True Faith and Pure Reason - by Swami Rama
- True Faith and Pure Reason
by Swami Rama
From Enlightenment without God
Religions have two great weapons to conquer the hearts of their followers: faith and grace. The way faith is described in religious scriptures is not actually faith at all, but is blind belief based on ignorance and rigidity of tradition. Tradition and truth are entirely different. One is mingled with customs, systems, cultures, habits, thoughts, feelings, and desires, and the latter is a search for the Ultimate Reality. For attaining truth, everything the aspirant has, including thoughts, deeds, and speech, becomes a means for attaining truth; while in tradition, all means are used for the sake of convenience, pleasure, and gratification. Religionists and their faithful followers are afraid to analyze the very nature of their faith. Thus, one is lost in a morass of religious fanaticism. Faith that does not recognize the faculty of reasoning and that has not been filtered by reasoning is based on blind beliefs that remain unexamined. They thus unnecessarily create doubts, and when doubts are not resolved, such faith disappears. Blind faith, being empty and devoid of any real reason or fact, is often found wanting when one has a problem and expects to find a strong basis that will support and carry him through difficult times. Then one finds, instead, nothing to hold on to or anchor oneself to. Because of this weakness in religious faith, religious dogma says that faith is a gift from God, and that if one questions it, then it might vanish and be lost. True faith is supported by pure reason, which is attained through thoughtful analysis of life. Following the extended practice of sâdhanâ and purification, a few fortunate seekers realize and know the nature of the world as it is and also experience the all-pervading truth that enlightens the' dark chamber of the aspirant's heart.