August 2017
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how does one have faith? my further reflections


I think I may have been a bit confusing in my recent post on faith because I was responding to a certain attitude rather than simply addressing faith. There is a certain attitude among some religious people that it is destructive to faith to seek concrete evidence or to use one's mind in conjunction with one's spirit, and I have a profound disagreement with that. I believe that if you have faith in something, you can make it even stronger by adding more knowledge /understanding /wisdom. ((or maybe you'll discover that your doubt was because you were mistaken, and then you can transition from a false belief to one based on truth! which of course would be a stronger faith. But it is this very possibility that keeps some people from seeking, and causes them to discourage others from seeking. To seek truth is to risk being wrong -- which is especially scary if being wrong means eternal torment, as some believe.))

I definitely value believing without concrete evidence -- I wasn't speaking against that, at all. I certainly don't have proof for everything I believe, but I have experienced the strengthening of my faith with the increase of knowledge. Maybe some people don't ever need it, but if a person ever feels doubt about what they believe, I think that a very good way to strengthen faith is to find concrete evidence -- whether that comes in the form of 'coincidence' or scientific studies or whatever. I can't see it as being harmful, and I CAN see it as being helpful. I don't think it is ever helpful to tell a person who is struggling to have faith to 'just believe.'

For years and years I had believed that plants, trees especially, have spirits and can feel. I believed this deeply, 'blindly,' and did not feel I was deceiving myself; I never really doubted it. But it wasn't until I read "The Secret Life of Plants" and learned that the feeling/sensing abilities of plants are proven facts that I was able to bring this belief from my spirit to my mind, where I can understand and express it in words! Because my mind now has a framework in which to place information from my spirit, I can understand mentally what I could previously only feel. I haven't yet written in-depth about the affect this has had on my spirituality but to put it simply, my spiritual faith has exploded with growth since absorbing all those physical facts. This is definitely not the first time that new knowledge has lead to stronger faith for me, but it is the most intense time (so far), and has left me with no doubt (haha!) that seeking knowledge on areas of faith is a positive choice.


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Comments
aetheric ══╣╠══
rapidrabbit ══╣oh really?╠══
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
flyingshaman ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.