The question today is, does faith create the experience or does experience create faith. Kind of like, which came first- the chicken or the egg. Better yet, does Buddhism involve faith?
Some friends today were discussing the Pali word “Saddha”, which Wikipedia defines as the word Faith. But that is an over simplified definition of a very involved explanation.
A dear Monk explained it this way… “I don’t think Saddha means faith. It means confidence. There are two segments in Saddha, “Akaravathi and Amulika.” Amulika means you follow no matter what. Basically blind faith. Akaravathi means you question things, analyze and criticize until you find the truth.”
I bring this up today as a point I would like to open for discussion with each of you.
What I can tell you, is that I have no faith. My upbringing, and most of my adult life was as a Christian. So everything that I did or that happened to me was based on faith.
Once entering my journey into the Dharma, I let that go. I had read that the Buddha taught to believe nothing unless it passes your own logic and reason. This was such a “V8 moment” for me! It was not as easy as one might think for me to let go of forty plus years of programming. These dogma’s were so deeply ingrained in me, that I truly had fear of letting them go. I wondered if some lightning bolt was going to come down from the sky and strike me dead. Obviously it didn’t.
But as I continued to read and study, I found that dealing with reality and accepting things as they are, gave me a greater sense of peace than ever before. I was no longer a sinner or plagued by guilt, and I did not have to hope a deity would give me what I want. As a Taoist friend of mine always says, “it is what it is”.
I can honestly tell you that I felt forty years worth of weight just lifting off my chest as this became clearer to me.
Now perhaps I am wrong, and that’s where I hope to get your comments and feedback.
But I can tell you in advance, if it does not make sense or appeal to my logic and reason, then it will likely fall on deaf ears.
I am however completely open to this moment and experience and would truly like to hear what you think.
Ultimately, we are all connected. There is no you or me, just a universal truth that we share. All things, including us, are impermanent. That’s just the fact. No separate chicken or egg.
In closing, I hope you each had a wonderful Holiday and this post finds you well happy and peaceful.