What is “Faith” Really? — A Commonly Misunderstood Word

“Faith” is sometimes understood as belief in a doctrine, sometimes as confidence a religious narrative or spiritual point of view. wp.me/p2ukOd-2s

A man praying at a Japanese Shintō shrine.

A man praying at a Japanese Shintō shrine.

Those understandings of “faith” are OK.  But I want to say they’re OK as far as they go.  Consider why faith is essential in the battle against evil.

I do not personally believe that strong faith is essential to ensure one’s own salvation.  There is no punishment that arises from lack of faith.

Faith is incredibly powerful in the confrontation with evil and in delivering one from suffering.  Deep faith causes one to be immune and impervious to ills and afflictions of all kinds.

The purpose and intention of evil is to prey on one’s mind.  Evil feeds off suffering, off panic, off evil intentions.  It feeds off retaliation and the desire to retaliate.  The harm done to a person — the notional harm — is not itself important.  Physical or emotional torment, the belief one is in hell, the sensation one is being eaten by demons — all that stuff that accompanies a certain kind of religiosity — the evil purpose is to get one agitated, worked up, and to establish the outpouring of psychic energy that evil can feed off.

Think of evil as psychic vampires.  The evil game is a con game.  It’s a kind of sinister, reverse hypnosis.  They can’t actually do anything to you, beyond cause sensations or afflict you with delusions.  The danger is that a person might buy into those sensations or delusions, and thus really surrender themselves to the tormentor.

There is a risk in spiritual development.  People who get to a certain level and develop the ability to see or hear things can be conned more easily.  It is very important to realize both that not everything your senses report is real, and that your senses do not report everything real.

I believe your soul cannot be observed in any way.  There may be energies or indicators that tend to mark a soul, that can be observed — but these are just marks and indications.  Your soul cannot be harmed in any way.  So don’t be conned.

Faith gives us peace at heart.  Peace at heart causes us to be immune to even the most powerful tricks.  With faith and peace at heart, it does not matter what images or sensations afflict us — we know that it’s nonsense.  We do not surrender our power or our nature to circumstance or to that which afflicts us.

In these terms, which doctrine you follow is not too important.  It can be very important in other ways, but the important point here is that you produce a mind, heart and being of peace.

Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew 10:13 and Luke 10:5 how to approach a house begging.  They are not to wait to bless the house, but to bless it first.  The wording varies with translation, but it is generally along the lines, “When you come to a house, bestow your peace upon them.  If they reject you, take your peace and go.”

Evil wants us to fear it, because the fear itself makes it easier for the fearing mind to be preyed on.  The fearing mind surrenders its power more readily.  Evil will try to make us compromise in a thousand ways:  through false promises, through threats against ourselves or others, by convincing us we are paying for our sins, by telling us we are unworthy, or resented, or that our repentance is insufficient — anything of the kind.

But saints, on the other hand, generally all tell us that evil is malarkey.  It has no intrinsic power over us.  It’s not even “evil.”  It’s “bad.”  Just don’t be mislead.  Be kind.  And cultivate peace at heart.

If you liked this post, you may
also want to read:
An Angel Taught Me How To Pray

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