Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ambiguity in Faith

Predominantly one tends to be preoccupied with thoughts relevant to the demands of the immediate present. This immediate present does not give too much time for your mind to speculate as you need to do what is necessary ‘now’. Needless to say, there have been several books written on the need to give ultimate importance to the immediate present. If you venture to open a bank account in a relatively new bank you would not find yourself raising metaphysical questions. You would worry about questions pertaining to the immediate present. This is because the immediate present needs you to engage with the situation you find yourself in without compromising on your attention. It would be wrong to conclude that metaphysical questions are absurd as when there is little to do there is a lot of room for speculation. You ponder, reflect and raise questions when you are marooned in time. It is similar to being marooned in an island.
One question that I have had recourse to raise is regarding the nature of belief and faith in God. It is a rather difficult question, I have found and to answer without any trace of ambiguity is even more difficult. This, for some reason or the other is unpalatable for many. The confusion in question has a lot to do with the lack of understanding of the word ‘agnosticism’ which is not quite the same as ‘atheism’. You tend to lose grip of the significance of this difference as you may find it to be, nothing but splitting hair. The word ‘agnosticism’ has its relevance when it comes to the subject of how much a human being can know about the nature of the universe. In simple words, if I am not all knowing how can I be certain of my beliefs, especially the metaphysical ones such as the validity of the existence of God. 
There is however, one way of avoiding the well of absolute skepticism and that is the immediate present which you cannot deny. In fact even this is trivial and does not get you far in understanding the nature of your faith as you have only solved one problem effectively, which is not really of a philosophical nature. It may interest you to know that there is an extension possible and that is the concept and reality of ‘evolution’. If you are not sure about whether or not God exists, you may want to wait till you gain more knowledge, wisdom and experience. You then look at intuition and extrasensory perception a bit more seriously. You also start developing an appreciation of wonder and insights which are ahead of the curve of common logic. This position may be termed as ‘evolutionary mysticism’ which by no means is vague and is in harmony with your reasoning and state of mind. There is then less justification for jumping to conclusions without having sufficient data even when it seems more comforting to make a black and white decision. It is this ambiguity in faith that one tends to fill up with words. These words do not reveal exactly the nature of one’s metaphysical position. There is dynamism about the state of mind which indicates the mental process of evolution where answers are not quite as clear cut as we would have liked them to be.  I for one find ample grounds for respecting ambiguity in faith as it is ‘evolutionary mysticism’ in disguise.      


Apprehensive sunlight
Throws little light
For humans to move.


Varun said...

Brilliant...!!! Evolutionary mysticism in the form of ambiguity of faith. Diving into the present to avoid the bigger questions...!!

Unknown said...

You understood the essence of the essay "Ambiguity in Faith". The present moment is the moment of escapism and the enemy of metaphysics and epistemology. Nothing can be known when you are engaged in the "here and now". Agnosticism is not a stand but a confession of the limitations of the human mind.