It Takes Two. . .

In my religious studies my professor started day one lessons with the concept of light. As he eloquently stated all religions across time and socities have pointed to or referenced “the light.”

In the Buddhist context, light is particularly associated with wisdom and knowledge; darkness is associated with ignorance and a state of not knowing or ignorance. This corresponds to the two aspects of the path: there is the method aspect, which includes such practices as compassion and tolerance, and the wisdom, or knowledge, aspect, the insight penetrating the nature of reality. It is the knowledge, or wisdom, aspect of the path that is the true antidote to dispelling ignorance. 

Since these passages also seem to point out the importance of faith in one’s spiritual practice, I think it might be useful here to give some explanation of the Buddhist understanding of faith. The Tibetan word for faith is day-pa, which perhaps might be closer in meaning to confidence, or trust. In the Buddhist tradition, we speak of three different types of faith. The first is faith in the form of admiration that you have toward a particular person or a particular state of being. The second is aspiring faith. There is a sense of emulation; you aspire to attain that state of being. The third type is the faith of conviction.

In Buddhism we find a repeated emphasis on the need for both faith and reason on the spiritual path. Nagarjuna, a second-century Indian master, states in his famous text, the Precious Garland, that a spiritual aspirant requires both faith and reason, or faith and analysis. Faith leads you to a higher state of existence, whereas reason and analysis lead you to full liberation. The important point is that the faith one has in the context of one’s own spiritual practice must be grounded in reason and understanding.

Peace and Love, Jim

#faithandreason #thedailybuddha

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