Faith. The good book says it can move mountains. And you don't need lots of it either. The size of a mustard seed will do.
Imagine that! Faith as big as a mustard seed can move mountains! Imagine if we had faith enough to believe that! What we could do! What we could achieve! And with no opposition! Because who or what can oppose faith? Think about that.
Yet faith is not such a popular word outside of religion. And even there it's not discussed often enough. We've become practical with all the self help, and technology and industrialisation around. Who needs faith?
We now live in the 'seeing is believing' age, and faith seems to be the very opposite of that. We could define faith as 'believing is seeing'. This means we need to see it, before it's even there. Which means we need to first see it in non ordinary reality. On the inside. Faith then is seeing with non ordinary eyes.
When you have faith, you believe in what cannot be seen with the physical, naked eye. (What does an eye look like when it's dressed?) That does not necessarily mean that that thing is not there - just that we cannot see it. Yet. In fact we may never get to see it. Ever. But still, it may exist. And it may have existed before us and continue to exist long after we are gone.
And still we may never see it.
Sometimes, we are not ready to see it. Either because we do not yet have the eyes, or the belief, or sometimes, because it has not yet been formed, or manifested (my son tell me that's a long, old fashioned word) in physical reality.
So with faith, we can see things before they are formed on the physical. And this is not as esoteric as it sounds. (Well it is really, in the true definition of esoteric, but I don't want to frighten all the 'logical' people away, so bear with me). It's not as esoteric as it sounds when we consider that vision, goals and plans – all those more accessible day to day words - also require seeing things not yet formed. But that is not exactly the same as faith.
Because creating vision and goals is one thing. Staring 'reality' in the face and believing something different, now that's the challenge. And that, is faith.
What does it mean to see with non-ordinary eyes? It means seeing with the heart.
In Buddhist texts, faith (in Pali) is saddhā, which literally means “to place the heart upon.” Saddhā means to give our hearts over to, or place our hearts upon something.
That is a really good definition I think, because all of faith is seeing with the heart. It is believing based on simple knowing. Some people call this intuition and that may well be semantics or splitting hairs. For me, intuition is something different from knowing. Knowing comes from the heart. We sometimes refer to it as gut feel, but if you look deeper into it, you will find it does not in fact originate from the gut at all. Nonetheless.
Simple knowing, much like faith is unexplainable. Yes. Unexplainable. Like so very, very much around us. And that's okay. It's okay not to understand everything, no to have the formula for everything, not to know how everything works. It's okay. So very much around us continues to work without our having a single nanoquark of a clue how – the human body or the brain being a case in point.
Because we are fixated with information, and 'knowledge' and facts and proof – all of which is pretty arbitrary at the best of times, we lose sight (literally) of so much. Please see Bill Bryson's "A short history of everything" for a detailed explanation of facts and fallacy.
Facts, faith and fallacy. Sounds like the title of a book. Those three things are linked. Our quest is to believe and have faith in the absence of facts which are often fallacy. Similarly faith teaches us the difference between fact and fallacy. Oh I could go on...
What is important to know is that it is in the unexplained that magic lies. It is in the unknown that we can create. It is in the unseen, non ordinary reality that dreams lie waiting to be released.
So if faith is the ability to see what cannot be seen, and if faith is the ability to see in non ordinary reality what has not yet manifested in physical reality, then we can say that faith is the thing that helps us to mould or recreate reality. Okay I've lost the logical people now. Goodbye.
For those who continue to believe, that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” as suggested in Hebrews 11:1 Those who have faith despite... anything! Well! You don't need convincing.
The wonderful thing about faith is that it really does move mountains. It's like a magical carpet that allows you to sail over obstacles. It requires persistence – the subject of my previous blog. Above all it requires innocence. Become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Little children believe, and their minds are innocent.
The innocent mind is the pure mind, the clear mind, the enlightened mind. That, is the mind that knows. And we all have that mind, that spark of divinity, that I-am-that-I-am, deep within us, just waiting to be recognised.
The more we approach the world and everything in it from that perspective, from that mind, the easier it becomes to be clear, to have faith and to just know. Then, illuminated by this faith and clarity our path is clearly revealed and all doubt vanishes.
Faith, like anything else needs to be practiced, believed, recognised, given room in our lives. Knowing needs to be acknowledged and given a voice. It needs to be heard and accepted without question. And without logic or substantiation. Allow yourself to just know something- without reason. Without justification. Without logic. Learn to trust that knowing above everything else.
Because if you cannot have faith in yourself, who can you have faith in?
If you cannot believe in your own knowing, who can you believe?
What do you 'just know' that you've been ignoring? Listen to it. Act on it.
What do you need to have faith in, to take the next step? Do it!
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” Saint Augustine
We Create the World.