Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

One of the greatest things to possess is faith, which ultimately leads to conviction; and from conviction one day arises realization. There are no two kinds of faith. Faith is the last thing to be labeled. The only question is whether one has strong faith or weak faith. Some manifest faith only to the point of acknowledging forms and ceremonies, while some go beyond this to seek the kernel and eschew the hull, believing either in the impersonal infinite existence or in the personal existence of one's own master.

Thus it is only a question of degree of faith. In whole-hearted faith, relief will be found from the many sufferings which afflict man. We are already in possession of infinite power and happiness, but it is our way of life which prevents us from enjoying these eternal treasures of God. Faith can provide a key to attain them.

Eventually, faith must give way to conviction, for after all, faith is only faith. There are two kinds of experience — external and internal. External experiences can result through the gross media. What we actually see of the gross world through our gross eyes gives us conviction of a sort, but there are occasions when even this conviction is based on incorrect analysis.

Thus, if we see a man drinking milk from a bottle under a toddy tree [a cheap, intoxicating drink is commonly made in India from the sap of the toddy tree], we assume unconsciously that he is drinking toddy, which is incorrect. What is seen with the inner eye gives absolute conviction and can never be false. Such is the case, for example, when one sees with the inner eye that God is the Infinite Existence.

Therefore what is really needed to give eternal conviction is not mere theorizing and reasoning, or even faith, but actual (inner) experience.

Once God has been realized, there is no question of faith or even of conviction, just as there is no question of a man's needing faith to believe that he is a man. Having transcended the boundaries of faith, one finds oneself identified with the infinite and the one Self manifested everywhere.

LISTEN, HUMANITY, pp. 184-185, ed. D. E. Stevens
1982 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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