... a blog to make sense of the world through writing and acts of creativity, to reflect on and respond to the crazy world in which we live. Can beauty, creativity, compassion, and activism emerge from this tension?
Sometimes, I impress myself with my cleverness. A friend posted on Facebook about the need to be wary of blind faith and I commented on her post that we need to have mind faith. I like it. What do I mean?
Faith is a scary thing, belief in something that you can not scientifically prove, but you know to be true. Something in your heart, or gut, or intuition, resonates and you believe. I suppose this is the essence of religion, and religions vary in the extent to which your belief is blind or mind.
I have been attracted to denominations that invite rational and reasonable discourse about life, the world, and religion. I remember being a teenager in a conservative denomination and getting angry about how my Sunday school teacher said that Jesus wasn't talking about blacks and whites in the Bible, he was talking about Gentiles and Jews, so therefore, you can't use scripture to justify racial equality. When I questioned this, he said, ask the reverend. So I did, and the reverend backed him up. Yes, this was the sixties. I didn't stay much longer in that denomination. But, I guess even back then, I was a bit of a radical.
There is a point where you have to realize you don't know the answers, you will never have scientific confirmation of the existence of God, the afterlife, and what Jesus would actually do. At some point, you have to believe one way or the other. But there is a LOT of room between that point and everyday living where you have to use your mind to guide your faith.
For example, what would Jesus think about Michael Brown, or Eric Garner, or Tamir Rice, and this whole epidemic of white police killing young black men? My mind faith knowledge of Jesus is that he was a social justice "warrior," albeit a peaceful one. He stood up for the poor and the oppressed. He had empathy for those whom the crowd had scorned. He challenged the powers that be of the time. He made evident the hypocrisy of the Philistines. Yes, he was way more than this. But this champion of the oppressed part is important. What would Jesus do? I think he would be carrying a sign at the Staten Island terminal saying "I can't breathe," or at the march in Missouri, with his hands up, chanting "Hands up, don't shoot." This is my opinion, or course. This is using mind faith. I don't know what Jesus would do. I can only infer based on what I believe Him to stand for.
In the end, you don't really know how and if you will be held accountable for your life. In the end, believing that you will be held accountable takes a leap of faith. But you can make mindful choices about how you live your life. It should be aligned with your core beliefs. This alignment is mind faith. Connecting the dots is mind faith. Becoming integrated with your beliefs and actions is mind faith. Being truly kind, loving, and compassionate is mind faith.
Diane Aoki is a writer who explores other modes of creativity as her intuition leads her.