Monday, March 24, 2008

Faith and Imagination - Being Open to the Possibilities

When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
- Albert Einstein

Faith is crumpling and throwing away everything, proposition by proposition, until nothing is left, and then writing a new proposition, your very own, to throw in the teeth of despair.

-Mary Jean Irion, in Yes, World: A Mosaic of Meditation
Or to put it another way:

Faith is having an Open Heart,
Imagination is having an Open Mind.

Both states are Creative in the most fundamental and genuine since of that word. Open refers to our capacity to go beyond our typical ways of thinking and of being receptive to that which we might normally dismiss or uncritically pass judgement. That is, faith and imagination are different aspects of the same disposition. This is why wooden faith, the kind which is mocked by many atheists as well as quite a few theists, is so transparently counterfeit and also why it is so dangerous. To put that another way...

Faith is having an Open Heart,
Imagination is having an Open Mind.
Sainthood is the condition of Possession,
(...of these things these as attributes)
Enlightenment is the acutalization of Being. (...or of recognizing these qualities as the foundation and truth of one's existence)

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