Thursday, November 10, 2016

Faith/Trust

It is impossible for anyone to know their fate.  So I believe.  It is impossible to know day by day that you won't be in a car accident that wasn't your fault, or that something will not happen to someone you love.  Self evidently, bad things happen suddenly--and slowly, as in illness--to good people all the time. Most of the time it's not us, but sometimes it is.

It seems to me the core existential element of faith is the ability to relax in motion, to do the work of the world, to move with its currents, and maintain the ability to relax and stay in the moment; specifically, to reject and distance yourself from worry and the obsessions it breeds.

To be here: that is faith.

I had some minor setbacks today, nothing major, and it occurred to me that we live in an inelastic world.  We have come to expect things to be run like a giant, predictable machine.  Everything is measured.  Yardsticks are everywhere, and deviations from those yardsticks are resented and feared.  We all have one measure, and fear a second.

Most people are accustomed to making a certain amount of money a day.  Your time, for example, may be worth exactly $30/hour.  If you work one hour, you expect $30.  You don't expect $28 or $32.  It is $30.  But imagine if somebody was spinning a wheel hourly to see how much you make.  Every hour would be a surprise.

If you think about it, farming was always a crapshoot.  Hunting was always a crapshoot.  Sometimes it went well, sometimes not.  On balance things worked out for those who survived, and obviously did not work out for those who did not.  But the future was always uncertain, which meant that everyone had to have some means of calming themselves, of cultivating faith, of dealing with chance, and a universe of unknowns and uncontrollables.

We are so weak in large measure precisely because uncertainty has been largely eradicated in our world.  Dealing with chaos and confusion simply aren't skills the mass of people need or cultivate or value.

No comments: