Blind credulity which accepts all kinds of dogmas & creeds without question,repeating parrot-like what has been taught & closing its ears to doubt & reason.Such faith is compounded of laziness,obstinacy,ignorance & fear.Because it is rigid & unyielding it can be quite easily shaken & altogether be destroyed.For agnostics ‘faith’ is often a term of abuse.
However,this is not the true faith.True faith is flexible,provisional,un-dogmatic,open to doubt & reason.True faith is not like a picture frame-a permanently limited area of acceptance; it is like a plant or a tree which keeps on growing.All we require at the beginning is a seed.And the seed be nothing more than a feeling of interest in the possibilities of the Spiritual life.
Suppose you are subject to indigestion.One day you read a book about diet or meet a doctor who tells you he can restore your health if you follow his instruction.You do not have to accept the book/doctor with blind faith,but you do have to have provisional,hypothetical faith.You’ve to assume that the diet will help your condition.You’ve to try it before you can say with authority whether it is helpful or useless.So,too with the spiritual diet that the great teachers have recommended.You’ve to have a provisional faith in the word of your teacher.
Similarly,when we talk about Enlightenment,the first obstacle we must overcome is the doubt that exists in the minds about whether or not an end of suffering is really possible.Unless we believe that a doctor can cure us of a physical pain,we will never seek his advice,never undergo appropriate therapy & may consequently die of an illness that could have been cured had we only had sufficient confidence to seek help.
“How can I believe in Enlightenment if I’ve never experienced it” is the most common perception of people.Even now most of us have never observed sub-atomic reality,yet we accept its existence because there are those among us with special training & appropriate instruments to observe it.To achieve Enlightenment,the instrument is Mind & the training is meditation to purify it.Confidence in possibility of being Enlightened is an indispensable prerequisite in practice of meditation.