I am not religious – at all. Nevertheless, I have a lot of faith.
I have faith in the knowledge that what I’m doing right now is exactly what I should be doing, because I’m doing it. I have faith in people, generally speaking, and I believe that the masses will eventually become intolerant of any particular injustice. I have faith in nature, and in evolution, understanding that there is a time-tested system in place. I have faith in love, and in following my heart, because trusting my heart has always led me down the right path, even if I can’t grasp it in the moment.
I have faith in my instincts. I have faith in my intuitions. I have faith in my ability to reason. I have faith in myself.
I have faith in the universe, and in some cosmic interplay between myself and the rest of all THIS that will result in a particular outcome – an end – that will satisfy all fragments of the beginning. I have faith in knowing that everything has purpose; or, at the least, that everything is capable of comprising purpose and meaning. I have faith in my ability to endow that which appears meaningless with meaning, and I have faith in my ability to recognize purpose in seemingly random coincidence.
Faith is not a matter left only to the religious. No, indeed having faith is a skill, for logic can be an insufficient and unfulfilling thing. Like faith, logic often resides in the realm of subjective interpretation, conditional upon such things as environment, experience, and consensus. Faith, in many respects, is simply the logical application of past experience to future prospect. Faith is trust. Faith is acceptance.
As a teenager, I primarily identified as an atheist. I now recognize that label as just another label – capable of confining, narrowing, and stigmatizing in the wrong hands. Today, I recognize that there’s a lot to life that remains unexplained and contrary to our logical musings. Whether it’s finding meaning in acausal coincidence (see Jung’s synchronicity) or learning that electrons which interact remain connected over infinitely vast distances (see quantum entanglement), the world is full of stuff that’s appropriately reserved for faith. Indeed most of us have faith in science itself, which creates a peculiar and paradoxical juxtaposition in our logically-biased minds.
What’s the point of this post? Perhaps it’s that we all give faith (and those who carry it) a break, and realize that none of us knows a damned thing about anything; that the world remains an amazing yet mysterious place. Or, perhaps it’s that we not sacrifice our deepest convictions or instincts in the name of logic, for it too fails us on a regular basis. Human intention may be more powerful than previously understood (see quantum physics), and this alone makes faith a potentially powerful device.
So have a little faith, in something (preferably self-defined and non-religious, in order to not encourage the judgment of others). Don’t become another casualty of logic and reason. Remember, all perspectives are merely constructions of the human mind. At the very least, believe in something more than your day-to-day squandering – something that gives your life meaning; something that makes you wake in the morning with a sense of adventure; something that grabs you by the guts and throws you back into the world more than mere flesh and bone.