I’ve always had a kind of rivalry with organized religion, born of society’s tendency to collapse it with the term “faith.” In a paper I wrote recently, I wished that I had been able to explore this issue more thoroughly, but I couldn’t get my had wrapped around it. Now, though – I’ve got plenty of resources to inspire further reflection…
There is no faith in religion – everything is “if you do X then Y will happen.” Religion provides nothing more than perfect hope in its most basic form. Faith is almost the antithesis – the absence of promise for the presence of true peace. We may keep faith as a result of the inspired hope of religion, but it requires constant evaluation of the past. In order to have true faith, we must first abandon hope and the promise of peace. Only then can our perceptions resonate with our identity, granting clarity in the darkest moments of our lives. You see – it is not hope that inspires faith, but a belief in ourselves that allows us to realize the potential for our own faith (and it is truly something that we own). Only when we cease to focus on a specific and ideal result can we be free. If we stop focusing on a destination, we can begin to reflect on the journey. The kicker is that focusing on this journey reveals every hour, day, and year as its own destination, chock-full of things to experience and grow from.
My friends: the meaning of life is to live, not die.