Faith is not just certainty – it is also openness to possibility

We often equate faith with certainty, as in, “I am sure that God exists.” Such equalization is valid in terms of ontology – we need firm conviction that God exists.

In terms of functionality, however, faith often equates not with certainty, but with openness to possibility. During life, when things start going wrong, even if we are sure of God’s benevolence, we can’t know for sure how that benevolence will manifest in real life. To sense his benevolent plan, our faith needs to take the form of openness to possibility, of our being ready for his help to come in unexpected and uncharacteristic ways.

Amidst adversities, when all doors seem to be closing in front of us, some small window might open somewhere, providing us a way to move ahead, even if by crawling or squeezing through. To spot that way, we need to give up our attachment to our plans and become open to the inconceivable ways of the divine.

The Bhagavad-gita (18.58) recommends such open-mindedness when assuring that we can cross over all obstacles by Krishna’s mercy, provided we become conscious of him. Becoming conscious of him means that rather than fixating on obstacles, in anger or fear or whatever else, we look up towards him by practicing bhakti-yoga. When we find shelter and strength in his remembrance, we can look at obstacles with fresh eyes. And we wait and watch till we notice a tiny ray of light amidst the darkness, pointing us to the opening of a way ahead.

By such open-minded faithfulness, we will see Krishna’s benevolence in action, and we will be guided through the problem not just to a solution, but also to a higher level of faith and devotion, thereby preparing us for elevation to the eternal spiritual world beyond all problems.

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1 Comment

  1. Wonderful persective on faith – Open minded faithfulness based on a fundamental faith that He is a benevolent being. Thank you.

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