Sunday in her homily, Rev. Jan referred to faith as “the deepest trust in the truths that sustain us.”
Trust is where I always begin with faith. It immediately puts me in relationship with others. It’s the kind of relationality that opens me rather than closes me. As I noted yesterday, faith can become a kind of weapon against others, against relationality that become the opposite of trust.
Trust in the deepest truths that sustain us. So, what sustains you? This is where the search for truth and meaning become so vitally core to the spiritual life and the practice of this religion of ours. There is a sutra in Buddhism that speaks to this for me:
“Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them. (The Kalama Sutra)
This search for truth and meaning is relational. Not only should one not accept something simply because it is reported or written in scripture or because it is logical. One should also ask if the thing being considered are skillful, blameless, if the larger community “of the wise” teach these things. And finally–will adopting these things lead to happiness?
It seems to me the message is that faith is not meant to be held or practiced alone–it’s a relational thing.
My “truth” and understanding it as “truth can only happen in community with others; “truths” can be informed by logic and probability; “truths” can be informed by the living and testing. For me all of our principles are my “truths” and I work to live them for the happiness and betterment of my/our world. They are constantly being tested and informed in my relationships for what they really mean for all and matched to understanding informed by research and knowledge. The principles themselves are part of the search for “truth” for all. In the living of the “truth”, I think we find whether it is a “truth”. Living the search with faith that the search is true is something that helps me as a human to continue the path.