Faith - 信仰 - Xìnyǎng
Where does sacred belief reside?
To worship, one needs no golden temple;
faith provides confidence, despite uncertainty.
I stopped searching for Heaven
and started looking within.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
We have for too long placed a human face upon the divine, seeing our cosmic mother or father as the authority and provider in our daily lives. We see salvation in terms of a trial, in which we must petition the heavenly bureaucracy for entrance into paradise. These models are not descriptions of the true divine order. Our projections of God come from archetypical templates, constructed from human models. If we truly believe in a divine, cosmic family, then we must be trapped in perpetual adolescence. If we regard Heaven as a supreme, divine government, then we may become victims of official protocol.
This does not mean that we should abandon faith or belief in a higher power. We need faith, not because there are being who will punish us if we are without, but because faith allows us to witness the world in a new way. Through faith, we can see the greatest aspirations for ourselves proved true. The human spiritual experience is not extraneous, but truly integral to growing into a well-adjusted adult.
Faith should not be shaken because of bad luck or tragedy. Good and bad fortune are not the work of gods or demons, so it is useless to place blame. Faith does not require objective confirmation from an outside party. Faith is truly self-affirming. If we maintain faith, we will enjoy the rewards. If we become better people, our faith will result in further growth. Faith is our own unique creation, and it is through our individual efforts that faith is validated.