Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

Faith in a Perfect Master becomes all-important because it nourishes and sustains faith in oneself and faith in life — in the very teeth of setbacks and failures, handicaps and difficulties, limitations and failings. Life, as a person knows it in himself, or in most of his fellow beings, may be narrow, twisted, and perverse; but life as he sees it in the Master is unlimited, pure, and untainted. In the Master, the aspirant sees his own ideal realized; the Master is what his own deeper self would rather be. He sees in the Master the reflection of the best in himself, which is yet to be but which he will surely one day attain. Faith in the Master therefore becomes the chief motive power for realizing the divinity that is latent in man.

True faith is grounded in the deeper experiences of the spirit and the unerring deliverances of purified intuition. It is not to be regarded as the antithesis of critical reason but as the unfailing guide of critical reason. When critical reason is implemented by a deep and living faith based on pure intuition, its functioning becomes creative, fruitful, and significant instead of barren, ineffective, and meaningless. On the other hand, many forms of naive credulity cannot be broken through except by the fearless and free working of critical reason.

However, it remains true that critical reason can touch and inform only those kinds of faith that are not based upon pure intuition. True faith grounded in pure intuition always remains an imperative that cannot be ultimately reduced to the conclusions of rational intellect. It is not derived from the limited intellect but is more fundamental and primary, with the result that it cannot be silenced by any intellectual acrobatics. This does not mean, however, that faith need at any stage be blind, in the sense that it is not allowed to be examined by critical intellect. True faith is a form of sight and not of blindness. It need not be afraid of the free functioning of critical reason.


DISCOURSES, 7th ed, pp. 366-367
1987 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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