Faith is problematic for many people for a simple reason: by its very nature, it’s not absolutely definable.
Faith is a process of acceptance to resolve the unknown.
As faith is about resolving the unknown, the undefinable, its very nature in reflection leaves it with no absolutes regarding facts. Every time a person nails it down, a little aspect of it slips off to the side, and it slips away.
Doubt destroys faith; doubt slips in the cracks to loosen a person’s acceptance. Doubt shifts how you see the world and before you know it, a little doubt can destroy entire faith systems under the right conditions. It’s the primary reason many organized religions go out of their way to either convert or destroy doubters, to remove skeptics.
Organized religion has a single flaw, a weak point:
In the end, each person must have a true faith in themselves: in their own view and acceptance of the world. A one size fits all faith will always have some seed of doubt in it, some aspect that just doesn’t quite fit right, just due to the variations we each possess in how we perceive the world in how we live and explore life.
Faith is important, I teach faith, how to help people discover a personal faith to explore and behold life within. This is the practice I call A Personal Tao. A Personal Tao is not about some master vision. Instead, it’s all about polishing up your internal faith.
Without faith, the unknown consumes and drives people to do crazy things. Buts it’s all towards resolving the unknown.
- People use facts like light to explore the darkness of the unknown, to push the boundaries of the unknown away.
- People use faith systems, like maps to feel comfortable in thinking they know what lies ahead.
- People get into conflict to prove “faith” since the fear of the unknown is so great so they try to force their faith to be true.
- Yada, yada yada and so many more examples.
In the end, faith can be made very simple. Faith doesn’t require conflict; It doesn’t require any complicated “truths” or fancy, or elegant answers from some wise teacher.
In the end, faith just requires acceptance of who you are: living fully in your life. One step at a time. Poking about the unknown with a smile, because we are unknown until we live out our life. Once you have yourself, you can dispel all doubts about your nature, since you live it.
Once we have lived our life, we cannot help but behold our selves in fullness, and in our life, we have our faith since we lived it.
Faith vs. Belief
Occasionally I talk about Belief compared to Faith
Regarding how I view the two
Belief is wishing something to be so…
To faith in accepting it as so…
Let’s take a closer look at Belief.
If a person’s belief is to wish for something outside their nature, then they run the risk of diminishing themselves.
In other words: If a person places their belief in something outside of their nature, they are by definition wishing to be something other than their nature.
As a healer, a problem I often see is when a person doesn’t believe in themselves but believes in others (or nothing). By placing one’s belief into another, it in effect gives one’s power to others. This works well if the outside person or belief system supports you, but this is very devastating when the person or object of belief goes away. Even worse is the situation when an object/system of belief turns around to abuse you for their gain.
The current sex scandals coming out of the Catholic church demonstrate aspects of this. Where priests or Catholic church officials abuse their power on members of their parish who believe in them. The Catholic church often takes the stance of hiding their problems, since the Catholic church fears revealing the full truth can fundamentally destroy their system of belief. And yes these scandals do destroy the very tenets the catholic church pushes forth for people to hold. Belief is powerful, but it’s also delicate as it requires people to wish for something, and the church sells the wish of heaven. If actions of Catholic church officials abuse people if their actions disgust decent people. People will (and do) walk away from the Catholic belief. This is one of the main reasons why over the centuries so many different churches have formed. The Catholic church officials have been responsible for spawning hundreds of new Christian churches for their abuse of power and the abuse of their belief system.
I am not saying belief is a bad thing. Taoism teaches the duality of life. Belief is very very powerful. When belief is positive, it’s a powerful tool to reinforce your nature and stand against seemingly impossible odds. But it’s positive only when faith is used to shore one’s nature up, to reinforce oneself.
The negative side of belief is when it is used to be something outside one’s nature. At this point, belief introduces a negative process that often winds up destroying the very object of belief you hold. (This is why so many Catholic church officials fail, their own belief was not true and outside their nature! Think about this for a moment.)
From a Taoist perspective, belief is powerful and should be focused on “wishing to be yourself”.
No person should judge another person’s belief for this reason also. To judge another belief is to automatically set up another person to be belittled, since, by default the judgment process questions how they wish to be. To do this sets up a conflict.
In helping others explore belief, we must take care not to question the belief. Rather we need to help a person explore their belief. So they can find and hold their own answers in defining their personal faith.