Faith. It's a bit of a touchy word in our culture. It has a lot of baggage. We often look down on faith as a sort of weakness or oddity.
But what is faith?
Mipham Rinpoche says that faith is an admiration for, longing towards, and trust in what is authentic and true. It is a support for determination.
What does faith mean to you?
You could have blind faith. You could believe in a blue cow that grants all of your wishes. You could have great admiration and trust in that cow. You could really strive to make sure that it was happy so that he would send down his bounty. (him or a her?)
That would be a true determination of faith based on your perception of what was authentic and true. I think that this is the type of faith that many of us are wary of, simply because it doesn't make any sense. It doesn't hold up to the facts, to reality. It bears no semblance to our experience and everything else that we hold to be true.
So if you are one that acts out of reason and logic, does faith play no role in your life? Can you have faith and still rely on science and philosophy?
Yes. An emphatic yes.
We can have great admiration for what is true and authentic based on reason and logic. In fact, reason and logic can reaffirm our faith, deepen it.
We can generate great longing for searching out and discovering what is authentic and true based on reason and logic. We can be scientists and skeptics, philosophers and debaters and still have faith. The act of searching and analyzing and dissecting can be facets of our faith.
And we can trust in the reason and logic that we have used to come to our conclusions, and to look deeper still.
The search for what is authentic and true demands faith. It requires it, because faith supports determination and we need to be determined in our quest for what is authentic and true in order to reach our destination.
I am a man of faith. Are you?