My personal faith is an ever evolving entity. I may read or hear or learn something which causes me to think and reconsider what I previously “knew”, but the foundation of my faith is within, not with-out.
I have often repeated the idea that “the Principles provide a framework for Unitarian Universalist faith”, but I think that is probably misstated. There is a connotation there which suggests that collectively our beliefs fit into a neat little box created by those seven tenets, but I don’t believe that UU faith is quite so limited. For me, it is probably more accurate to state that the Principles describe my ethics, rather than define them. When faced with a moral dilemma, I need not refer to the Principles to find out how to respond. My reaction and subsequent action are dictated to me by my own heart and mind, and the values I hold sacred. The Principles merely provide an observer with a predictor of which direction I am likely to take.
The foundation of my faith lies deeper than personal experience and understanding. It is rooted in an inner knowing, meaning that any a-ha moments that I may have with regard to spiritual truth are more along the lines of rediscovery of what (at my core) I already knew, than the acquisition of new knowledge. I wholeheartedly embrace the free and responsible search for truth and meaning, which means that I must be open to finding it somewhere outside of any boundaries set by prescribed doctrine, creed, or even principles. When I draw on various sources to inform my faith, I am not looking to be schooled; rather I evaluate any information or proclamation I come across to assess and discern whether it feels true to me. That is my single basis for acceptance or rejection of any proposed spiritual idea: whether it feels true to me.
The foundation of my faith is rooted nowhere other than deep within my own heart. It is my sincere hope that everyone – of any belief system, faith, or faith tradition – can say the same.