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Friday, January 25, 2013

The last of the human freedoms, is to choose one's attitudes.                                                                               -Vicktor Frankl
This, I assure you, is no easy feat to accomplish. I have often found that when a choice or decision is left entirely up to me I begin to crumble. For when I make that decision I am the one fully responsible for it, no other can take the blame, no, not even God.

When I avoid that decision, I do not have to face the consequences of it. I may continue to suffer in my present state, but that if I made the decision, I would be relieved of it.

I find some sort of comfort in what is already familiar to me, though the sufferings persist. The fear of what may be and what we do not know is sometimes greater then the pains of what is and what we do know.

I have taken a 'leap of faith' and that leap was and is an abandonment of 'the faith'. It is frightening, worrisome and frankly scares the shit out of me, but Wow! what a thrill. You see, to have faith is not to have assurance in or proof of whatever it is that you do have faith in.
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. -Friedrich Nietzsche 
Faith, at least to me, is to have a hope in something that you can not even explain, a hope in something that you have no idea of whether it exists or not and though the road ahead be dark and hidden from us, we continue on. This is the faith of a little mustard seed. It is not large, strong and assured. No, it is doubtful of what it has faith in and, perhaps even more so, faith itself.

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.                                                                                - J.R. Tolkien


Anonymous said...

beautiful thoughts on faith my love. I adore your proper style of writing and the words you choose.
So we continue on...

Grant said...

I would say, using MY definition of faith=trust that it would seem we are at opposite poles, but I think it is because you are making it SOUND like your faith isn't much more than a "hope so" stance. I think you are trying to emphasize the "no proof" of knowledge that can say by some scientific method "I have been there and seen the eternal". But I do not equate a "leap of faith" with "blind faith."
So your hope is NOT in a "Wouldn't it be nice" IF this were so", or "I am going to go down this path and "Hope" it leads somewhere." I believe you are making the "leap" because you have looked at various "options" and the evidence that you have gathered, according to your understanding, is telling you that at this point you can "Trust" the decision you are making to be "safe". The adventure and thrill is that it is after you take this step that you will gather the next bit of evidence, and trusting one direction to be better than another, you will take it. So again, it is not "blind" faith, but it is a "sure trust" and requires full commitment.
This clarification is essential to MY philosophy because I intend to build my whole "evangelism" on this premise that Faith in the Biblical sense... and I believe in the World is nothing more or less than TRUST. Whatever I declare that I am putting my "faith" in, even if it is in "faith" itself, I am saying that I "Trust" my judgement and I TRUST the item, person, or ideology to deliver whatever it is I think it is promising to deliver. "Unbelief" or breach of trust then relates to a "betrayal" of the professed "trust" especially when that has been declared to be in a relationship.
And this is part of MY unified field theory in theology as it were, whereby I can come back and say that the "Sin" of Adam (and Eve) was that they abandoned their "TRUST" in God, whom they had "known" and put it in the "serpent" whom they did NOT KNOW. Thus in the Scriptures (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Hebrews 10:38; Galatians 3:11; Ephesians 2:8, we get the repeated idea that "the JUST, or upright shall live by 'faith'..OR TRUSTING. (ie. God.) And again: Hebrews 11:6 "without this TRUST in the God who is and who rewards those who seek him, it is impossible to please him." (Paraphrased by Grant).

Nathan Bonney said...

Great post Phillip. We need to learn to live in the presence of our decisions, not knowing what life will bring. I wonder if your phrase about how taking a ‘leap of faith’ has resulted in the abandonment of ‘the faith,’ could mean that taking a leap of faith has resulted in the abandonment of a certain kind of faith. Over the years I come to realize that I think very differently than many of my fellow believers. We obviously share similar beliefs, but I tend to hold those beliefs in a different way, and I tend to emphasize how faith is a conscious way of life with socio-political implications more than my fellow counterparts. In regard to faith and knowledge, Kierkegaard would say that faith is a much harder thing to obtain than knowledge because knowing something abstractly is easier than living out or embodying that knowledge. One thing I’m ‘sure’ of is that people cannot live with ambiguity. We desire certainty. However, I think too many of us mistakenly assume that we can have rational certainty about the things we know or believe. Nevertheless, I will say that I think faith can be a kind of knowing – a non-rational, lived out conviction. Well, I think your post reminds us that faith is risky, hopeful, and that it involves the will – it is not propositional and, faith, for us progressive types, may look differently than the majority out there. At least that’s what I got out of it!

CalledtoQuestion said...

Thanks Babe. Yes, we do continue on don't we and I love every bit of it.

I would say that there is nothing blind in faith, but, at the same time, there is nothing discerning in it either. It is a great paradox.

I suppose we miss understand one another, as I move forward I continue to enter a deeper and darker(darker not being bad) place then where I last was.

There are times I trust my thoughts, beliefs and faith, but, more often then not, I do not. My life is a great paradox.

You are beacon of light in a community of shadows. Thanks for sharing. You are a friend I am grateful to have.

Thanks Nathan. I love the idea of faith being a living out, rather than an understanding, of it. Perhaps then, many more have faith then the "E"vangelical camp presumes. Love your thoughts and treasure our friendship good buddy.