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The way I see faith

Posted Aug. 14, 2010 by Mingus in Open

commented on Jan. 9, 2011
by mysticmuse

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8

Faith is a bridge that everyone is afraid to approach, at one point or another. It is a variable that cannot be quantified or nailed down by any scientific means, yet I challenge anyone to say that it does not exist. It is a practice in a general sense. It is available to anyone at any time. It is something that can be fostered and grown within oneself. In addition it is not related to any religion or belief system. You can practice faith and be an atheist if you want. I personally have practiced faith for about 14 years at some level. I am 27 years of age and have struggled through some serious phenomena, but I have always had my faith to rely on when these situations became too much. At some point through the practice of faith, if you are serious about developing you're own practice there will be challenges along the way. That is the only fact about faith that is possible to be stated, you will be challenged. Faith is something that follows it's own pace in it's growth cycle.

I would like to think that my faith is strong. I live a modest sustainable life in a larger city. There are things that I wish I had, yet i do not crave for anyone thing to the point of depravity. I have cherry-picked my belief system from Taoism to Gnosticism to Judaism. I was raised Lutheran and decided to seek my own path soon after being confirmed at 16. I felt often growing up that people, including my parents, just didn't understand me. I encourage every person that reads this to challenge themselves to open up to the chance of faith occurring in their own lives. If you think you have found faith, attempt to collaborate with others near you to share what you have. Often times there are groups that meet in churches, temples and mosques. Just remember be respectful when attempting to gain acceptance to these groups, and always be respectful when interacting with fellows of these group. Because, the goal is for everyone in the group to gain.

  • 8 Comments  
  • mysticmuse Jan 09, 2011

    Multiple-choice Meditative Semantics--

    Faith is

    a. an emotional tendency to lean on nothing, believing it to be something.
    b. verification by the heart
    c. wishful thinking used to cover a multitude of sins
    d. knowledge that is half in shadow and half in light
    e. the passion of fools and persecutors
    f. the bird that sings while the dawn is still dark
    g. all of the above
    h. none of the above
    i. all of the above and none of the above

    James

  • frequencytuner Oct 08, 2010

    If there was no concept of past (to act as a reference) or future (to act as a goal) where would faith belong? Faith belongs to time because the operative word with faith is typically "will". Faith is "will". Many people believe that 'faith' did this or that without recognizing the operative word - "will". Humans have 'free will' which means we can 'will' anything we choose. Every morning you 'will' the universe into existence when you wake. Of course the form it takes is based on what happened 'yesterday' and what you (faithfully) 'will' to happen - cause and effect - 'today'.

    Faith DOES put food on your table and the roof over your head. It DOES make the sun rise and set and the planets appear to rotate around the sun. Faithfully, like clockwork, the perfect balance of conditions give rise to life on earth all the way to the ends of the universe every waking moment. If you did not establish "laws" governing physics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism etc. the 'machine' would work very differently. Maybe people could fly if you did not have 'faith' in gravity. Maybe people would live for 500 years if you did not have 'faith' that the body would break down and die at around 100 years.

    My last post about the desert and cold north was an analogy. I have 'faith' that you are thinking exactly like the man from my last post about this post.

    Faith is your will. Hope is a wish. Belief is your reality. Belief is 'love'.

  • Anonymous Icon

    waltermuller Oct 01, 2010

    Collective faith is probably what ensures the sun coming up every day, that which ensures that millions of comets fly by us, missing our planet everyday, causing most of us to wake up every morning, feeling new and ready for another day. We unknowingly subconsciously just "know" tomorrow will come, and that subconscious "faith" holds life for every single living thing on our planet and elsewhere.

  • Mingus Sep 28, 2010

    Very very true frequencytuner. I am kind of reminded of when I was speaking of challenges when I read your summation. The differences between our perspectives is one of those challenges. I think a vast majority of the people who read these boards have at least a glimmer of hope for finding a new way to learn from each other.

