Faith is the relationship we have with reality beyond what is present to our experience, the being that inspires our warmest love and coldest dread, the being upon which we depend for our very being, the being with the potential to shock us with its stark alienness or surprise us with inconceivable fullness. Life without faith is entirely pointless, and this is why reciprocation of faith — faithfulness — seems commanded by reality itself.
We should be faithful to the past and to the future, to what is behind what is nearest and concealed by distances, and to the people around me (human and nonhuman) I can learn from and teach and to the mysterious source of my own selfhood. In the stories we tell ourselves, we should adhere to the existence of these realities and not re-narrate them for the convenience of the moment, because only this gives our own selfhood persistence and coherence.
We maintain ourselves as ourselves both for ourselves and for those who love us, those who we love, those who we hope with be faithful to us. Covenant.
I believe this faith in faithfulness makes me religious. No?
4 thoughts on “Faith in faithfulness”
The opposite of what you’re describing almost perfectly fits the feeling of dissolution I’ve been experiencing over the past years, albeit from some kind of necessity rather than convenience.
Can you say more?
Religion inspires us to be self-aware and other-aware. Being religious is our individual response to that awareness. In other words, being ‘religious’ is a way of life that requires continuous monitoring of our own responses, our own willingness to be present, our ownership of awakenings that occur naturally as we progress through life and how we relate to the entire ecosystem that sustains our being. The more we remain conscious, the greater our awe and respect for what we have been given. Thank you for this writing!!!
Yes — exactly. I used to have an aversion to supernatural claims because they did not fit my image of the world. I found them difficult to accept as true. Now I have trouble accepting supernatural claims as religious, and they seem to even displace or eclipse religious insight. It is true that sometimes I’ll see a religious sensibility alongside a supernatural belief system, but I can’t help but think it happens despite the magical notions. I see the kinds of things you listed as much closer to the core of religious existence.