The Skeptic

The Skeptic

We talk about having faith in ourselves, as in, “I have faith in myself.” But what is that? What is this thing we call our self? We think of it as something encased inside our body. Many of us believe it actually is our body.  We refer to this thing as “me.” But our self is really unsee-able and unknowable. I mean, where is this self located exactly? What does it look like? I think, but am I real? We seem to exist somewhere inside this vessel, so we accept we do exist, on faith. Scientist believe the self to be a complex web of electro-chemical activity, primarily happening in the brain. But they can’t point to a specific location.

Our belief in God, in the self or some limitless universe, in science, even the future, is all based on faith. It requires a higher state of consciousness to have faith in that which we cannot experience in the present or through our senses. We trust that we have a future, even though we truly don’t know what will happen next. This belief in a predictable future is based solely on patterns that exist in the past. I bought a new watch online, so I can expect to receive it when it was promised; but I have no way of knowing for certain that it will arrive. We have probabilities. That’s it.

I can believe in God or nothingness, but there is nothing certain about what will happen when we die. Based on what we can see by direct observation, it appears we simply end. But our conception of reality is limited by our perceptions of time and space. So any number of possibilities likely exist outside of our limited, measurable perceptions.

I discuss in my book, Quench, that faith is a choice, limited only by our ability to imagine. That’s where the art part comes in, I guess, because after all, this is supposed to be an arts blog. In my mind, I have worked out the concept of God and my place in the universe. My faith makes sense to me, based on what I’ve learned about God, through the Bible and numerous other sources. But it is also the result of my experience in nature, and in the quiet of my mind, where I have sensed God’s presence, some organizing intelligence. I have even experienced time travel in my imagination, in the form of creative memory and imagined futures. I have experienced insight and inspiration that seems to come from beyond my own ability and knowledge. There simply is no explanation for these experiences in observable reality.

Is this proof of anything? Are the shadows on the cave walls real? At the end of the day, I think being limited by our perceptions is a grand bore. Faith requires real imagination. Faith is compelling and meaningful. Faith inspires me. So, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

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