What exactly is faith?
What does it mean?
Never really thought about it actively, never thought to sit down and define this term called faith personally. I like to have my own personal definition or spin on a word, so I decided to research the term.
Faith according to Buddhism is first an acceptance of Buddha’s teaching and subsequently a discovery or learning of its truth for oneself (Wikipedia).
In my search I came across three terms related to faith within Buddhism: they are Sraddha, prasada and adhimukti. Sraddha means “to arouse faith” or “to possess curiosity about.” It is considered the first stage of faith, faith grown/found by listening.
Prasada on the other hand relates to the idea of purity and clarity. Thus, with respect to Buddhism, the proper purpose of faith could be said to cleanse the mind enabling our inherent wisdom to shine forth. This is faith by purification.
Faith without works is dead.
Finally, adhimukti which means intent: referring to the orientation of one’s mind or will. It is faith that comes over a period of time with understanding. With respect to these three terms faith can be defined as that which purifies our reasoning, strengthens our convictions and helps us live in a state of freedom, clarity with room for continuous self-improvement.
In the Jewish religion emunah is commonly translated to mean faith. However, with some research it would seem that translation doesn’t depict the encompassing meaning of faith. Emunah means firmness and can refer to something or someone who is firm in their actions. It is the feminine version of the word emun. Thus, faith in this context implies that the one who has faith in Elohiym will act with firmness toward accomplishing Elohiym’s will. It is something we develop throughout a lifetime and needs to be repeatedly meditated upon.
Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Emunah is expressed and grown through the means of our free will. We can choose to either remain loyal to the word of God in spite of any struggle, or to shun the word of God because of its seeming illogicality. Enumah goes beyond the reaches of reason, but it does not evade it. In reality wisdom, knowledge and understanding can serve to further enhance emunah.
I could go on about my research, but I will stop here. I think most people at the very least have some level of faith in something out there. And in answer to the prompt question, I have faith. I have faith in God and for me faith is that bridge over the waters (troubled or not troubled waters). It is that which calls me up higher from where I am to where I can be, but it doesn’t make me forget that I must climb and sweat and sometimes cry to get there. It makes me work harder, makes me bolder, but it also calls me back when my head seems to get bigger than my shoulder.
And yes faith does give people a weapon or crutch for their mental, physical or emotional imbalance. However, I would like to think that this is not the case with me. For me ….
Faith balances me out.
Faith in my dictionary is a belief in God and in the truth that the universe will outlive me and has things set in motion to sometimes out smart me, sometimes out do me but also sometimes celebrate me.
Written in response to the daily post writing challenge …Un/faithful.
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