How can this pilgrim acquire faith?
February 10, 2008 11:24 AM Subscribe
Please help this petty agnostic acquire faith in a higher power.
posted by mr_book to religion & philosophy (71 answers total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
I am a 27 yr old agnostic who has attempted the practice of several different religions over the years, eventually calcifying into what my friends have called a "big, bad atheist." After realizing a few years back that atheism wasn't the way to go for me, I started saying that I was an agnostic. I'm not sure that that label fits either.
Every time I've tried experimenting with a religion, I've been fascinated by all of the rituals and mythology which went along with it, but I've never been able to really buy into it. I can't seem to believe concepts like resurrection, reincarnation, angels, the goddess, animistic spirits, et cetera.
I dislike this. I don't want to go through my life not experiencing Faith. I've talked to several people about this, looked online, read books, but what it almost always comes down to is: "If you don't have faith, you can't accept an explanation. If you do have faith, no explanation is necessary." That's all well and good, but it doesn't help me. It's the philosophical equivalent of saying: "Tough rocks, kid."
I've recently come to the conclusion that even if reincarnation, resurrection, et cetera are complete bullshit, I think my experience of the world would be better and fuller is they were not.
I've received advice like "do community service" and "visit a church more often" and "pray" but that's not helpful. I'm not looking for morality - that I can do on my own. I'm also not looking for a religion - I don't need a spiritual bureaucracy telling me how to live my life. What I'm interested in is acquiring Faith itself, not its trappings.
If there are any personal experiences out there which can help, or any advice toward the subject, I'd be grateful. I'm interested in an actual method for acquiring Faith. Literally, how do I get it?