Saturday, January 4, 2020

Hopeful Thinking - Saturday, January 4, 2020 - What’s Wrong with Faith?

What’s wrong with faith? Actually, nothing. And it makes you live longer. So why not?

The fact is, nearly all of us believe in things we can’t see. And, believe it or not, what we believe about the unseen contributes greatly to our state of mind. Most of us believe in some version of a “higher power,“ but many, such as myself, cannot, or choose not, to speculate on what that power might be. That’s fine. That’s agnosticism. In my way of thinking, agnosticism is the most humble form of belief in a higher power.

We don’t need to conclude the nature of the Creative Source in order to exhibit some degree of faith that It exists, in whatever form It takes. It is as It is.

To make note of it here, I do not gender God when describing It. I refer to God as the capital-I It. This is an attempt at humility. How can I know what form God takes? How could I ascribe the wonderful and beautiful and even the sometimes negative attributes of either the male or female gender to Something so much larger than the banal duality of humanity?

In one sense that could seem a disrespect, but by un-gendering God it make it easier to maintain a holy question mark over life. It helps me to relax a bit about what’s going on behind the scenes. Referring to God using the pronoun It leverages a greater amount of comfort over maintaining a sacred ignorance over things I could not possibly comprehend. I choose to have peace (whenever humanly possible) over things which are out of my control because I believe that we are not alone and that What Accompanies Us is 100% on our side. That is my faith.

It is proven that people live longer when they think this way. Wonder why that is so.

No one can force you to believe anything, for the record. They can only force you to listen to them, not heed them. Keep your wits about you, but remain curious. Be open.

The most important assumption I make about faith is that we are all wrong. Everyone of us. None of us has it right. Which makes me think we aren’t meant to. It makes me think that there is something important in the fact that faith is entirely inconclusive to humanity. It puts me at ease in the same way as walking into a math test knowing for a fact that no one has figured out the lesson yet and everyone is going to get a D. The bell curve gives me peace. If tested on the true nature of God we would all be lucky to get a D. Whew.

Boil away from the fluid in your brain the images of an enthroned, white, muscular, bearded, Zeus-like figure whom we have been told is God. That is not God. That is a role which some of us have needed God to play in order to place our faith in It. But we don’t need that anymore. In fact, it’s now holding us back.

Consider being comfortable with an absence of knowing what it is that connects us all one to another. Consider that we are all connected in some way and just leave it at that. Consider concluding that the connection Itself is what people refer to as “God.” It doesn’t matter what form that connection takes in your imagination. Whether you think it to be invisible or visible, electromagnetic or by dark matter. The method you imagine by which we are connected is irrelevant as compared to ponding the thought that some kind connection exists. For many that is a huge leap of faith. For others, it feels completely natural.

Our connection with one another can be abused as well as uplifted. Keep a loving eye on any definitive conclusions people are willing to draw about the nature of God. Step quietly away from those which are unloving or claim God to be vengeful against your “sinful” nature. Making fear a part of your faith will not bring you comfort. It may control some of your behavior, but it’s an empty gesture. It’s not the same thing as being changed from within by love.

Find a way to put your heart at ease. I struggle with it too. And even though I’m not always successful at keeping my heart free of worry, every second I spend in a state of grace heals me in ways of which I will never be consciously aware. That, too, is my faith. Here’s to hoping.

No comments:

Post a Comment