In what does one put their faith? Is it in the path of the ego or the path of the spirit? Does one put their faith in the things of this ego world or in the things of the spirit in other places? Does a person believe in wisdom and love or in the idols of the world: money, power, sex, sensual pleasure to bring one happiness?
We have been conditioned and socialized by the world of the ego to believe that the things of the ego will bring one happiness. However, to anyone with eyes to see, and ears to hear, and hands to touch, we come to realize that the things of the ego are illusory in being able to provide us with true joy and bliss. It is in this dawning that the things of the ego will not make us happy that we begin to search for something deeper, more substantive, more fulfilling and this search takes faith in searching for the things of the spirit, for things unseen.
This search takes courage, and resolve, and what is called “a leap of faith.” This first step in developing the virtue of faith takes a letting go of the things of the world. We withdraw our attention and start looking elsewhere. This step of letting go often involves finding a guide whether a person or a teaching to assist in the undoing of our conditioning and socialization. This often begins with questioning and growing skepticism that what we have been told by the representatives and marketers of the things of the ego aren’t true. We come to realize that the things we have been told by society are what Holden Caufield, in the Catcher In The Rye, called “the Big Lie.”
This first stage of virtue development of faith sometimes sparks a feeling of “dis-ease.” There is a period of skepticism and anxiety. We aren’t sure how to proceed or where to look and we come to realize that we need help. Who are the helpers and where are they to be found?
Unitarian Univeralists covenant together to affirm and promote the responsible search for truth and meaning. In this covenant to affirm and promote this principle is the support for faith to be found.
To be continued