Faith And Experience

ImageA steel girder appears solid and motionless; yet, it is really the product of billions and billions of atoms, which are more empty space than matter, and which are whirling about with whirling electrons. So what seems solid and stable and motionless is in reality empty and moving and whirling.

So my experience tells me one thing, and knowledge tells me something else; yet, both are true. Both are even factual.

To me, that is the relationship between faith and reason. I can get by on just experience. But even though I am living in a functional world with functional objects I can experience. I have a harder time just getting by on just knowledge because the knowledge is something I know that, to someone without the same knowledge, sounds completely absurd or outside what can be experienced. Billions of whirling atoms and electrons that are mostly vaccum vs something solid and motionless – both are true, but only one is readily experienced, and the other is simply known. And not knowing it,or unwillingness to believe it, does not make the knowledge any less true.

ImageSo, living faith without including experience is limited – it sounds absurd and it hinders functionality and usefulness; experience without faith is limited – it appears a certain way, but that appearance is not the full story. Choosing one over the other creates a false opposition that does not really exist. It is like choosing between atoms or steel when it is both atoms and steel. They are one in the same. It is the same when people try to make it faith versus experience (reason) when it is faith and experience.

So to me, faith is the knowledge that gives experience a deeper meaning; experience is the practical reality that makes faith understandable and usable. They are not in opposition to one another, but they inform each other. Yet, just as atoms are the foundation of matter, faith is the foundation of experience, since God created the material universe through faith and spoken word. And just as one can live in the material universe without knowledge or awareness of God, one can live a life based on experience and nothing else. But the full picture of reality and the person who is most complete is the one who can embrace both faith and experience.

Image

Then again, I have a long history of being wrong about stuff…

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One comment

  1. […] Faith And Experience (rjowles.wordpress.com) […]

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