Sunday, November 29, 2009

Belief vs Faith

The question today are what my “sacred cows?” My sacred cows? Do I have any really sacred cows? I don’t think so. So that probably means that I do, right?

Okay, Consideration for others – that could be one. I feel that it is important to consider people’s feelings when you interact.

Another would definitely be – Do no harm. I feel that all beings have the right to live in peace and to live their lives as they were meant to live them. So, chickens in tiny little boxes churning out egg after egg is not in keeping with that belief. Cows that have their young taken away immediately after birth would be in that category, too. I still drink milk, so I’m a hypocrite too.

I have a problem with industrial farming of all sorts. I know that in this country it is almost impossible not to eat food from these farms. I know I can’t afford to buy only local produce or even all organic food, but I do try. Plants need to be plants also, and not some genetically engineered imitation. My Native American teacher said that to eat food that cannot reproduce itself is eating death, or at best, something that is not fully alive.

So, I would say that those are two sacred cows.

Sacred cows are beliefs that we hold especially dear. Belief and faith is not the same thing. Belief is an opinion… “I believe this to be true.” Faith is a deep understanding that all is as it should be.

I feel (believe) that I have moved away from beliefs over the years. I’m sure I have lingering beliefs… it’s kind of hard to go through life and not have beliefs encrusted on you like barnacles. However, I feel that I have worked on loosening some of my beliefs and I am open to other possibilities.

There is a phrase that I attempt to employ and that is: “I wonder.” I wonder if there could be another way. When I am confronted with an annoying person or situation, I ask myself if there is something more that I am not seeing and generally, when I ask that question of myself, I see that perhaps there is another way of looking at this situation, or that there might be a different way of doing it. That opens all sorts of room for possibilities to come to me. It was just a small shift, but it opened enormous potential for growth and a more peaceful way of living.

The funny thing is that when I actually was able to make this shift, I felt my beliefs soften and my faith to grow.

I have faith that spirit is with me, that we are working this gig together. I know that I am not really in control. That God moves through me; for what purpose I have no idea. But, I have faith that I can rest fully in God.

When I act from a place of ego, there is hardness to the action. If I come from spirit, there is softness, an ease, to my actions. As I have begun to notice the difference, my faith seemed to grow on its own.

Most people would say that faith and belief are synonyms. I think that they are antonyms. Faith and trust are synonyms, as is belief and opinion. So, when we say that we believe in Catholicism or Hinduism, for instance, we are offering our opinion rather than our faith.

So, I don’t believe that I have sacred cows. But, I do have faith that there is so much that I don’t know and I am open to wondering what will open to me next. I abide in You… at least I try.

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