

Instead of dividing up the winnings among their group, they decided to give the money to two colleagues going through some tough times: one whose son committed suicide the night before the lottery drawing; the other whose husband was battling with terminal cancer.

Here are some more questions about the lottery for your self-reflection:

·Why do people line up for hours to get their Power Ball? Their heart is on their greed.

·Can their anticipated winnings solve all their financial problems? Probably yes, but they may also be instrumental in creating many other problems in their lives as a result of their winnings.

·What if it is God who wants them to win the lottery? Well, in the first place, God did not create the Power Ball; it is only the individual’s own choice and decision to go and get the lottery ticket. It has nothing to do with God; it has everything to do with man's greed and vanity.

·What if people would like to turn their winnings into a good cause to help others-such as the nurses and staff of Mercy Children’s Hospital at St. Louis? If people were to win millions, instead of just $10,000, would they still have given away 100 percent of their winnings to charity or to help others? Well, probably not!

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