    In fact I found all of what you all have said to be truthful as well as ringing true. I think maybe though for us who have a strong faith, present company included of course, we overlook how much it actually does for us. I mean it doesn't put food on the table or roofs over our heads, but really maybe it comes pretty darn close. The unexpected happens all the time. I'm sure we can all agree on that. And I don't want you to think that you should just curl up in a warm cuddly blanket of faith and shut out the world. But how many times have do we really recognize how much faith actually does for us. The reason why I think that is is because faith is humble. Faith is unconditional. It asks for nothing in return itself. Faith does not even need to be recognized for it to be eternally helpful and at times life saving.

  • frequencytuner Sep 15, 2010

    A man living in the cold north went to visit the desert for the winter. The desert people, dressing warm for the winter, were baffled how the northerner could go about like it was the middle of summer.

    When the winter was over and summer came one of the desert people decided to join the northerner on his trip back to the north for the summer. When they arrived the desert man felt the air and saw the people going about like it was summer, but turned around and left immediately.

    When he returned, much too soon, his people asked why he was home so soon and he said that the north people were crazy. They were dressed for summer, but it was much colder than winter outside. He would have froze to death if he stayed he thought, so he left.

    Faith is the same as the air. It is simply misunderstood by people who have different perspectives and experiences of it.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Balance_Maintained Sep 14, 2010

    I love the definition of faith given by Paul. "Faith is the assured expectation of things to come, though not beheld." It does not require religion, it does not require evidence. I also love the words assured expectation. Faith is a thing of certainty, a rock upon which we can lean when weary. I am not ashamed to say that I believe in God. Humility, the very act of admitting that you are ignorant of more than you can possibly imagine, is the first step to learning and understanding. One of my favorite sayings is, "I don't know, and that's OK." I question, search, meditate, and question some more, but at the end of each day I am forced to admit that I don't know, and that it truly is OK. Unlike Verderouble, every faith speaks to me, and I find in each something that I can take away that makes me a better person. From Gnostics I take the importance of math and geometry, from the Christians the importance of love and humility, from the Buddhist/Taoist/Zen religions the importance of person introspection and to let go of my thoughts. From all of them learn to let go of the material possessions, and through study I have learned WHY it is important to do so. I have learned about people, about myself, and about love. It is my 'assured expectation' that there is more than this brief spark of life ahead of us, though I have not seen it. It is my 'assured expectation' that humanity will have to decimate its ranks in something akin to ritual purification before there will be any enlightenment of the species. It is my 'assured expectation' that when all the world is burning in the wake of materialism, love will be the thing that truly 'conquers all'. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

  • Verderouble Aug 28, 2010

    I use this word "faith" as it sits beneath every assumption. I am part of a vast vast cosmos. I am in control of only a tiny set of variables. I do not in fact know what is going to happen next. I watch the pelican on the beach who has been sitting there for half an hour, unworried, alert, and beautifully poised. Beyond the pelican and the Pacific surf, there are whales playing, flicking their tails and breaching like sudden blooms. A brahminy kite is cruising the shoreline. The sun glitters on the lagoon where fish plop, and the air is fragrant with spring flowers. I look into the depth of sky and know a tree grows. I am inside all this, and can never achieve a vantage outside it, I must live it, to know it, livingly. In this faith every separation is also a differentiation, within an ever creating whole. No established Faith speaks to me because they take me away from this intimacy of delight in the wondrous actualities of being, and the adventures they invite me to. Love is a pure thing. Everything else has a reason.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Questioneverything Aug 24, 2010

    faith the way I figure it is a source of strength that people need. Whether to give them guidance in decisions or pick them up when they are feeling blue. Everyone has faith in something but not always in religion. My faith lies in my self, I feel there is nothing the world can throw at me that I cant handle on my own through gritting my teeth, digging in my heels and bearing the storm so to speak. Now I ask you does that make a person arrogant? or is it the purest faith a person can attain?

    Even the bible says the kingdom of heaven is within you. A person who needs to get picked back up in my opinion should not have to kneel in order to do it, Faith in oneself and surrounding yourself with good people will help you out of any jam and looking to the heavens cannot provide that.

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