THERE are those who proclaim the universe is orderly and beautiful.
Buddha knew it. So did Mohammed and Jesus of Nazareth.
They all stated that the miracles in life were not as obvious as the darkness. They encouraged their followers to pour their lives out for others; to engage this world and transform it.
In the end, they all said, spiritual choices meant a life was either lost or given to the world.
If God was no bigger than us, they said, there could be no mystery and no poetry. No discovery and no unconditional love.
At the basis of belief is the faith that this world is not all there is.
Faith is magical and mystical; it does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. But that doesn’t mean your brain has to go into neutral.
In Buddhism, faith is described as the act of the intellect assenting to a truth beyond its grasp. Buddhist literature states that faith without knowledge leads to the “conceit of ignorance’’ and knowledge without faith “begets a stony heart’’.
Christians and Muslims talk of the two treasures of faith.
The first is a joy born of love and wonder when faith in a caring creator is new. The second is a joy born of love and knowledge.
And between the experiences of the two joys lies discipline, disappointment and, often, disillusion.
It is in the midstream, when life is a battle and joy seems a thing of the past that faith in the unseen sustains the soul.
The second joy, love with understanding, is acknowledged as the greater gift. It has come by great faith, and, like true love, endures forever.