In Philosophy we studied the question “How do we know something is real?”
When considering the natural world around us, we attempt to imagine an objective world without a knowing subject (the knowing subject is us, trying to know the world outside of our own perception of it). We can’t, because imagining that world is still us imagining it. Therefore, it is by faith that we believe the real world is real. Therefore, faith itself is real, a real function of my psyche, as real as the body and the mind, sensations and the brain. Therefore faith is not a lie.
What we chose to have faith in is where we exercise our free will.
We who have come out of high-control groups know what it is like to be told what reality is, and to have our free will suppressed, restricted, bound up and buried. After coming out, it can be hard to sort out what reality truly is. I have had a journey dancing around the idea of faith, at first not thinking about it, then angry at the group for messing with it, then wondering what it is and whether I should even entertain the notion of it. Was faith just our imagination trying to make a raw deal feel better?
Through my philosophy class and all the other classes I have been taking, and discussions with people of many different philosophies, the opening paragraph is the “ah-ha” moment I had back in July, at the ICSA conference, of what faith means to me – no, not what it means, but that it exists, and that it is meaningful to me.
Defining what it means to me will be the next chapter in my faith journey.