An act of meditation is actually an act of faith--of faith in your spirit, in your own potential. Faith is the basis of meditation. Not of faith in something outside you--a metaphysical buddha, an unattainable ideal, or someone else's words. The faith is in yourself, in your own "buddha-nature." You too can be a buddha, an awakened being that lives and responds in a wise, creative, and compassionate way.
“Faith can have three meanings. First is belief -- belief is a lie, it is insincere, dishonest. To believe something means you don't know it and yet you believe. It is hypocrisy. Belief is out of fear or out of greed. Belief is a conditioning by others imposed upon you; it is a slavery.
The true religious man cannot be a believer and he cannot be a disbeliever either -- because disbelief is nothing but belief in a negative form. The catholic and the communist are not very different; the atheist and the theist are not very different -- in fact not at all. They are aspects of the same coin. One believes in God, one believes in no-God. One loves God -- the love is based on conditioning; it is not true -- one hates God -- that hate is also based on conditioning; that is not true either.
Those who start by belief never arrive, they cannot arrive. They will go round and round, but they will never penetrate the truth of existence. The beginning has to be open -- neither of belief nor of disbelief. The beginning has to be innocent. And if the beginning is innocent, THEN it is faith. Faith is not belief: faith is faith in truth. "If there is truth, then we will know it, there is no need to believe. There is no need to believe in the Bible or the Vedas or the Koran. If truth was revealed to Mohammed and Christ and to Krishna, why not to me?" This is faith.
Faith means faith in oneself. Faith means a confidence, a respect for oneself. Belief is other-oriented: faith is self-oriented. Faith is a totally different world! It has nothing to do with belief. Belief divides people into Christians, Mohammedans, Hindus, Buddhists. The man of faith knows no religion -- except the religion of inquiry. He believes not in beliefs but in inquiry. And his faith is so much in his own being that he goes unguarded into the unknown, that he moves into the uncharted without any fear. His faith in existence is such that he needs no other support. Faith is self-oriented; faith has a beauty. Belief is ugly. Avoid believing, because believing is lying. Faith is a search, an inquiry. The scientist has faith, and your so-called religious person has belief. What is the faith of a scientist? The faith that existence is a cosmos, not a chaos, that existence is based on some fundamental law. The faith that that law is discoverable. The faith that man's consciousness is capable of knowing that fundamental law, the order of life and existence. The scientist has faith. Your so-called religious person has no faith. Because he has no faith he substitutes it by a plastic, synthetic thing called belief. Avoid belief.
Faith will make you more integrated than you are: belief will make you more disintegrated than you are. Belief will keep you a slave: faith will give you a mastery. Belief will help you, certainly, to become part of a herd, of a crowd. It will be a kind of security; it is comfortable, convenient. Faith is dangerous: it will take you into the realms of the unknown. It will make you alone; you will not be with the crowd and the crowd will not be with you either. But to be alone is of tremendous import, because to be alone is purity, and to be alone one has to be alert, one has to be aware.
The believer falls asleep. The man of faith keeps wakeful -- he HAS to keep wakeful because there is nobody else to support him. He is not part of the crowd psychology; he has to stand on his own. But he believes in the cosmos. He does not believe in any doctrine, creed, but there is a tacit belief that existence is not disorderly, that existence is based on a certain order, and that order can be discovered.
Herman Hesse's statement that FAITH AND DOUBT BELONG TOGETHER AND GOVERN EACH OTHER LIKE INHALING AND EXHALING IS true about belief but not about faith as I am defining it. Just change the word 'faith' and the statement is true. Read: Belief and doubt belong together and govern each other like inhaling and exhaling. Belief always represses doubt; belief is a strategy to repress doubt. That's why believers say, "I believe strongly." Why strongly? There must be a strong doubt deep down; it needs a strong belief to force it, to repress it into the unconscious. Whenever somebody says 'strong belief' that simply means the doubt is big and has to be fought, and you will need a very strong belief to fight with it.
That's why believers become fanatics. What is a fanatic? A man who has such strong doubt inside himself that unless he is a fanatic he will not be able to repress it. He is afraid of his doubt; he is so much afraid of his doubt that he never looks within. He has to create such fanaticism around himself, such smoke of fanaticism, that the doubt gets completely lost.
And the fanatic cannot communicate; he is afraid -- you may say something to him that will bring his doubt again to the surface. He cannot listen to the other side. His argument is his sword -- he cannot argue, he can only kill. By killing he proves that his belief is right. That's why people have been killing each other -- these are all fanatics. They have made the earth very ugly. They have destroyed much that is beautiful and should be preserved. They have reduced humanity to a very unconscious phenomenon. They have not allowed human beings to flower and bloom; they have been very destructive. They have not been blessings: they have been curses.
The man who has faith is never a fanatic, cannot be. He is open, he is available, he is reachable, he is vulnerable. He is ready to listen; he is in every way ready to understand the opposite viewpoint. Who knows? The opposite viewpoint may be right. The man of faith has no prejudice to protect; he has no a priori idea; he is not rooted in any ideology at all. He is simply open, inquiring, searching, seeking. He is Ready to listen to everything; all his doors and windows are open. He is not a Leibnitzian monad -- he is not a windowless phenomenon. He is available to the sun and the rain and the wind; he is available to God in whatsoever form it comes. He is ready to search for truth. He has no prejudice that the truth should be like 'this'. He does not start with an idea; he starts with a great longing to know, but with no idea to impose on reality.
The man of faith is never a fanatic. A Buddha is never a fanatic. The man of faith is very rational: the man of belief is utterly irrational. He cannot allow reason because he is afraid -- reason may disturb his belief . Somehow he has managed to live in a cozy belief, and the reason may come like a storm and disturb everything. He cannot open his doors and windows; he has to remain closed in his own darkness -- only then can he go on believing. He functions like an ostrich. He closes his eyes so that he has never to change what he believes. The man of faith lives with open eyes, alert, watchful.
Herman Hesse is right about belief but not right about faith. But there is a third meaning also: that is trust. First meaning is belief -- belief is ugly, avoid it. Second meaning is faith -- faith is beautiful, imbibe it. And the third meaning is trust -- trust means faith has arrived at the goal. Faith is fulfilled, one has come to know, then trust arises.
Trust means "I know," not "I believe." And the person who knows, he need not believe at all -- for what? He knows! so there is no question of belief. Only those who don't know believe. Believers never reach the ultimate meaning, trust -- only those who have faith reach trust. Faith is the pilgrimage and trust is the destiny. Begin in faith, end in trust.
These are the three meanings of 'faith'. The word is very vague; you will have to understand all the three meanings, because sometimes it is used in the first meaning, sometimes in the second, sometimes in the third.” Philosophia Perennis, Vol-2 , Osho
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