Last time we lifted up the need to have faith in ourselves and others. Part of what will make our culture more sustainable and predictable is a return to basic trust. Over the years I have worked with enough people struggling with addictions, to know that there are times when we cannot trust ourselves. That’s why we need others.
That is true whether it’s an inability to resist “just one drink,” or our inability to understand that (fill in the blank) liberal/conservative/Christian/Islamic/atheist/whatever-else perspective. Each of us lives in our own limited worlds where our ideas rule. Even when making serious efforts to understand and be enlightened by other points of view, we often fall short.
That is where others come in. We need other people to help us bridge the gap between our understanding/values/experiences/mindset to something broader. Some of those others think similarly to us; some challenge us; some are examples; some mentor us into a fuller understanding of life.
Theodore Parker, the 19th-century abolitionist, is credited with saying, “The arc of the moral universe is long. But it bends toward justice.” While that may be true when looking at the time since the Roman Empire to today—yet, there have been many times the course of history has taken a long and brutal detour toward injustice. That brings us to the need for a standard other than you and me.
This is where faith in something greater than ourselves comes to the fore. For many that faith is expressed through a religious tradition. Judaism, Christianity, Islamic, Hinduism, Mormonism, Native American, atheism and many more offer their perspective. Faith is the principles of a religious tradition that we adopt for our lives. Those aspects that give us guidance, understanding, compassion, and comfort when we do not live up to our potential.
To my mind, particularly as we look toward a future similar to The Doorkeeper’s Secrets, our faith must include an openness to truth found in other religious traditions. A useful idea is instructive even if it comes from Native American Spirituality, Buddhism, or Atheism. More about that perspective when we talk about the Fourth Principle of an interdependent society (Respect).
There is still one more aspect of faith I want to lift up. That is faith in the process. Part of the problem in the US today is the number of people who have lost faith in the political process. Others have lost faith in the economic process—the idea that if you learn in school, work hard, and don’t break the law you will be rewarded financially. The process, as it now exists, no longer serves the people or the common good—it serves the good of the elite, the wealthy (and to some extent the middle class) and corporations.
When I started this blog, I indicated I do not want to debate current policies and political issues. I point out this issue as an indicator that you may be ready to think about something different. If so, I think The Doorkeeper’s Secrets and the next book in the series The Doorkeeper’s Mind (to be available about May 2018) will give you at least one perspective to consider.
In my vision of the future there is a process that considers the well-being, physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and educationally to be the highest good. It’s that process that is being challenged and undermined in my fiction books. It’s that process we need to find and create in our non-fiction world.
Faith for tomorrow is at least faith in four things: one’s self, others, a purpose, and a uniting-sustaining process. Such a faith leads one to Respect others, and support the Common Good. More about those in the next posts.