Sunday, February 26, 2012

Alan Watts - Belief & Faith

"...because I believe that there is a strong distinction between faith on the one hand and belief on the other. That belief is as a matter of fact quite contrary to faith, because belief is really wishing, it's from the Anglo-Saxon root Leaf/ve (?) = to wish, and belief stated say in the creed, is a fervant hope that the universe will turn out to be thus and so, and in this sense therefor belief precludes the possibility of faith, because faith is openness to truth to reality - whatever it may turn out to be.

I want to know the truth, that is the attitude of faith, and therefor to use ideas about the universe and about God as something to hang on to, in the spirit of rock of ages cleft for me, and there's something very rigid about a rock. And we are finding our rock getting rather worn out in an age where it becomes more and more obvious that our world is a floating world. It's a world floating in space, where all positions are relative and any point may be regarded as the center. A world that doesn't float on anything and therefor the religious attitude appropriate to our time is not one of clinging to rocks, but of learning to swim, and you know that if you get in the water and you've nothing to hold onto, and you try to behave as you would on dry land, you will drown. But if on the other hand if you trust yourself to the water, and let go, you will float, and this is exactly the situation of faith."

from Zen Clues. More quotes on Clinging to Belief.

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