Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Faith; A Journey

"It has long been known that need and desire play a part in the shaping of beliefs. But is it true, as modern psychology often claims, that our religious beliefs are nothing but attempts to satisfy subconscious wishes? That the conception of God is merely a projection of self-seeking emotions, an objectification of subjective needs, the self in disguise? Indeed, the tendency to question the genuineness of man’s concerns about God is a challenge no less serious than the tendency to question the existence of God. We are in greater need of a proof for the authenticity of faith than of a proof for the existence of God." Abraham Joshua Herschel

A thought on this is that... "God has no objective existence outside of subjective human imaginations, and, that the cardinal sin is judging God to have any value more than "mirroring-back human torque, desire, virtuous and invirtuous human attributes, all in need of good discipline – enter a god of Heschel’s “self in disguise.' The “self in disguise” itself  becomes illusory and indeterminate, because the illusion and indeterminacy of the “self” is exactly the point.  So to realize the self’s illusion is the ultimate proof of authenticity!" 

"Faith (isn't) any more or less authentic, unless one believes that God really exists outside one’s illusory imagination! If Heschel is really willing to concede that proofs for God (he must be scratching or denying a Thomist itch - or just waxing poetic?) are really less important than the more important quest for authentic faith ...  then, what’s left for ‘God’ to say back to me about authentic faith in the first place?" The denial of the existence of God as a prerequisite for faith is apophatic, basically subverting the intents and purposes of God in redeeming man to a pursuit of faith as the virtuous Nirvana of human endeavour.

It is true that we all come to God with many preconceived formulations of Who God is, and What God is all about, and it is conceded that these formulations either enhance or retard our inherent ability to accept God as Who He says He is. The illusory aspect is a realization, an acceptance of reality that exists beyond, quite possibly, our belief. In this scenario faith becomes an attainable end to a life pursuit, where in reality, faith is the constant quest, never-ending in its process of reforming, rejuvenating and restoring man. Faith is the speaking of God into our 'self in disguise' and that speaking, where those who pursue it, is revitalizing to belief.  Isaiah 55:6, "Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near."
It is in the question of faith where we find we are closest to finding the answer to the authenticity God's existence.

Isaiah 55:1-3
 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,

Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;..."

It is a wise man who understands the difference between seeking God and finding faith, and a man who seeks faith and never finds God. God does not speak through faith, faith allows us to hear God speak. 

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