Today we ask that you have faith.
“Faith” is an often misunderstood or misused word.
Many people associate faith with a kind of ignorant blindness — and indeed, the faith of a religious fundamentalist is blind, and ignorant.
So by “faith” we do not mean the faith of a religious fundamentalist, who believes without question texts and laws created by human beings. That is not faith, but is in fact the opposite of faith — for it is predicated on rigid, unquestioning belief in books and myths.
The pious do not have faith. They have certainty.
True faith comes in the face of uncertainty, and uncertainty is the essence of the human condition. Your perceptual faculties are extremely limited. You do not know very much at all about your reality. You know more than animals — but really not much more. Not as much as you think you do.
Faith is the simple sense that reality is good, that the universe is good, and that life is good.
That is what faith is.
Faith can only exist where there is no certainty. It requires that you acknowledge how very little you actually know.
Faith is accepting that you will never figure it out within your physical lifetime.
And yet deep down you connect with a good feeling that underlies and permeates all of reality. You know that life is good, that you are supposed to be here. You are not trying to control life and make it do what you think it should.
Faith is the opposite of control. It is letting go of the need to control, to make things happen, to be right about everything.
Faith acknowledges that physical existence is impermanent no matter how careful one may be. You can spend your whole lifetime striving after security. You will still die, and will eventually be forgotten no matter how accomplished you may be.
10,000 years from now, will anyone remember you? Will they remember all these things that you think are so terribly important?
10,000 years from now , do you think the world’s fundamentalist religions will still exist, in such a way as to be recognizable to their current practitioners?
You are a very young species — mostly still more animal than human. You are in your unhappy adolescence, barely out of childhood, and still very childish.
And we love you in all your childishness and teenaged moods. Oh how we love you.
But the first real step toward growing up is humility.
Admit how little you know. Admit that you are not in control. You have never been in control.
Have faith. Have faith. Reality is good. And we will not lead you astray.