I just read the most delightful article written by a person of hope. To be fair, the whole point of his article is that he is not a person of faith, and yet grapples with an education in science and reason, alongside significant education in Judaica and Hebrew.
But I will take a person of hope over a person of merely faith any day.
Ron Grossman, a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, titles his reflection "Confessions of an 'as if' believer of religion."
Read his thoughtful article in full.
In the final analysis, what does it even mean to "have faith"? St. Paul wrote that, in the end, there are three things that abide--"Faith, Hope, and Love. And the greatest of these is Love" (1 Cor 13:13).
Would not this imply that Hope is greater than Faith?
In other words, to live your life "As If" is perhaps a more honest and genuine grappling with the Divine from within the human predicament than those who only have dogmatic and cheap answers to the pains we experience in the Universe.
I say this as someone who does weekly practice a religion. As such, I welcome the perspectives of companions such as Mr. Grossman on the Path.
Some days, I do believe. Many days I doubt. All days, I hope. All days, I try to love. And all days I live my life as if there is something beyond this realm.
Depending on the disposition of my soul when I pass from this life, maybe I will be relieved, maybe I will be surprised. Maybe I will be extinguished because nothing does finally exist beyond this realm.
But I hope that's not true. And I primarily hope that's not true because I should very much want to see again loved ones whom I have lost awhile. Even greater than my desire to continue in consciousness is my Love for those in the beyond.
"And the greatest of these is Love..."
I love them. That's solid.
I hope to see them again. That follows.
And so I have Faith. Flowing from Love and Hope, that ends up being the easiest one of all...