Harmonizing Faith and Reason: The Unseen Force Shaping Our Understanding
Voltaire once said, “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”
His words led me on an introspective expedition.
It led me to a question that I asked myself, and one that I’ll attempt to answer.
Is faith a precursor to reason?
Before we embark on any journey, we take a step in the direction of faith.
Faith doesn’t defy reason, rather it encompasses it, and may even extend beyond it.
Faith offers a gateway of understanding that is outside our mental faculties.
In essence, faith must first bind in agreement with inspiration.
Derived from the Latin “inspiratus,” inspiration translates to”a breath into.”
As a Star Wars fan, I’ll use the term force to describe inspiration.
This force interacts with us, inspiring faith and then that faith forges a path to reason and greater understanding.
The sheer will to do anything comes from something.
Who or what is this unknown force?
Is it us, or is it not?
More importantly, does it matter?
I am reminded of Lao Tzu regarding this force when he said, “The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name.”
There are times when I’ve been in interesting states of consciousness and had written something that I thought was beautiful, only to read it again and not believe that it was me.
In technology circles, this is known as the flow state, the experience of being so absorbed by a task that your attention is completely held by it.
I feel most have felt it in some capacity.
I feel this force when I write, see the sunrise, when gazing into my wife’s eyes in the morning hours, or when crafting a meal with leftovers.
To put it more aptly, the force that inspires faith and forges reason is awakened when we are fully attentive and free from distraction.
It’s when we quiet the chattering mind and build a relationship with this silent force, that we allow ourselves to truly live.
Which leads me to my final thoughts.
When we have created the music of our inspiration, we may be inclined to reason that it’s the instruments that play the tune, when in fact it’s also the silence between the notes that is responsible for its beautiful harmony.