A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog used this quote – “The law is reason, free from passion.” (Aristotle)
Jack went on to write – Have you ever served on a jury?…or, have you ever had a jury pass judgment on you? Aristotle describes not only the law, but also the ideal jury…reasonable and dispassionate…like the sculpture, Lady Justice, which gives form to impartiality blindfolded; fairly weighing evidence holding a balance scale; able to enforce the verdict grasping a sword. At the Last Judgment, would you want a jury of peers, or God?
As I thought about what Aristotle said a variation came to mind – Faith is passion, free from reason.
Man’s higher-level ability to reason, to think things out and reach a conclusion or solve a problem is certainly one thing that sets him apart from other living things; although many primates have some level of reasoning ability. Reason, combined with no small measure of ego, is also what keeps man from knowing God. Man has always tried to figure out how he got here and wondered about some supreme force or being that was somehow in control of things. It is that use of the human ego, leading to the need to put God in our own human context, which limits our ability to know and love Him. Our reasoning keeps us from opening ourselves to a passion for God, to having faith.
What are we to do?
Stop trying to figure God out. Stop trying to force God into that little image that looks like you that you can conjure up in your head. Stop using your reasoning and open yourself to the passion of knowing – have faith.
The Star Wars franchise of movies introduced us to the concept of The Force, which comes as close to describing faith as anything else. Early episodes focused upon understanding and using The Force. The understanding part really boiled down to accepting and believing, which Yoda tried to teach Luke in the initial installment. It is interesting that there was no attempt in Star Wars to put a face on The Force or to characterize it as being something that looked like any of the characters in the series – there were no drawings or painting of The Force. In order to suspend disbelief and accept The Force in the Star Wars movies, one had to have faith in something that is never seen, but is always there to be called upon by the faithful – the Jedi.
Perhaps we all need to suspend our disbelief and free ourselves from reason. Once free from the need to figure God out, maybe we can move on to the passion of accepting and knowing Him in our lives. In that moment of passion, all of your cares, concerns, pains, fears and troubles will fade into the background. You will have found faith, free from reason.
May The Force be with you.