Faith, the blind seer

0. Of all the characteristics that are essential for a person to become a better human being, faith is the most effective. There is nothing faith can’t do. Today we will try to deconstruct this wonderful phenomenon down to its basic ingredients and hopefully reassemble it in our lives. Without it, we are nothing but automatons. When a decision taken through intuition, not from intellect, it is called an act of faith. This is our definition of faith. Having Faith means relying more on our intuition than our intellect. Trusting our heart instead of brain.

1. Swami Vivekananda lost only argument in his entire life, it is said. He was so good at arguing his point of view that most arudite person would be stumped to answer his logic about an issue. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa loved Swamiji’s capacity to argue about his cause used pit him against other learned people and watch the fun. At one such time when Swamiji was arguing against having blind faith Sri Ramakrishna interjected and asked `Naren, you keep talking about blind faith. Tell me is there anything like faith with eyes?’ At this Swamiji had no answer. So the first main property of faith is that it is always blind. You can’t have a faith based on some data, reasoning or any sort of tricks of our intellect. You may say that a certain person never told me a wrong thing till now and so I have faith in him/her. How can you call this faith blind? The simple answer to this question is that you do not have faith in that person! That person has earned your belief due to his/her behaviour and if you find a contradiction in him in future, you will not trust him again. Just because you call your trust which is well thought out a faith, it does not become so. For example, we buy the same brand of soap, or toothpaste or groceries from store every time. Is it a faith or trust in the chosen brand name? It is the same thing with that person of yours. So, the upshot of all this is, faith is always blind.

2. Faith is also ubiquitous. It is everywhere. Most of our well thought out decisions are actually taken on faith though we are too much in an awe of our intellect to admit this fact. In fact, intellect can never make an decision. Every decision making event is triumph of our intuition our intellect. We can analyse to our heart’s content all the possible options that lie in front of us, but when it comes to choosing one of those choices, intellect can only suggest. The actual choice is made at the point when our thought process had stopped. Do you want a decaf with milk and no sugar or a Colombian brew without milk and sugar? you hear such a question at a cafeteria and we go blank. All the choices look the same at that time. Then suddenly we eye the Sudanese coffee with ice cream on the menu and decide that lets try this out (Of course, we are badly let down by our faith on those attractive words this time!!!). Given all the alternatives, we always rely on some `instinct’ or `sixth sense’ to actually make a choice. This especially true when stakes are very high. Should I take an admission to this medical college or that? Should I call the person in front of me my guru or not? Is proximity to God the ultimate aim of my life or is it climbing up the social ladder? Some times our entire life hinges on our choices. The higher the stakes, the more confused our intellect is. Because intellect gets overawed by the possible consequences of actions, it can never take decisions. It acts like a lower division clerk who pushes the file up to the supervisor for taking decision. And the supervisor of the intellect is intuition. All the important decisions of our life are taken through intuition and hence are acts of faith. Therefore, none of us can rightfully say that `having faith is beyond me’. Having intellect may be beyond some of us but not having faith. We are made out of faith, so to speak. Hence faith is everywhere. It is in our very bones!

3. However, what good is it for us to have faith and not aware of it, not trust it? If several thousand gold coins are buried under your house without your knowledge, what good is it to us? We have to know their existence, then make an attempt to obtain them and finally use them well in our lives to make full use of that hidden treasure. Exactly like this, we are full of faith but we are not aware of it. We do not know how to bring forth our hidden intuition and those of us who knew they are intuitive do not know how to use it constructively to progress to the ultimate aim, being one with God. Thus, our focus of attention should not be to look at faith as if it is something to be aquired from outside but to look inwards to see its signs within. Our single purely intuitive decision is enough to prove that intuition exists within us. Falling in love is the most intuitive decision one can take in life and all of us are in love. Some have a person to fall in love with and others have their principles. But there is not a single person who has not decided what is important in his or her life. The thing that is most dear to us the thing with which we are in love. Some have God, some have money and some have family and so on and so on! This very fact that we are in love with something or the other shows that there is hidden treasure of intuition and faith in our life. So the main point is to allow this strength lying dormant within us to come forward. Our attempts to go about to to inculcate faith in us are all pointless.

4. Just as we climb to the first floor of a building by taking a step of the staircase at a time, we should unlock the treasures of our intuition by trusting it more and more. Right now, we are slaves of our intellect. All our fancy education has taught is to see reason before doing anything. It has not taught us how to take a decision but taught us how to ponder about taking a decision. Now, we should use this sharpened intellect and teach ourselves to believe in our intuition and act in faith. From now on, each time you are taking a decision, think whether it is taken on intuition or not. This way you are becoming aware of the decisions your intuition is making for you. The unnoticed servant in our life is finally getting his recognition! Once this practice is established in mind, you will see that most of the time one is using intellect to the dirty work of arranging facts in order so that we can comprehend things around us and the decision is being taken by our intuition. Over a period of time, you will come to recognise the true importance of faith in your life and then will come a time when your life’s path is to be decided. Are we going to remain as a provider for our family or is there a larger meaning to our life? With enhanced intuition you will then begin to understand such basic questions in a new light. Then a new life has truly began and that is where the resident God, the sad^guru, will come forward and help you. That is why Saint Dnyaneshwar Maharaj says, `in my heart dwells sad^guru and with HIS help I swam across the ocean of misery to the side of perennial bliss, that God is’.

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