Friday 18 July 2008

Faith and The One

Interesting comments to this post.

OK, let me just say how I see it.

Again, it goes back to what Christ taught. Can you love, without there being a bargain?

What Christ proposed was instead of us all doing something in the hope of getting something back, we do something and just have faith that the simple doing of it will reward us, without clarifying whether or not we'll actually get such reward.

Do it, and hope that what goes around comes around.

This is what is meant by faith, the hope that somehow your actions will be rewarded in the life to come.

Now myself, I believe that the whole promise of an afterlife is a bribe.
To me, it doesn't fit in with what we know of the world.

But I still maintain there is something being said there.
Because the whole point is, it does condition you to a certain mindset, and that mindset is a positive one.

Faith, Hope, Love.

Pascal's Wager is often misunderstood. People often see it as merely cynical.
It's usually taken as saying that believing in God is the better bet because if you're right, you go to Heaven, but if you're wrong you lose nothing, whereas Atheism is the bad bet, because if you're right you gain nothing, but if you're wrong you go to Hell.

Not quite what he said.

What Pascal said, concerned Faith.
What he said was, that the blessings of the afterlife, if it exists are infinite. Therefore, no matter what the likelihood of its existence, whatever the probabilities of its existence, statistically it makes sense to have faith. The point is, he was a mathematician, and the point is a mathematical one.

Of course, I'm still not convinced by the afterlife.

Now I guess, in regard to the post in question and the comments to it, is that actually this post is about unconditional love. As in, without conditions.

Now, I guess the question is, does unconditional love, exist.

And I would argue, yes it does.

Because I would argue that at some point in life, we all have to make ONE Faith decision and stick by it.
Just to know for sure we are who we feel we are.

Just so we can die knowing we were true to our hearts.
We have to have faith that the universe does not deceive us in how it prompts us to feel. We have to have faith in that, or life itself is a lie.

Well, I must admit to having gone through life an utter cynic in matters of the heart till fairly recently.
I was content to fling around those three little words without a lot of due care and attention.
Basically, waiting for the best bargain to show up. But I can't honestly say my heart was ever particularly in it.

And generally, I was hoping, as any good salesman does, to make a profit.
As in to be loved, without having to give much love.

And in my experience, it's not actually a good deal. Funny thing this surplus love. It seems to rot and turn into a kind of misery.

I think that's because it's love bought and sold, not love given in faith.

And I think this is it. If you're like me, you have to feel the miracle to believe. You have to see 'The One', before you can truly believe.
You see, I'm kind of the doubting Thomas. I didn't really believe in that kind of unconditional devotion. Well, I did in theory, indeed the CONCEPT of it, has always been fundamental. But in practical terms, you have to see the holes where the nails went through.

But 'Happier still are those who have not seen, and yet believe'.

And this is the point. Accepting the existence of 'The One'- your 'The One', is a major faith decision.

Because it's a gut feeling. you can't help it. They always say 'When you know, you'll know'. This never really made sense to me. But I guess that's the point. Recognising 'The One', is much the same as when Thomas saw the holes in Christ's hands.

But once you've done that, what does that mean?

Well, it means that you really just have to have faith. Of course there's no logical reason why YOU should also be THEIR one. But that doesn't really matter. The point is, what you feel and the point is, you can't lie to yourself and the universe.

To refuse to love The One, without conditions, is to lack faith. To turn away from The One and settle elsewhere, is to lack faith.

So of course it's a faith choice.
But it's like Pascal's wager.

I don't think everyone comes across 'The One'. I think maybe it really is kind of a miracle that strikes Doubting Thomases.
But once you do, it has the same odds.

Because if it's 'The One', there's no bargain. Unconditional devotion, really IS worth it. Suffering anything they throw at you really IS worth it. They really ARE worth it. So it really doesn't matter if they reject you and settle down with someone else.

Because in ten years they MAY change their mind.

And if they're The One, they're worth sticking around for.
Just in case.

And if you ever get to have 'The One', then anything they do is forgivable, because you already have something priceless.

The point is, loving 'The One' is its own reward. You don't need anything back for it, it is it's own reward.
It is like a religion, the joy is in the Faith, the Hope and the Love.

To give up on 'The One', to walk away, is to give up on life, to lose Faith that the universe tells you true.

So yes, loving The One IS an act of faith.

They're worth waiting for
And worth enduring anything for.

After all, Penelope waited twenty years for Odysseus.

Faith, Hope and Love.
The path to redemption.


Anonymous said...

After reading the first bit, can you love without there being a bargain, I do and have done.

Anonymous said...

(1) This reminds me of arguments over whether there could ever truly be altruistic behavior. I would consider the point moot, after awhile. Whether one defines the person as singular or plural makes the difference.

