I am about to embark on a journey of faith; not only of my own, but to seek the nature of faith: what it is, how it behaves, and how it makes people behave.
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
A person’s perspective is dependent on a faith-based construction of reality. I am not necessarily talking about religious devotion; I am taking about how our trusted parameters frame our understanding of the world around us.
Without faith in our understanding of the world, existence would be fragmented, broken and very difficult to stand. We have faith that the world is as we experience it to be. Faith is more than just hope, it is our expectation that our immediate world will keep on going.
For example, we may have faith that our community will stay together and strengthen to withstand ecological, economical and cultural challenges as a united front. Or, we may have faith (or a lack of faith to warrant the belief) that we’ll run this ship aground one of these days.
Faith is curious because it makes people do crazy things: it drives people to hate and murder other people, at the same time it drives people to love and care for other people. A greater understanding of this curious duality is what I am searching for.
I grew up without a “God” and without a “religion.” My parents were supportive to let me form my own belief system on my own. They didn’t press anything; we discussed religion, we touched on faith — not quite on faith, but more on the concept of what could possibly BE and the devotion that can be dedicated through that inspiration. We discussed the world and how we may be a part of it, and the possible capacity of our interaction… But I have never seen Faith in action.
I guess I’ve always translated the word “GOD” to “LOVE.” The translation is, actually, quite accurate: whenever anyone mentions Faith in God, I interpret that as faith in love; whenever I’ve talked about this translation to my religious friends, they tend to shout “Exactly!” with a passionate outpouring of support. It is hard to explain. I have had religious friends and family members, and whenever they talk about trusting in a god, I liken it to trusting in love. The jump makes sense.
To further expand my own spiritual boundaries, I am going to Socality Live in Portland, Oregon as a personal social experiement: I want to challenge my own understanding of faith within my own paradigm, while getting to know others’ understanding and practice of faith.
Socality Live is a religious organization at heart, but they aim toward spreading social contribution, responsibility and accountability through social media. A friend of mine asked me along, to travel all the way across the country from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest to expand my mind. Let’s just say, it was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.
I guess the stigma against religious organizations is that they could be a cult masquerading as a sociological cause. I promise I won’t drink the koolaid without in-depth analysis and drug testing.
My purpose of this trip is to consider my own beliefs and to explore the concept of Faith. Hopefully I will come out on the other end as myself, if not a better form of myself.
This post was created using the WordPress app on my smartphone — please pardon my spelling, grammar and formatting… Three things that I tend to be meticulous about.
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Cheers to spiritual growth!
11 thoughts on “Seeking Faith”
Speaking of social media, the whole reason that the riots happened at the Pumpkin Festival last week in Keene NH was because they were inticed by social media! We need to turn these people around! Maybe you can find a way while you are on this quest?
I’m not too familiar with the situation in Keene, but the purpose/success of social media, like anything else, is wholly dependent on the users. I would hope that social media would bring us together as a global community, but I have definitely seen instances of it turn into a cut-throat popularity contest. In the digital age, if you have so many “followers” you can get sponsors and get paid to just be you publicly — this also turns social media (and its users) into a commodity to be bought and sold, which actually threatens authenticity and dismantles all hope for an effective global community to form in the first place…
As for finding a way to solve this, it is a huge task, but I’ll see what I can do!
Thank you for stopping by!
Blessings on your spiritual journey!
Thank you! :)
I have always felt that belief is the denial of facts so that faith may be maintained – an atheist’s view of religion undoubtedly. What you have is a much broader and I suppose more holistic definition. I wonder what you will discover and kudos for undertaking this journey.
Wow… What an intriguing idea!
I think I would agree with you, to a point…
I would argue that Absolute True Facts do not exist — trends occur as the results of our actions, and our society agrees upon a set of those trends to deem as “facts” to govern our agreed-upon paradigm. Similarly, a person comes to their own True Facts to believe in, which governs their lived paradigm.
That was a jumble of words, I hope that made sense…
For example: A Spiritualist may have discovered that when he prays before bed, he wakes up more gifted. That trend in this person’s life continually gains prominence, and when the person does not pray he discovers that he wakes up LESS gifted. So, this spiritualist develops a belief in prayer. He has developed faith in this technique and, from that point forward, he will hold this faith until something comes along to completely shatter that original belief — something that causes his entire lived paradigm to shift.
So, in this way, I do not entirely agree with your statement that “belief is the denial of facts so that faith may be maintained,” but instead that belief in personally defined “facts” MAINTAINS faith. I guess, in some ways your statement would be accurate, i.e. the evolution debate, where science believes in evolution and religion believes otherwise. However, when two large bodies like Science and Religion have different beliefs, it is hard to define which “fact” is actually “fact.”
I’ve found that this journey of faith I’ve embarked on is a longer journey that I had planned… I’ve discovered that there is so much more I need to learn and consider. There is always something else to learn and consider….
Thank you so much for your comment! It provided me with something to think about and consider while I am on this journey.
I’m not sure about the idea that facts are entirely subjective as you state. From a postmodernism perspective you can argue that all reality is subjective and therefore all realities are ‘true’. This then allows the pluralist viewpoint that all ‘facts’ are true.
However, the point I was making was that to present someone with faith something that contradicts their faith will cause them to try and find ways to change the presented thing as fitting their world view.
You use the example of evolution. We have evidence that is very, very compelling in terms of it having happened. Rather than religion saying “oh yeah, that doesn’t fit what we’ve been preaching, better check the other stuff. Oh look at that, all the animals on a boat?! What were we thinking!” the religious will either attack the fact and those who present it or return to the default “God made it happen”.
To maintain faith requires this process to happen, otherwise intelligent and rational people (of which many adherents of religion are) would quite rightly say it is nonsense.
I think that first part was the idea I was dancing around, but couldn’t quite say… That all subjective realities are “true” realities, thus making all “facts” true, however your facts are not my facts and there are no Universal Facts we can ALL claim to. Sure, there is overlapping in our truths, but not all of them.
Thank you for illustrating your point, I can see what you meant clearer now. Faith can be more flexible than I thought; in an ever-changing world, I would guess it would have to be.
No problem and thanks for the opportunity to write postmodernism into a debate :D
Good luck in your endeavours – I hope you find what you’re are looking for.
Your blog is very inspirational.. love it
I’m glad you like it! Thanks for stopping by!