I think "faith", like anything we try to talk about, is experienced completely differently by each person, but I think there are a few specific ways in which people refer to it and experience it...
1) Having an "intellectually learned"
faith... I trust and believe in something because my community, culture, or religion trusts and believes in it too. It's a faith more of a habit, and desire to believe in what others believe, than something deeply experienced.
an "experiential" faith... Being able to trust in something because of multiple experiences or because it just seems obvious to count on it. "No matter what happens, I usually find a way to get through it", or, "I don't ever have to worry about the sun coming
up tomorrow. The next day always arrives."
3) Having a "spiritual" faith... Having connected with something inexplicable that lets you know you never have to be concerned. A calm, clear, impersonal understanding of the bigger picture of
everything in life. An understanding of faith that cannot be understood without having experienced it for yourself.
Prior to coming across the Principles, I didn't really know what faith or hope meant. It was neither something that I happened
to pick up from my community/culture/religion (1), nor was it something that I had experienced that I could rely on (2). My view was just that "life was just life, a matter of being lucky sometimes, and not so lucky other times".
great extent, I still view life the same way, but since coming across the principles, I realized that I now understood for the first time, what faith and hope was all about. I came to see what I can only explain as, "I will always be perfectly fine, no matter
what happens, even if I die." (3)
Now I don't live that level of experience of faith in my day-to-day. My insecure thinking keeps me keenly grounded in my human experience, but that deeper experience of faith doesn't seem to be something
I will forget.
And I can tell every person to have hope and faith, and can share my own experience of it... But it will ultimately never be mine to give to them. It will only ever be theirs when they experience it for themselves, and I
don't know if being at any level (1or 2) will necessarily help to get them there (3). It's all a mystery.
But wouldn't it be nice for everyone to really experience what it meant. How thankful I am for Syd Banks and the Principles for that.