(2) I can understand loving someone without the hope of any payback, for I tend to do that. I wouldn't know about waiting for "The One," however, for I feel there is more than the one. And waiting around for a while in case they might change their minds isn't something I am wont to do. After all, would I be rooting against something that the one has invested much of her spirit in?

Meanwhile, life is short.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous post here Crushed. I know that for me, when I've lost faith (in myself, in human nature, in Jesus, in life) then I am at a complete loss. I turn myself in circles wondering what is the point of everything? When I have depression, I feel I have lost touch with faith.

I think even if we can just believe in one thing, and hold it dear, then it can be a successful life.

Anonymous said...

Faith is good, and I suppose we all need to have faith in something - be it religion or something/someone else.

But we should be careful not to pit our faith into thankless or undeserving projects because that can worse than having no faith at all.

Anonymous said...

Nunyaa- :)
Good for you!
If only more could see it that way. But for so many, it's a bargain. Which is why it feeds in to bitterness, long term.

X-dell- We have to hope, or at least aspire to it.
My feeling is that when you do come across The One, it does kind of ppeal to a sense of altruism beyond what seems to make sense. Ny nature, it's unconditional devotion.

Well, the point is you have two choices. YOu have to aske yourself whether settling for somone who isn't the one isn't going to make you regret having settled for something less than you hoped for.

Surely it is better to be rejected forever by The One than be loved forever be someone lesser?

Becaue the problem is, accepting the love of someone lesser commits you to a lie.
And can you live with that lie?

Kate- I agree. Everyone's got to have faith in something.

But I'm not sure Faith is a matter of choice. You can't always CHOOSe what to believe. For example, I can't sit here and DECIDe I'm going to believe that elves live in my bin. I'm not going to convince myself.

I think there is something miraculous about faith and when it hits us, we should embrace it.

Bunny- I think when you invest it in someone else it has elements it doesn't when the objects are largely imaginary. Perhaps that makes the faith greater; it has risks investing it in an imaginary icon do not.

For a faith to be truly satisfying it has to offer the possibility of thanklessness- part of the satisfaction is the knowledge you could get nothing back. It's freely given.

As for deserving, well, who decides that?
Surely that's the decision of the person having faith?

Anonymous said...

I'd see that as a personal choice. In fact, most people might be perfectly happy loving the one they're with than the one they'll never get.

Anonymous said...

A very good post Mr Ingsoc - very thought provoking ... I wonder if I will ever meet the one? I think we have a psychic link by the way - I also have a nude on my blog a

Anonymous said...

my buddhist friends might tell you that this also sounds a lot like a discussion of karma, and they might be right.

intertwined into all of this also sits an examination of the concept of serindipity--the idea that there are a thousand tiny pleasures found in the most mundane things life brings us.

that lifestyle is also an expression of faith and optimism...but it might not be related to a deistic orientaion in a person's personal philosophy.

Anonymous said...

This is a sequel to your other post and expresses things more clearly. Loving without expecting something in return is what many do I think. You might hope, but not expect.

A bit like paying it forward…

Your previous comment about the perfect feeling I think is still beaten by loving unconditionally and being loved unconditionally by the one you love.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, the whole "The One" scenario sounds all lovely in theory, but a tad naive.

I'm more of a "potential Mr Rights" kinda gal - its not that you can nly find absolute a happiness with only one person.

U dont chose whom you fall in love with, but you can chose whether or not act upon it, and give hapiness & love a try...

Anonymous said...

X-dell- And isn't that infidelity in the TRUE sense of the word?
You see, this is the whole problem with the canard of sexual fidelity, the points is are you true to yourself and what you fell?

Settling for someone who isn't 'The One', when in your mind you KNOW who the one is, is slightly idolatrous almost, don't you think?

Mutley- I like naked black women. They're fun.

FC- Well, Karma is something I believe in, I'm not the most orthodox Catholic and I don't believe in afterlife. What I do believe in, is Karma.

I believe everything happens for a reason and every experience serves some purpose.

Moggs- Ah, but the problem is you can't be sure your own love is unconditional, if you're getting something back. The only way you can be sure, is if you get nothing back.

What use is a faith that is never put to the test?

I actually believe that most martyrs die in a state of mind transcending any euphoria we can imagine.

Crashie- Idealistic, maybe, but I don't know about naive.

Happiness, yes, but what grade of happiness? Christ could probably have been happy setting up a business making furniture and raising kids with Mary Magdalene. But wouldn't he always have felt a fraud?

Sometimes the true happiness is to be found in the path that looks less promising. The TRUE happiness is in denying yourself the APPARENT happiness.