Silencing Self Doubt

Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. -Exodus 17:8 

Dear members and friends,

Human life is a journey both physically and spiritually. As all journeys have a point of departure and a point of destination, so too does human life have a point of departure and destination. However, unlike most journeys, a human life has two separate destinations: one for the physical journey and another for the spiritual journey. Physically, all humans have the same destination; one where the body ceases to function. But spiritually, it is crucial to understand that the journey’s end is uncertain until we move over to the spiritual realm. The undeniable truth about our dualistic journey is that it proceeds with or without our conscious participation. Therefore, the advice of all sages is to actively participate on our journeys with consciousness, acknowledgement, and ownership. 

One big challenge in our spiritual journey that appears rather early and continues to halter our progress is self doubt. The reason that this is such a hindrance is because it arises from our own mind, and thus is very hard to defeat. According to Swedenborg, this is exemplified by Amalek – who was a son of Esau, Jacob’s brother – and his battle against Israelites. Amalek symbolizes “falsity from interior evil,” which means a false reasoning for which we should stop our spiritual growth and return to our previous way of being. 

For example, when I decided to pursue an ordination track at the Swedenborg School of Religion, I heard an internal voice asking, “Do you really think you are minister material?” At that time, my honest answer was “no.” So, I seriously reconsidered whether becoming an ordained minister was indeed the best I could do or the most effective way to use my abilities. But just as I was becoming overwhelmed by self doubt, I heard another, much softer voice whispering, “This path will lead you to a life in which you will find happiness and contentment.” Although I had no idea what was meant by “happiness” or “contentment” at that time, I felt the undeniable presence of the Lord in this voice and decided to trust it. Ultimately, I met many challenges along the path, but I did indeed find happiness and contentment that I never experienced before. My friends and family in Christ, let us trust in the Lord’s path and quell excessive self doubt as we pursue our own spiritual journey. 

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee