Author Topic: What does faith mean to you?  (Read 1724 times)

Mouse

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What does faith mean to you?
« on: August 15, 2012, 05:26:26 PM »
I thought it might be interesting to consider on a broader basis, what it is that faith means to each of us. ( Of course you could change the word 'faith' to 'spirituality' or any other word that helps you to think about it.)

I don't necessarily mean your faith and/or belief system/religion, though if you want to base your answer on that, that's fine. But to think about faith as a whole, as a complete concept and ask what it is, what it isn't, whether it has any meaning to you and why. Is it a very specific meaning or is it more of a blurry idea?

I wrote this in an earlier post...

Quote
To me faith is about love and understanding. Faith is about a connection to everyone and everything, at least that what it is to me, I'm sure others have varying opinions on their own spirituality and what it means to them. And that's good, we're supposed to embrace the beauty of our uniqueness because when people come together, such as at a temple we become more than ourselves. We become a group enjoying the sharing of an identity.

.. and it's this that's prompted me to create this thread to ask my fellow forumites for your views. I don't want to write too much or guide people in any particular direction, because I hope by not doing so people won't look in the wrong place for the answer(s).

I'll expand on my personal answer to this question a little bit to get the ball rolling. Also feel free to discuss mine and each other's ideas on this. :)

 Faith to me isn't about religion. I feel 'religion' is equal to the rules and organized manners in which faith is put into practice, the ritualization. Faith, to me, is about heart and soul and my inner life. It is about my understanding of the world and how it works.


So, what does faith mean to you?


(I did a forum search to see if there was a similar discussion already, but I couldn't find anything. So I apologise if there is already a thread on this.)
My karma ran over your dogma.

soffty

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Re: What does faith mean to you?
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 12:34:09 AM »
Faith

When we get to a certain age, maybe 50 years old, we may not be so commited to our future and finding our place in society. We may not be so hung up on doing what is necessary to succeed in our career plans. This may happen earlier or later than 50 years old, or if have no sincere desire to seek truth, it may not happen at all.

Once we question our existence, we lower the barriers that prohibit us from seeing who we really are. We may have been inspired by some evidence that suggests that we may need to rethink our belief system. We have a feeling that the material world we have been focusing on may not be all it seems, and there may be a spiritual world that some form of truth has been hiding from us.

So we spend some time researching new ideas and through archaeological evidence, testimony from persons who are giving of their discoveries, and influences from some life events...we understand that there is a beauty in the spirit...one we have been blind to for all of our life.

After we get to a point where we can see the beauty of the spirit, we get a sense that spirituality is more tangible than materiality. We get a taste of how delusional our life has been because we were spending most of our time doing things that we see no real value in now. Then we discover for ourselves that these spiritual concepts make so much more sense than the daily routines that actually were based on excuses and addictions...to money and self-gratifying consumptions.

Faith is the point where we make an effort to accept truth into our delusional lives. It may be just a treat suspended before us as we continue to live our delusion. Or it may be a life changing decision to walk the walk and not pretend any more. If we commit totally to the truth of faith, we will become a totally different person. Most likely, we consider that change and then accept a compromise based on another delusion.

Faith is rare. If it is truly achieved, you will be on a different level than almost all of those around you. It will be a lonely situation. But, it is very rare to encounter a person in today's world who has maintained faith. But then again, maybe we will have a time later in our life where we no longer are required to have priorities that control our decisions.

Then we have a chance to be free. Free to live a new delusion with more excuses...most likely. But, faith is a noble goal.

Wade



Mouse

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Re: What does faith mean to you?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 04:50:15 PM »


Wow Wade, what a great post! Thanks so much for replying to my question. :)


I can relate to a lot of what you've said, especially the transformation in routine and responsibilities triggering a sudden change of outlook and a need to look for a way to see beyond the mundanities of everyday life. I've had most of the same notions at some point too, but they possibly weren't as fully formed as you've written about them here, half thoughts perhaps.


You've expressed your thoughts so pragmatically, (or your thoughts are intrinsically pragmatic) that I find it hard to differ with anything you've written. Though on the issue of age when such a change in perspective tends to occur, in my case it was 18 or 19 when the realities of the accepted ways of adult life struck me as missing the point. (I'm 33 now.) Though I can understand that 50 is often an age when children become more independent and due to career development, things are a little more stable financially. However I can honestly say I've never thought of a 50 year old in this way, well not beyond the male menopause anyway. Perhaps that's a chap looking for answers in the wrong places.
 The issue of becoming aware of ego and the struggle to overcome it may be related to the matter of succumbing to faith, do you think? Also the difficulty in accepting delusions for what they truly are?


I know we are all on our own unique journey, but I often struggle to understand those who have never questioned their existence. I generally don't get on very well with such a person. I don't want to call them shallow, but to me, that's how they come across due to a pre-occupation in vanity and possessions. Asking them the same question as this post asks, I'm met with confused faces and a brief sentence on organised religion. I understand their thought processes are too intertwined with ego and the materialistic nature of satisfying it. Maybe, as you say, they may have a spiritual awakening in their 50s and have their own experience of what your post expresses. That's your point though, isn't it?!











My karma ran over your dogma.

soffty

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Re: What does faith mean to you?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 01:03:06 PM »
Yes, the 50 year old statement is not all that important. I just threw it out there because people compromise their true beliefs in order to fit into society, and at some point, they reconsider.

I notice almost daily that people around me have to keep their mouth shut. For example, I have many complaints about the shop I work in. I ran my businesses for more than 20 years, and now I work for my boss. I always set up my shop to get jobs done. This shop I work in now is set up to store junk. Things like boxes of VCR movies. He is a hoarder.

So, we have one work table in an upholstery shop. We have no room to pull a car inside to work on. I have to do everything on one table, since I refuse to work on the floor or sawhorses. My boss will never change. He does not want to spend a dollar on the shop, as well as not throw anything away. So, 50% of the shop is junk storage.

So, I have many complaints. If I keep my mouth shut, I have a job. If I comment, I have 4 possibilities...he will accomodate me, he will partially accomodate me, he will do nothing, I will lose my job. What makes it worse is that people cannot handle criticism.

Our life is a contradiction and OUR actions are testimony. WE make it so. I tend to not keep my mouth shut, and I have always wondered why people stay quiet and compromise their words with their actions. Because truth has a definite cost. Just like this forum...people do not like me much. They do not want truth...they want to strengthen faith in a delusion to a certain point. That is because it is almost impossible to completely lose the delusion.

To further explain my example, I am one of the very best at what I do. My boss wants me more than I want him. Plus, I gave up material possessions so I work for a half wage. I literally give my work away 50%. That is the best society will allow me. A 50% committment toward non-materialism.

I could make a stand and change the shop, and eventually my boss will be happy with the improvments. But, I am trying to change who I am. That is job one. I may end up changing the shop, but only after I have done my first job. That is my effort to not making excuses. I put all blame on myself as a first priority when I have a complaint. As an egoic human who lives in a delusion, just like EVERYONE else, I must walk the walk. It is my fault...period.

I am keeping my mouth shut. That is not who I am. In a properly designed and implemented world, that is not the right thing to do. In fact, we spould be required to NOT keep our mouth shut...just in a better way than emotional outburst.

Thing is, there is a better way almost all of the time, no matter what we are doing. As a future human who is truly spiritual, I would care about doing a good job at living. This is a product of faith.

Imagine what life would be like if we had a great leader who established a better way of living and started a new order. It grew to a size where it was a political organization. It would be a threat to the present leadership, which is corrupt at least to a point. This new order would be neutralized.

To change who we are as a species, we first have to be decimated. Then we have to have that leader. And as the new order grew, it would have to deal with enemies. No matter what we do now, we have the ego to deal with. At some point, maybe God helps us and only enlightened souls incarnate. We still require the Act Of Giving, as I call it, to share truth with children as they mature...so they oppose ego.

Job one in the future would not be keeping our mouth shut, as it is now. It would be sharing truth.

Wade 
« Last Edit: August 18, 2012, 01:04:45 PM by soffty »

soffty

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Re: What does faith mean to you?
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 03:58:01 PM »
Society views "keeping our mouth shut" as the foundation of being a good person. The bottom line is all that matters to society.

Society breeds corruption through a secondary process resulting from egoic attitudes such as "keeping our mouth shut". We end up with a worse attitude that leads to addictions, crimes, disorders, and overall low performance.

Keeping our mouth shut (taking the easy way out) forces that person to resolve the issue internally which does not give the other party a chance to defend him/herself. It is probable that the whole precept is wrong. It also eliminates the possibility of progress.

Keeping our mouth shut creates a situation where we "fit in" to society and its delusions. We are accepted into a religious or political group where we are required to conform, so we keep our true identity concealed.

When a person makes a complaint or any comment that opposes the status quo, it is viewed as a personality flaw. Making positive comments, such as compliments, lead to the opposite...popularity. They are either lies or compromised truths. Making a negative comment, no matter how true and honest, is always a risky choice to make. It comes with a cost.

People who take the easy path, like running water, in our society are viewed as righteous and are fair and balanced. Conforming is the proper manner of action for anyone who has a desire to succeed in this world.

The problem is, in spirituality, this is the opposite of what we need to do. And the comments have to be followed up by actions. Yet, we do not see this as truth...because not only is it inconvenient, it invalidates everything we now do. Why? Because all we now do is delusional, at least to a point.

And what do we do if we want to be different? If we want to be a better person? We sacrifice almost everything we have. The entire world will oppose you, because the entire world is egoic and delusional, competitive, compromising, addictive, and unstable. This leads to an eventual truth...disillusionment.

If we reincarnate, then this life is expendable. It has value by way of action. We can take a risk and make a point. We can oppose the delusion. We can become unpopular. We can speak out for truth. We can write short free books that tell a story worth reading.

We have faith, yet we do not do anything. The whole concept of reincarnation supports action. The risk is good for the soul. Yet:

The most common comment I get from spiritual people online is that we need to share love and compassion, and make the most of success and popularity. Generally speaking...the exact opposite of what reincarnation suggests.

Wade   



Mouse

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Re: What does faith mean to you?
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 08:16:17 PM »
It sounds like you've had a little purge of words Wade, which isn't a bad thing!


There's an awful lot I could say, but I will go with the things that stood out when I was reading those two posts, whilst attempting to stay vaguely on topic.


Firstly, you said that your first concern is changing yourself for the better, then you would concentrate on your working environment. May I suggest that these two things, yourself and your environment, are intricately intertwined and that changing one will have an effect on the other. Therefore, perhaps by deciding to spend a day on your environment, you are also spending a day on yourself. The old adage about people living in clutter having cluttered minds is quite accurate, I think.


Also, choosing to concentrate on self development first, then moving onto other things is flawed if bettering yourself doesn't have a specific goal or planned achievement at a defined level. Of course this is difficult with such an intangible concept. You mentioned that you're very good at what you do and your boss needs you more than you need him - to me that sounds like an answer to a problem. It sounds like you should do what you can to improve your working environment, if he doesn't like, you have the option of going elsewhere. You said yourself there are four possibilities that you can predict- only one of those is a negative consequence, isn't it?


Of course the stress of actually forcing change upon your boss may be the issue and not actually making the changes in themselves. But, as I said, changing one, changes both, so you're forcing him to change inside too, which by the sound of it wouldn't be a such a terrible thing. Of course if he's not ready, then things might grate a bit, however he may never be ready.


Yes, it's true that we all live in delusion, at least some of us are aware of the delusion. Most aren't, I don't think, and that's what keeping our mouths shut is all about isn't it? That we know, but fighting against the delusion causes friction between us and the system designed to perpetuate itself and the delusion itself, via providing livelihoods and a comfortable life for all that accept it. I agree that keeping our mouth shut is the easier option, but also the hard one at the same time. Making life more difficult for ourselves though, maybe is just the tunnel we need to find and travel through in order to get to the other end where the light is. The light is in a different place to the start of the tunnel.


There are lots of ways to conform, but we need to conform to our beliefs too. We need to find the balance we can cope with between being true to ourselves and allowing the system to have power over us. Which isn't easy, is it? That's where faith comes in, I think.


My karma ran over your dogma.

soffty

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Re: What does faith mean to you?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2012, 09:56:49 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I like the way you are sensible about things. That is the problem. We are both using sense to relate to problem solving. My problem with my boss is that he doesn't make sense. He has an attachment to his junk because he values it, and he sees no value in what other's think. That was my illustration of the problem we all have. That is also why my result was to not see the environment as a problem in my boss, but as a challenge to myself.

This is how I may solve it. I may buy the wood for tables myself. It will cost me about $200, but that would be a great bargain...since I would be using the tables myself. It would also show my boss my commitment and set an example of how good it can be. Plus, I could volunteer to work all day on a couple of Saturdays without pay and set up the shop.

This way I could "keep my mouth shut" and set an example, while taking action that benefits both of us. And it would display my FAITH in his shop and the future. And one day my boss may even see that he was living within a delusion. But, I doubt I can find a use for his junk. I suggest that I treat it with care because if I bruise it that could break the whole deal. That is an example of the sense some people have.

My faith is displayed in my actions. That is my choice...to use actions and not words. It may backfire, but at least I had good intentions.

Wade


 

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