There are two types of faith:*
Blind faith is when you act as if something is true, when you don’t have any evidence of it being true (yet).
Understanding faith is when you’ve experienced what you believe in, at least to some extent, and you believe because you have experienced how it works. You might also have had that faith tested, and come out the other side with a deeper understanding of it.
I started my spiritual journey on blind faith. I knew there had to be a better option – there just had to be! So I started out seeking it, with blind faith that I would find something better.
Eventually, through struggling and turmoil and much processing, I started experiencing that the faith and commitment I had did lead to results. Various “teachers” did appear and I learned things I needed to learn in unlikely ways. Insights and clarity showed up by listening and working various tools, and I saw situations that seemed unsolvable and inexplicable work themselves out for good in mysteriously perfect ways. I reached a place of understanding faith that carries me forward from within (most days). That doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot to learn still! I still have days or weeks that I feel like “GAAAHHH!!!”. But it does mean I have a relaxed and grounded faith that I will learn it, on the Universe’s timing. So I firmly believe in faith.
Blind Faith Gets You Started
Blind faith is necessary because when you start out, you have to go purely on your conviction that you are a creative being and that there are answers beyond what you already know. It takes incredible heart and courage to go beyond the safety zone of cynicism and doubt, or comfort and familiarity. Sometimes it means saying no to people around you, to beliefs you have inherited from your family, from social beliefs and “common sense” that is really “communal sense” – an agreement to be OK with less and not risk trying for something more.
Even though I have been “on the path” for awhile and wrestled with some demons, there are times when I have to go back to blind faith again. When I am starting something new and have no idea how to do it – when I am challenged to go beyond my comfort zone and choose a larger goal, to see a bigger vision of myself. I have to be able to step out on blind faith that I can meet that challenge. Faith is trusting that whatever is around the corner is something that I can handle. Not that I know how to handle it right now – but that I will learn and the Universe will help me when I need it if I ask. (That might not be when I think I need it of course).
Faith is the Bedrock Underneath the Wave-Like Nature of Reality
We all go through times when we are right there with Source, and other times when it seems like our connection has deserted us and we are stranded somewhere and can’t get back. Even people with many years of developing spiritual connection go through this. It’s just part of the wave-like existence of life on Earth. We get to discover again and again “Oh yeah, Source is still here”. Our brain has an amazing ability to forget. That is why faith is important.
I keep a faith that my experiences of Source were real, that Source is real, even when in the moment, I can’t feel it or can’t remember what it feels like. That keeps me acting in alignment with a deeper reality, rather than reacting in fear to whatever is around me. I believe that there is an order underneath the chaos that is always operating, whether I can understand it in the moment or not, and there is a part of me that is always connected to Source, guiding me, whether I can hear it in the moment or not. More than that, I believe that I am part of Source itself unfolding, so I cannot ever truly be “lost” – I can only feel that way.
It’s one of those spiritual paradoxes that the only way to get to understanding faith is to have your blind faith completely challenged and turned upside down a few times. And yet, without blind faith, you would never have started the journey that eventually led you to understanding faith.What you eventually learn from being tested is that your blind faith was limited in some way, and your understanding faith is broader, because it encompasses even the experience of losing what you thought you needed and couldn’t live without. You also learn important things like:
- pain doesn’t last forever
- happiness/pleasure doesn’t last forever
- you are still there after both have passed
Borrowing Faith From Yourself
I have observed that I can have a magnificent grounded faith in one area of my life, and still end up feeling lost and despairing in another area. I have learned to “borrow” faith from one area to help myself out in another area. I say to myself “I have faith that the Universe wants me to be happy in XYZ area of my life – so it must also be true here, even though my mind is saying otherwise”. This is a way of rewiring your brain to make faith automatic.
Then it’s just a matter of jumping into the river. Eventually, you learn how to swim, and you say “Ah, I get it. This is how you swim in this river.” But you had to jump in to find that out. Life is an immersion experience.
Using Blind Faith in Business
Here are some suggestions of things to take on blind faith (if you don’t already), and start walking forward with:
- If I start asking for help, eventually the help I need will show up
- If I start asking the questions I have, eventually the some answers will show up
- If I start looking at this problem, eventually the solution or something better will show up
- If I start learning about XYZ, eventually I will understand it better
- If I start going where my heart leads, eventually I will find what it is seeking
*Credit: I got the idea of Blind Faith vs Understanding faith from the Unity of Portland sermon last week by Rev. Lisa Davis. (The rest of the stuff about pain and being tested is from my own experience.)