Finding faith: I can’t tell you what to have faith in, that is none of my damned business! In this day and age we are presented with a positive pantheon of possibilities of things we can believe in. For sure, science is fine thing to believe in- (reality rocks!); yet I reckon the panthemism of the wisdom to be found in listening to stones and rivers and sky and soil is a wonderful thing to listen in to too.
In these times more than ever, we see that belief is subjective. God/dess/nature/soul/regular-religion is not a game of top trumps. There is no sanity and not much kindness to be found in “my deity is better than your deity” (I think most of us still collectively shudder to think of the horror of anything “trumping” anything at all….)
In my mind these deities would sit in circle. They would have some kind of common room where they can all hang out and speak about the things they are struggling with in creation, over a nice cup of iced coffee! They may or may not exist! I’m not even sure that it matters- (though I love the description of the old horned/horny god of the forest getting more and less potent/visible over the centuries as more or less folk believe in him in the Tom Robbins fantasy fiction books….) –
For me science and faith are fine bedfellows and I wish them a long and happy life together.
I still find that often faith is what catches us when we fall. I’m so sure that it really matters what we have faith in (although plenty will disagree with me and that’s fine- I’m unwilling to fight some sort of religious war with you over this! ) There is much empirical evidence that we thrive best when we overcome that sense that we have to “do it all” alone with only our separate selves to rely one. So much of the current scientific trauma research led by pioneer thinkers such as Gabor Mate is uncovering that it is not so much what happened to us that causes the trauma, instead it is the lack of support with what happened that causes the need to numb out/ space out/ seek substances. Support, feeling woven into the web of things is where it is at. Hopefulness, heart open, feeling held and skilful holding matters. Community counts for a lot.
I do believe that faith is what catches us when bottom falls out. Having faith in something sustains- to have some sense of something that we can trust in is a profoundly life enhancing thing for a human to have. We can find faith in the support of friends and family; in our daily walk with our dog -or- in a daily walk with our god; in the group we sit and share with each week- be that a gender circle/ gardening group, a 12 step fellowship/ stitch & bitch/ stitch & witch/ a special interest zoom room. If you have faith in science, soccer and your bi-weekly swimming practice I dare say that will serve you deeply too! If you have a faith in traditional religious sense- then especially good for you; I genuinely respect that and trust that it will serve you well and it can be tough thing to hold onto in these times- so go you! If you have faith in “the freakin’ process” that will likely work well too! If you have faith In your own ability to shape-shift situations- then that is great too; if you are finding soul-sustence in some obscure credo you met on the net/ in the back of a bookstore then good for you – as long as it harms no other go, please go right ahead…
I reckon that there is great reverence to be found some healthy degree of irreverence too- in not taking ourselves, and our little lives, with absolute somber-seriousness. Humour helps. Balance is a beautiful thing. Holding it lightly is a life affirming exercise.
The cat of “the correct credo” is firmly out of the bag and long since lost in in the streets amidst the “cult of consumerism’ – this weird westernised world in which we live.
For me praise is a high form of prayer, there is much “holiness” to be had in noticing the things in life that delight us, I truly believe that being grateful for the amazing place in which we get to live is a wise way to get “there”! Someone once said the devil is in the details- but quite frankly- to hell with that!- I reckon that actually it is the divinity that is found in the details – in witnessing sunlight on water, in the silence of sunset, in the ladybug on the leaf, in the way the wind moves across the green-field; in finding the ghostly shadow of a snake in his silent empty shed-skin on the path we walk each day. So may we forage for faith. May we find it growing wild by the wayside, undomesticated, unplanned in its planting but defiantly reaching upwards anyway, blooming bright, tangled up with the rest of the natural world…