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.
You can witness my visual experience by following me on Instagram.
Cheers to spiritual growth!