The limitations of mere belief—of merely giving mental assent to doctrines and dogmas —are clear enough. Such beliefs can never fully prepare us to face the storms and temptations of life. They offer a conceptual construct which, if mistaken for Reality, is yet another example of a house that is built upon the sand (Matthew 7:26-27). While doctrinal teachings and dogmatic traditions can convey a profound wisdom (insofar as they point to the Reality that IS Christ-in-you), they can also conceal as much or more than they reveal. The “map” is not the territory and the word “water” will never quench our thirst. Moreover, when the emphasis is on the creed instead of the living Christ, the result is a sectarian belief that reflects a spirit of conformity (achieved through indoctrination and conditioning) rather than an authentic, living faith. As such, it tends to breed a sense of superiority and self-righteousness among the so-called faithful and a spirit of intolerance toward those who think or believe otherwise.
In contrast, the “I Am” presence— which IS Christ-in-you —can and does withstand the storms of life. How firm a foundation! Resting in this living presence, we transcend the perspective of the egoic mind (even if it persists, on some level, and continues to reassert itself from time to time). Moreover, as the Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:13), we lose our defensiveness in the face of ideas or circumstances which may occasionally call into question our personal beliefs or challenge our traditional points of view. For whatever we may think and whatever the turn of events, the living Christ IS (and remains) the same— yesterday, today, and forever —and is always accessible here and now.