Ever since I attended the 'Learning with Kabir' workshop, I have been wondering about faith. Usually the word 'faith' is associated with belief, passivity, rigidity. Clearly, Kabir wasn't speaking of that sort of faith. Although what was said about faith rang very true, there was something I hadn't completely understood then.
Today, suddenly, the word fell into place perfectly! Faith is what allows the deepening of enquiry. Faith is the strong, clear feeling that truth lies here… in the negation of the self, or the discovery of the true self of interdependence and impermanence -- whatever one terms it. Faith is what allows me, when I come across something that Krishnamurti or the Buddha or somebody else says that does not make perfect sense yet, to hold it in my mind rather than trying to evaluate it right away and perhaps discarding it.
Faith is in truth, in the Teachings, not so much in a particular person who appears enlightened. So faith in this sense is not passive: it brings about observation and awareness from moment to moment. There seems to be an element of memory in faith. Something pricks you and you suddenly jump up in attention -- is that prick memory or something quite different?
You can forever be debating this theory or that, wondering whether you really want to let go of this self that offers so much pleasure and security, postponing, living in confusion. Faith is commitment to truth, despite confusion and all other movements of the mind. It is diving in. When confusion arises, it is faith that causes you to step back to see the trappings of the self. Then you are no longer caught in the confusion.
I will tentatively say that the source of this faith does not seem important. Reading or listening to somebody, meeting someone whose life and presence shakes you up, your own mind or culture, something mysterious perhaps… faith seems to come about differently for different people.
For me, I know it is irreversible. I can see clearly truth of the Teachings: there is no doubt about it; and it is not merely an opinion I am holding on to.
It does seem important for faith not to be blind belief or the seeking of security, but perhaps even an initial faith that is not based on a clear sense of truth is a good thing. If one is drawn to the Teachings enough to cause actual exploration, perhaps that is all that matters?