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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Faith

Javier and I bicycled out of Missoula a couple weeks ago, across the Idaho Panhandle on the Coeur d'Alene bike path.  Now we're in Kennewick, Washington, getting ready to roll west along the Columbia River to Portland.  We hope to be in Portland before September 25th. 

Not much computer time & this blogger thingy doesn't function well at this library.  So this is brief and without bells & whistles.

The weather has been prime and the beauty indescribable.  We've had our physical ups and downs, as well as our mental and spiritual.  And that's what gives us muscle and endurance and health - physical, mental, and spiritual.

We've been talking a lot about faith. 
This trip and this lifestyle is all about faith.

Faith has a bad rap.  Understandably so.  Lots of folks who claim faith bastardize the whole concept, and there are tons of books by clever minds denouncing faith as the dark age of humanity.

Faith is usually thought of as blind belief, based on a creed.  Repeat the creed and say you believe it, and not let anything stand in the way of your creed.  Blow up things and people and bulldoze the earth for "faith".

But faith is trust.  Faith is subjective.  Only you can see it in your mind's eye.  Therefore, you can pretend, deceive others into thinking you have faith.

But faith, unlike science and theology, is the only thing you can truly know, can truly prove.  It is a "hunch" that you know, beyond thought, beyond mind.

Faith is the basis of not only religion and theology, but of all of life, all of science, all art, all creativity.  Without faith, nothing would come into being.  Nothing.  Am I simply presenting blind theory here?  Or is what I am saying directly provable?  Am I talking belief, or am I presenting gnosis, knowing?

Consider every scientific theory and discovery, invention, work of art, or social innovation that ever existed.  First it was faith.  First the scientist, the inventor, the innovator had a hunch, a belief.  A belief, unproven.  But their faith was so strong, something they saw that nobody else could see, that they had the determination to stick with their hunch, even through being called fools, even having zero support of any other human being, until their hunch was proven.  That is faith.  A seed has faith.  A mustard seed, a cottonwood seed.  A sperm, an egg, a conceived thought of the mind, enduring through natural selection.  Faith that does not prove itself, faith that does not do, against all odds, is not faith.  Faith is the essence of every particle in the universe.  And this is the only thing you can prove and know empirically yourself.

It once dawned on me, the verse my dad often quoted, that faith truly is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  It truly is substance, the only substance you can surely grasp.  And it truly is evidence, the only evidence you can surely know.

Yes, it is subjective to only you, which is why you can pretend and fool folks for a while.  But faith is not truly faith until you are driven, absolutely driven, to prove it, against all odds, against all opinions, against all ridicule, against all flattering false praise.  Then your faith becomes the gift to everyone.